Feb. 4 – (Gen. 44) There are two passages I want to highlight in this chapter. Verse 12 helps us to see the spiritual condition of Joseph’s brothers. If they were the same as when they sold Joseph in Egypt, they would disclaim responsibility, and leave Benjamin to bear the blame of the “theft,” and continue to Palestine. The Lord had worked in their hearts and they returned to plead for their brother. This was a complete turn-around. They who once sold a brother were now willing to be sold into slavery rather than give up another brother. Lord, thank you for changing hearts…for spiritual growth.
Verse 18 is a moving address by Judah showing true love. Did you know this speech has been called the greatest example of natural oratory in all of literature? In this speech we hear Judah’s account of Jacob’s love for Joseph and Benjamin. We hear Judah’s willingness to take full responsibility before God, love which thought only of Jacob and Benjamin and it melted the heart of Joseph. It was a same love which moved Moses to ask God to blot his name out of the book of life (Ex. 32:32); and prompted Paul to wish himself accursed for his brothers if only they could be saved. Judah was transformed from his early years where we wonder why God would chose his tribe for praise, to now speaking and acting only for love of his family. Selah. Lord, give us overflowing love.
Feb. 5 – (Gen. 45) I was so impacted by Donald Barnhouse’s commentary I want to give it to you word for word (Genesis vol. 2). It will be enough just to meditate on this one verse – verse 3 – “I am Joseph”. The thunderbolt struck. This was the day of reckoning. This scene pictures the revelation of Jesus Christ to Israel at the end of the age. Israel betrayed Him and would have no king but Caesar. But Caesar has punished Israel through the centuries and will to the end. Then will appear the sign of the coming of the Son of Man. Israel will look for the lion of the tribe of Judah and will behold the Lamb. (Rev. 5:5,6). The same experience came to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. When the light shone from heaven, he cried out, “Who are thou, Lord?” (Acts 9:5), and the answer came, “I am Jesus.” Thus, it has been with everyone who has come to the true God. We had to begin with the revelation of Jesus Christ. Lord, reveal yourself to us.
Feb. 6 – (Gen. 46) Oh, there is so much in each of these chapters! Verse 2: “God spoke to Israel…and said, Jacob…” Though God saw Israel, as Israel, he had to address him as Jacob which was his old nature. The Lord saw this man in God’s own righteousness, justified by faith; but He also saw him as he had lived, selfishly, narrowly, deceitfully, trusting in his own wits and strategies more than in the living God. Jacob had doubts about this journey (v. 26) but set out to obey (v. 28) and he came to offer sacrifices at Beer-Sheba. When he fell asleep God had to call him Jacob to wake him to deeper confidence. It was deep in his subconscious mind as he slept that he was still Jacob. The old life was still there, and the new life was not yet in control. Lord, call us by any name that will bring us awake to the name you originally created us to be.
Feb. 7 – (Gen. 47) Have you ever thought it wrong or not to God’s advantage to bless an unbeliever? In this chapter we see that Jacob blessed Pharaoh. It says it twice. Very interesting. We have to remember that all things are filtered through the hand of God. He allows people to be lifted up and also allows people to be lowered, whether Christian or not. All things are done according to His purpose for each of our lives. Selah
Feb. 8 – (Gen. 48) Here is something I did not connect. We think of Jacob as leaving 12 tribes but there were actually 13 in the end. This chapter helps explain that. As Jacob was dying, Joseph brought his 2 Egyptian born sons (Ephraim and Manasseh) to be blessed by his father. Jacob claimed these two as his own children (a common practice in those days). All the rest of Joseph’s sons would belong to Joseph. Manasseh and Ephraim will both get their own portion of land in Canaan. Levi’s tribe would not because they were to be priests. Isn’t that interesting how God orchestrates everything in His own way and for His Glory?
Let me bring a little more incite into this exchange. Jacob blessed Ephraim with his right hand even though it was customary to bless the oldest child with the right hand. He knew what God had instructed him to do and did despite custom. Human parents spoil their first child because they are entranced by their success as co-creators in contributing to the next generation. Jacob blessed Ephraim, not because of his experience being a second son, but in obedience to divine direction. In Hebrew 11:21 this blessing of Joseph’s sons in recorded as the great act of faith. Lord, may we be yielded to eternal purposes especially with our children.
Feb. 9 – (Gen, 49) I spent a long time studying this chapter. It always interests me how blessings and descriptions of children by their parents in the Bible are seen in later chapters down through each generation. I would like to suggest spending some time, with commentaries about this chapter. It brought clarity and revealed new interpretation of the verses. I would like to focus only on verse 2- “Hear, you sons of Jacob”. When someone is dying every word takes on special importance. Therefore, it is so very important as a believer to anticipate our own death (even though we are awaiting the coming of Christ) and prepare a testimony for those who survive us. It would be well to write it down, with instructions that the message be read at the funeral. It should contain your personal testimony to God’s guidance and grace. Anything received as heirs are given because of the blessing and grace of God. We can also instruct those left behind against departure from pursuing God. I will never forget when Pastor Torry gave the eulogy at Pastor Sam’s funeral service. The whole message was heart wrenching but spoke of Pastor Sam’s character and desire to know Father God and salvation. He ended with Pastor Sam’s voice (from a sermon) speaking to us of our heavenly future and hope. Lord, give us courage to speak, even after death.
Feb. 10 – (Gen. 50) Once again this chapter is so full of instruction, teaching, and seeing things clearer than before. Let’s focus on verse 2 – “The physicians embalmed Israel”. Let’s hear what Donald Barnhouse (Genesis vol. 2) has to say about this verse. “Many superstitious practices in paganism and, indeed, in Christendom, testify to essential truths revealed by God at the dawn of history. The fact is that deep in the consciousness of men lay the hope that the soul would someday come back to inhabit the body, and that there would be a resurrection. Embalming is a childish way of helping God out, as though He would not have quite so much trouble in raising a body that was partly preserved! But think of the superstitions rife in our day – the fear of cremation, the burial of bodies face up so that if raised erect they would face the sunrise! We sorrow that men have lost the reality of our hope. The Lord Jesus will raise us by the power that He has to subdue all things to Himself (Phil. 3:21).” Lord, deepen our hope in You and trust that our eternality has nothing to do with our man- made attempts.