Daily Word

Genesis 40

Read Genesis 40 – Joseph and dreams – If you recall, all of Joseph’s troubles began when he shared his dreams with his brothers (Genesis 37).  One would think he would doubt the dream interpretation, considering the way that one is playing out.  Indeed, from a dream about the sun moon and eleven stars bowing down to him to the reality of abandonment, slavery, and imprisonment one would think Joseph would doubt a lot of things.  But there is zero evidence of that anywhere in his life. 

Our chapter begins with Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer and chief baker joining Joseph in prison.  Scripture says, “When Joseph saw them the next morning, he noticed that they both looked upset.” :6 Beloved, do you see his heart?  Joseph reflects a heart of compassion and tenderness, not bitter self-absorption. 

He asks why they look so worried, and they say it is because they both had dreams that no one could interpret.  Without hesitation, Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God?  Please tell them to me.” :8  Joseph does not say that he can interpret, but that it belongs to God… that is the kind of relationship he has with the Father… It gives us a peek at just HOW Joseph could endure a life of trials without despair because he walked so closely with the LORD. 

Beloved, when ugly emotions rear their head in your heart, turn to Jesus.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all our anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:6-7 

Joseph gives the interpretations and they play out in three days exactly as he described.  All he asked for in return was that he be remembered (:14) but our chapter closes with, “Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.” :23  Yet another betrayal, still, all we see is a steadfast life.  God is preparing Joseph for great things and his faith does not waiver. 

Beloved, trust the Lord with all your heart.  When things get hard, remember Joseph, and may his blessed hope be yours too.

Daily Word

Genesis 39

Read Genesis 39 – Back to Joseph. 

He is now a house slave to an Egyptian official named Potiphar.  “The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man… His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.” :2-3  Joseph is put in charge of all that his master had and his master prospered because of God’s favor over Joseph. 

In verse :6 we learn something else about Joseph, “Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.”  Suddenly, Mrs. Potiphar is interested in Joseph.  She makes some advances, which he refuses, until the day comes where she won’t take no for an answer.  Joseph fled, leaving a frustrated and angry Mrs. Potiphar still holding his coat.  She spins the story and says Joseph attacked her.  When Master Potiphar came home and heard her tale, he was angry and sent Joseph to the prison where the kings prisoners were kept.  I would be so discouraged, but there is no hint of that in Joseph. 

Even in prison, the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. :21 

Beloved, consider what Colossians 3:23 says:  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though working for the Lord, not for human masters,”.  And think about Romans 8:31, “What shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Joseph’s circumstances should be cause for despair, but he walks so closely with the LORD, there’s simply no room for it.  Next time you get down, hang on to Joseph’s faith and trust your Heavenly Father with the outcome.

Daily Word

Genesis 38

Read Genesis 38 – The bible is real and true. People are messy yet the LORD accomplishes His purpose through us.

Meet Tamar, she is one of only 4 women mentioned in the lineage of Jesus, in the New Testament (Matthew 1:3).  She is given in marriage to Judah’s son,  Er, but he was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the LORD killed him.  :6-7.  Wicked Er was not going to corrupt the lineage of Jesus.  

It was tradition, if a man died before providing a son to his wife, that the brother would then fill his shoes.   The son would not be his though;  the baby would be considered the son of the dead brother. Judah sends in his second son, Onan.  He was also wicked in the eyes of the LORD,  and the LORD killed him.  :10. 

Judah has one son left, Shelah.  He is a bit young to be marrying and fathering his dead brother’s children, plus Tamar’s track record is of some concern. So Judah sends Tamar home to her fathers house.   He says he will send Shelah when he is old enough, but doesn’t. 

Tamar does something that seems crazy, taking off her widows garb, dressing like a shrine prostitute and getting Judah to be with her. She secures the act with his personal items.

… Hang in there,  my feminist friends, this is the anchient world. As things play out, I think you’ll see Tamar is quite the brave and bold fighter within the realm of her time and options.

Enjoy the read.  Beloved, be blessed by this chapter.   The Lord worked through Judah and Tamar despite some overwhelming obstacles and poor choices. He will come alongside you too, working all things for your good and His glory. 💖

Daily Word

Genesis 37

Read Genesis 37 – Beloved, you are seen; you are precious and useful to God; the biggest challenges of your life are molding and shaping you for divine purposes.  You are loved.  May you learn and relearn all this and more from Joseph. 

We begin when Joseph is 17 and like most of us at that age, he wants to fit in.  He is the 11th son to his father, Jacob, and first born to his mother, Rachel. He is his father’s favorite, and his brothers hated him for that.  :1-4

He has a dream one night, and tells his brothers about it.  In the dream, they bow down to him.  You can imagine how well this goes over. 

