Daily Word

Genesis 50

Read Genesis 50 – This is the end of the beginning, and it ends with hope for more promises fulfilled.

Back up just a little to 49:33 “When Jacob had finished this charge to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and joined his ancestors in death.” What a beautiful and perfect passing for Jacob, and now chapter 50 opens with Joseph, his brothers and all of Egypt mourning him.

“Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him.” :1 There is something so confirming about that last kiss. Oh! If only our kisses could bring our beloved back, but the last kiss confirms they are sent off with love and the only reunion will be when we join them – Praise Jesus for the Salvation that gives us the hope that surpasses understanding, the hope of heaven, the hope that means we do not mourn like the world mourns! (see 1 Thessalonians 4)

Pharaoh gave permission for Joseph to escort his father’s remains back to Canaan, and the procession was an incredible sight.

After burial, the brothers were concerned that Joseph would punish them for the ‘evil they did to him’ :17. Beloved, this is such a beautiful picture of God’s justice and mercy. Justice would require that the brothers be severely punished, and Joseph was in position to demand it, BUT he was also in position to offer grace instead…. Much like our standing in Christ Jesus – we deserve a punishment beyond what we could ever pay for our sins – YET Christ took our sins upon Himself, paying our penalty and offering us eternal Salvation in Him!

Joseph makes his sons give an oath that they will not bury him in Israel, rather that when God comes to lead them back, they take his bones with them. :25 Joseph did not want to merely be buried with his ancestors as Jacob was, he wanted to wait and return only when God rescued all of Israel.

That, Beloved, is our blessed hope as well. Jesus is coming back for us!

Daily Word

Genesis 49

Read Genesis 49 – Prophecy  and blessings – Jacob called his sons together with a prophetic benediction for each one that we will see confirmed with time.  It is a sober time. 

Reuben, Jacob’s first born, lost his standing when he had sexual relations with his father’s concubine,  Bilhah.  He is called as stable as water.  

Simeon and Levi, next in line, also lost their standing over their cruelty and wrath in Shechem.

Beloved, there is godly and ungodly anger.  Theirs was ungodly because it was rooted in bitterness and wrath… It was motivated by self righteousness.  God’s Word says in Ephesians 4:26, “In your anger do not sin.”  And in Ephesians 4:31 we are told to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger.

And now,  Judah, from whom King David and later, Jesus, would come.   He is pronounced the one whom his brothers will praise.  Jacob says,  “Judah is a lion’s whelp. ” Later, Jesus is described as a lion from the tribe of Judah. (Revelation 5:5) 

Jacob’s words over his sons will be confirmed in the land divisions (covered in Joshua), and in Jesus’s life and ministry… It is remarkable and a stretch above me to put it all together.

Beloved, soak in as much as you can and ask God to give you wisdom and insight as you go. 🙏 

Daily Word

Genesis 48

Read Genesis 48 – The gift of time is such a precious gift. 

Not long after the oath in Chapter 47, Joseph received word that his father was failing.  He brought his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, with him to visit, and Jacob sat up, gathering his strength for the visit :1-2.  The first thing Jacob does is repeat God’s words, exactly as they were spoken to him, and exactly as they were spoken over Isaac and Abraham. 

Then Jacob claims Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons, stating that any sons of Joseph born after them would be Joseph’s, but that Ephraim and Manasseh will receive blessing and inheritance from Jacob.  I couldn’t find an explanation for this, there are a few theories, but I am comfortable saving this for story time in heaven.  Beloved, what do you think? 

A curious thing happens when Jacob is about to bless the boys (Though they were more like young men at this point).  He crosses his arms as he reaches for them, so that the blessing of his right hand went to Ephraim and not Manasseh.  Joseph was displeased and tried to correct the situation as Manasseh was first born, but Jacob assured him this was correct.  Both boys were blessed, but Ephraim would be even greater than his older brother. 

Jacob is elderly, weak, and has poor vision, but his heart and mind are certain.  And he has the gift of time… time to pass blessings along and get his affairs in order.  What a wonderful gift that is.  Beloved, if you were in Jacob’s shoes, what would you like your loved ones to know?  Why wait?

Daily Word

Genesis 47

Read Genesis 47 – I’ve been hung up on this chapter for a few days. There’s something about Jacob’s use of the word sojourn (found in the ESV, 47:4,9) that is giving me pause…. I’m sojourning on the word sojourn.

When I became a flight attendant decades ago, I thought it was like a sojourn, a temporary career/ life, and now? Jacob brought the nation of Israel to Egypt in similar fashion. They would be in their temporary residence of Egypt for about 400 years. What was necessary to save them eventually became something they were slaves to (Oops, I’m supposed to say ‘spoiler alert’ when I give away the ending like that).

