Blog

18
Sep 2017

The Refining of the covenant family (42:1-45:28) The covenant family has suffered brokenness due to their own sinful choices born out of jealousy, rivalry, and succumbing to pagan morality. If dependent alone on Jacob and his eleven sons, the covenant promise of blessing to the nations through the seed of Abraham would fail. Nevertheless, though in exile, Joseph fulfills the responsibility of Abraham’s descendants as he brings blessing to Egypt. Reconciliation and restoration come to this broken family from an unlikely person. The one who has been betrayed and most deeply offended......

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11
Sep 2017

Joseph in Egypt (39:1-41:57) These chapters highlight the presence of God and His providence in the life of Joseph. Despite the injustice and betrayal of his brothers, Joseph experiences fresh grace which takes him through the trials of captivity and brings blessing to him and others in the midst of his troubles. The Lord gives grace to Joseph to flee the seductions of Potiphar’s wife; the Lord protects him while unjustly imprisoned, and eventually exalts him to the second highest position in Egypt. While the covenant family remains in the land of......

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24
Aug 2017

Family disunion in Canaan (37:2-38:30) These chapters demonstrate the far reach of sin even among those chosen to bring blessing to the nations. The family disharmony that temporarily interrupts the advance of God’s purposes is eventually reversed by the gracious work of God. Joseph is the son favored by his father yet envied by his brothers. In their jealousy, they revert to a vicious act of casting their brother into a pit, selling him into slavery, then telling their father that he was killed by an animal. As we read this story,......

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13
Mar 2017

Genesis 36:1-37:1 record the descendants of the rejected line of Esau. The prosperity of both Jacob and Esau makes it difficult for them to share the land of Canaan so Esau chooses the higher elevation of what is later called Edom. Esau takes multiple wives one of whom is a descendant of Ishmael, perhaps an attempt to bring some unity to the two lines that were not heirs of the Abrahamic promise. The Edomites create their own alien kingdom to the kingdom of God in establishing themselves in a fortress like land......

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13
Feb 2017

In chapter 35, the Lord instructs Jacob to return to the place where Abraham had built and altar and where he had made a vow to the Lord after he had been assured by the Lord that the promise to Abraham belonged to him and his descendants.  Jacob returns with a serious commitment to shun idolatry and to worship the Lord. He is keeping the vow he made at Bethel that if the Lord brought him back in peace, then the Lord would be his God and he would honor Him as......

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23
Jan 2017

Genesis 34 is one of those sad chapters in the history of redemption.  Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, is raped, humiliated, and then treated like a commodity to be traded for mutual benefits. Jacob appears ready to make the exchange of his daughter for the benefit of prospering in the land – the land already promised to him by the Lord. When Dinah’s brothers hear of the atrocity they first object because the Hivite’s do not bear the covenant sign of circumcision. It appears already that the covenant itself has become less significant than......

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12
Dec 2016

Genesis 25:12-27:46 reminds us that God is faithful to fulfill his covenant promises despite human unfaithfulness.  Isaac shows a similar failure of faith, as did his father. He lies about Rebecca being his wife and instead of blessing the nations, he arouses disdain from them. Yet, despite Isaac’s unfaithfulness, the Lord blesses him and causes him to prosper. He recovers numerous wells that his father had dug and digs new ones, making his mark as he sojourns in the land of promise. In the land of promise he builds an altar and......

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21
Nov 2016

Genesis 24 – 25:11 tell the story of the death of Sarah and Abraham and the transfer of the covenant promise to Isaac and the marriage of Isaac. Upon the death of Sarah Abraham purchases a burial plot in the Promised Land. Though he has not possessed the land of promise, he has sojourned there in life and will rest there in death. In order for the promise to progress beyond Isaac, God must graciously provide from him a wife through whom offspring will come and the promise to the descendants of......

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15
Nov 2016

In Genesis 21-22 Abraham’s faith that God would bless the nations through his offspring is now tested. Isaac, the son through whom the promise will be fulfilled, has become for Abraham the visible evidence of that promise. The underlying question of Genesis 22 is this:  Is Abraham’s faith still dependent on the Word of God or is it now placed in the physical presence of Isaac? Is Abraham walking by faith or is he walking by sight? Abraham is ordered to offer the son of promise as a sacrifice. Abraham, in obedience......

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31
Oct 2016

The promise of God to Abraham to create a new humanity through whom the nations would be blessed comes to fruition with the birth of Isaac.  In the midst of that joyous birth, the presence of Hagar and Ishmael appears to be a threat to Sarah who understands rightly that the promise of blessing to the nations comes through Isaac, not Ishmael. Under God’s direction, Abraham sends Hagar and her son away. God provides for them and promises that, as the seed of Abraham, the line of Ishmael would also become a......

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