One day, Joseph is coming out to where the brothers are working and they conspire to kill him. Then changed their mind to throw him down an empty well because they did not want his blood on their hands.  Then they rethink that plan and sell him into slavery to a passing caravan.  :18-28  They bring back false evidence to make their father believe he has been eaten by wild animals… in other words, his situation is humanly hopeless.  No one is going to come looking for him.  But notice how God’s hand of protection was over him.  The Lord did not allow his brothers to kill him.  The Lord did not allow him to be harmed by the slave traders and the Lord planted Joseph in the service to Potiphar, the captain of the guard for Pharaoh.  There’s much more to his story, but for today, Beloved, whatever you’ve faced in life, especially the hard parts, will you pray to see it through God’s lense?🌈🧥💤💖☝️🙏😍

Daily Word

Genesis 36

Read Genesis 36 – Tomorrow we will read about Joseph and his dream… It’s an excellent chapter that will instill you with hope, faith and perseverance.  But today we are reading about the descendants of Esau. 

I consider this a tough chapter because it is mostly a genealogy of hard to pronounce names.  God told Rebekah she carried two rival nations (Genesis 25:23) and that will continue to play out as the descendants of Esau give Israel trouble.  Esau is the father of the Edomites, and the Amalekites (through Esau’s oldest son, Eliphaz – :16).  Our chapter mentions that Esau separated from Jacob because both brothers had been so abundantly blessed that the land could not support them.  He moved to Seir, the place he invited Jacob to when the brothers reconciled in chapter 33.  Beloved, though you may also find this hard to read, know that nothing is in God’s Word casually or without meaning.  In God’s timing and purpose every word will make perfect sense.

Daily Word

Genesis 35

Read Genesis 35 – Back to Bethel. 

The Lord first called Jacob back to Bethel in Genesis 31:13, but on the way, Jacob set up camp near Shechem with disastrous results.  Casual obedience is a sure pathway to chaos.  We saw this played out in the last chapter with Dinah, Simeon, Levi, and the rest of Jacob’s sons.  Beloved, what is God calling you to?  If you are not sure, go to the last place he led you to and do what he told you then… Ephesians 5 in the New Testament has very clear instructions. 

Jacob tells his family to prepare for the journey by getting rid of all pagan idols, purifying themselves and putting on clean clothing. 

Beloved, do these things as well for a fresh start.  Is there anything in your house/life you would not want to share with Jesus? 

Jacob’s household gave him all the foul things and he buried them under a great tree near Shechem.  Scripture says:  “As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s family.” :5  Now that Jacob was living in obedience, the LORD guarded his path.  And with his obedience, God reminded Jacob that his new name was Israel (it was first given to him when he wrestled with God in 32:28), and that all the blessings of his forefathers were now his.  Jacob marked the place where God had spoken to him. 

The timeline is unclear, but Jacob leaves Bethel for Ephrath (which is Bethlehem).  Rachel gives birth to her second son along the way, and with her last breath, names him Ben-oni… son of my sorrow.  Jacob calls him Benjamin… son of my right hand. 

Jacob’s first born son, Reuben, shows his father utmost disrespect by sleeping with his concubine, Bilhah.  These are the disqualifiers in Jacobs children: Reuben had sex with Bilhah, Simeon and Levi let the massacre at Shechem… the future is now up to Judah, and from him will come our messiah, Jesus Christ. 

Our chapter ends with the death of Isaac. Esau and Jacob buried him, coming together in unity one last time.

Beloved, may your take-away be, “A man resisting God will see the same effect in his family.  A man who gets right with God will see the effect in his family also.” (from David Guzik commentary on Genesis 35).

Daily Word

Genesis 34

Read Genesis 34 – What not to do.

The Lord called Jacob to Bethel, but Jacob settled in the Canaanite territory of Shalem. Dinah (Jacob and Leah’s daughter) went out to visit friends in the city…. This sounds innocent enough in our time, but in their time an unsupervised woman in a pagan city was fair game…. Note that neither Shechem nor Hamor even apologized!

Papa Hamor negotiates for Dinah to marry Shechem. Shechem wants her and Hamor sees this as a good political move. They will trade daughters for sons in marriage, and eventually all Jacob has will be theirs (:24).

Jacob’s leadership in this is absent; instead,Simeon and Levi propose the men be circumcised. Their words seem righteous, while their intent is anything but. When all the men of Shechem are healing from circumcision, Simeon and Levi attack.

This was brutal, deceptive, and a shameless abuse of God’s covenant of circumcision.