Am I paying attention, and beloved, are you? What is our Egypt?

But, enough with my tangent.

Starting in verse :14 we see how Joseph’s wise preparation set Egypt up for absolute authority over the people as they surrendered everything for food. Joseph imposed a reasonable tax of 1/5th of all they acquired.

Then, at the age of 147, Jacob had Joseph swear an oath that he would carry him back to the place where his fathers were buried for his own final resting place.

What a tremendous chapter. What a big shift for Israel’s survival.

Daily Word

Genesis 46

Read Genesis 46 – And they’re off to Egypt! 

Jacob packs up the family and sets out for Egypt, stopping first in Beersheba to offer sacrifices to the Lord.  During the night the Lord spoke to him, confirming “I am God, the God of your father.  Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation.  I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again.  You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.” :1-4  What a sweet assurance from the LORD!

Beloved, acting in God’s will is so important.  Pray over your decisions; seek the Lord in all you do. 

The bible gives a record of all the son’s traveling with Jacob, and it is 66… plus Joseph and his two sons who are already there, and Jacob himself, bringing the total to 70. 

When they got close, Jacob sent Judah ahead to meet Joseph and get directions.  Joseph prepared his chariot and traveled to Goshen to meet his father.  Their reunion is just beautiful, full of hugs and tears, Jacob says he can now die in peace… Jacob has essentially been in grief since he sent Joseph to check on his brothers and he never returned, in 37:14.

Goshen is in Egypt on the border of the Promised Land.  Joseph instructs his family to greet Pharaoh saying they are his servants and shepherds, :34.  This is strategic because the Egyptians despise shepherds and would not want them near, thus guarding the integrity of the Hebrew lifestyle.

Beloved, take peace in the fact that God is in control, and God is good. No matter how things may look on earth, we have a Heavenly Father who goes before us.

Daily Word

Genesis 45

Read Genesis 45 – Redemptive purpose changes everything! 

“But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place.  It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives…” :5a.  Beloved, imagine the freedom of taking every wrong done to you and seeing it through the lens of God’s redemptive purpose!  Joseph did not pretend the bad things didn’t happen, but he chose to trust God throughout it! 

He is so happy to see his brothers.  He tells them there will be five more years of famine, and invites them to go get their father and move everyone to Egypt because he has prepared for this, :9-11.  Joseph was weeping with joy, as he hugged and kissed Benjamin and all of his brothers, :14-15. 

News reached the palace of Pharaoh and God’s Word says, “Pharaoh and his officials were all delighted to hear this,” :16b  This says such beautiful things about Joseph’s relationships with Pharaoh and the officials of Egypt.  Clearly, no one resented Joseph, a hebrew, a slave and a foreigner, for his position over Egypt.  I heard it said once, “There is no prejudice in excellence.”  Joseph was excellent in every situation and it is a contagious excellence that lifts up all who are around him. 

Pharaoh and Joseph supply his brothers well for the move and when the brothers get home to Jacob he is stunned and cannot believe it.  They repeated everything Joseph had told them, and when he saw the wagons Joseph had sent to carry him, Jacob believed and was elated :26-28. 

Beloved, we can apply this lesson to our testimony about Jesus.  We can tell people about Jesus, and they can see His hand of blessing over our lives.  We can live with hope, joy and excellence because of our Savior and His redemptive purpose over us.

Daily Word

Genesis 43

Read Genesis 43 – Family reunions are strange.  But this one must be the strangest.  It is like murder mystery theater as the son’s of Jacob try to figure out what to do. 

The food has run out and they must return to Egypt.  Jacob is still reluctant to release Benjamin.  Simeon is still being held in Egypt.  Jacob packed them up with gifts of balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin and more, as well as double the money.  He said a short prayer and concluded with, “But if I must lose my children, so be it.” :14, Isn’t that warm and fuzzy?  (I’m sorry, sometimes I think sarcasm is my love language.)

When they arrive in front of Joseph, he summons his people to prepare a midday feast.  Verse :18 tells us the brothers were terrified.  They spoke to the house manager, and explained the mystery of the money.  The manager’s response in :23 is just beautiful. 

The brothers presented the gifts when Joseph arrived.  Joseph examines Benjamin, pronounces a blessing over him, then excuses himself to a private room as he is so overcome by emotion, :30. 

The meal is served in a rather strange fashion.  Joseph has his own table, the brothers have their own table, and the Egyptians have their own table because they despise Hebrews and will not eat with them. 

Joseph arranged the brothers according to their age – which surprised them – and he served Benjamin five times as much.  They feasted and drank freely, and that is the cliffhanger our chapter ends on. 

Beloved, we are looking behind the scenes at God’s providence.  As you go about your day, will you be on the look-out for his providence over your circumstances, and express gratitude at every glimpse? 

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.