Beloved, our treasure in this mess is to recognize how desperately life can get out of control when we compromise and fail to step into our God given role. This awful chapter also displays Romans 3:10 “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: ” The Lord does not shy away from the truth about humanity, yet amazingly He still desires relationship with us, giving us a hope and a future through Jesus. 💗🙆‍♀️🙇‍♀️🙏🙇‍♂️🙋💗

Daily Word

Genesis 33

Read Genesis 33 – This is an answered prayer.

In Genesis 32:8-12, Jacob prayed to be saved from Esau’s likely attack. And we see Esau receiving Jacob with joyful enthusiasm (:4). One can only speculate that God changed Esau’s heart considering the fact that he brought 400 men with him to meet up with Jacob, and the last time they were together Esau wanted to kill him.

Jacob/Israel approaches his brother with utmost respect. And their reunion is wonderful. Esau wants Jacob to come with him to Seir, but Jacob says he will meet him there. Scripture does not say this happened. It says Jacob went to Sukkoth and built a place for himself and shelters for the livestock… in other words, they would be staying a while.

After, they went to Shechem and Jacob set up an altar, and called it El Elohe Israel. “The God of Israel”.

It seems as if Jacob/ Israel is rather cautious as he steps into the future the LORD has given him… the perfectionist in me wants him to show up in a cape, heroically stating, “I AM ISRAEL! GOD IS WITH ME AND NO ONE CAN STAND AGAINST ME! ” I tend to put these expectations on myself to a degree as well. But Israel is doing just fine being sanctified into the man God will use. So am I. So are you. Grace to us all, Beloved, may the grace of our Lord and Savior keep us walking closely with Him.

Daily Word

Genesis 32

Read Genesis 32 – Let’s learn to view life “from now on”.

Jacob can’t get back home without passing through Esau’s region.  Remember, Esau was set on killing Jacob before he fled (Genesis 27:41), and now Jacob forms a plan to heap gifts of livestock on his brother in waves to soften his heart before they are face to face. 

Jacob wisely spent the evening in prayer, reminding the LORD of His promises, showing gratitude for all that he had and asking for rescue from Esau’s hand (:9-12). 

Jacob took his people across the river, then returned to camp.  He was alone when “a man” came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. :24  The man had to go, but Jacob would not let him go unless he blessed Jacob.  “The Man” told him, “Your name will no longer be Jacob.  From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” :28 

Beloved, Jacob had a shady start, but from there he worked hard and remained close to God.  After one final night of wrestling with God he was ready to become Israel – as God intended all along.  As you consider these events, ask yourself, “Do I hold on to the past so tight that I am delaying the future God has for me?” 

May you live with a FROM NOW ON attitude, no longer wrestling with the past, and confidently stepping forward with your new identity in Christ Jesus! 🙌🦸‍♀️❤☝️❤🦸‍♂️🙌

Daily Word

Genesis 31

Read Genesis 31 – Breaking free.

Jacob saw that his in-law side of the family were starting to resent him, so when the LORD met him in a dream, telling him to return to the land of his father and grandfather, he did not hesitate.  Jacob saw the ways Laban cheated him, changing his wages 10 times but he also saw how God more than redeemed what Laban took(:7-12). 

He called Leah and Rachel in from the fields and explained the situation to them.  They were fine with it.  Their father was not fair with them either, reducing their rights to that of foreign women, and wasting all the money Jacob paid him (:15).  Laban made it so that Leah and Rachel and their children would not inherit anything. 

As they were packing up, Rachel stole her father’s household idols. :19  Beloved, who can say why?  A heart betrayed and abused can make strange choices to retaliate.

It would be 10 days before Laban would learn that Jacob had fled and catch up with them.  And the night before he did, the LORD appeared to him (Laban) in a dream, telling him, “I’m warning you – leave Jacob alone!” :24 

Laban peppers Jacob with questions over why he left in such a hurry, as though he were a good and noble father, before he gets to the thing that matters most to him, “But why have you stolen my gods?” :30  We have the term, gaslight, for Laban’s behavior, when a person psychologically manipulates another to question their own sanity in order to gain control. 

Jacob permits him to search everyone stating:  “But as for your gods, see if you can find them, and let the person who has taken them die!”  Jacob did not know it was Rachel, and she is shrewd to hide them under her saddle. 

Now Jacob is mad, and he points out Laban’s abuses :36-42.  Laban does not own up to it, but changes the subject – again, a standard gaslighting move.  He proposes a covenant between them. Jacob agrees, and the next morning each goes in peace. 

Beloved, what does the LORD want you to see in this passage?  Is it time to move on from something?  Is He asking you to persevere in a hard situation?  Is He wanting you to make peace?