Monthly Archives: January 2013

January 22, 2013

Today’s Reading: Exodus 1-4

In Today’s Reading: Several generations after the death of Joseph the children of Israel have multiplied greatly in Egypt. A new Pharaoh feels threatened by their strength and begins to oppress them. The Israelites cry out to God and he prepares and sends Moses.

Moses was a reluctant leader. At the burning bush (chapter 4) he makes 4 excuses to try to get out of the task God has given him. Why do you think he was so reluctant to obey God’s command? Does it seem odd that God would want someone so hesitant to be the leader?


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January 21, 2013

Today’s Reading: Genesis 47:29 – End of Genesis

Highlights:  Final events in the life of Jacob including instructions for his burial, him blessing his sons (including Joseph’s two son Ephraim and Manasseh), his death and burial.   Joseph reassures his brothers he has forgiven them and then Joseph himself dies.

After the death of Jacob Joseph’s brothers are afraid that Joseph will now take vengeance on them.  He had told them once he forgave them (45:5).  Why were they still afraid?  Read again 50:19-21. What impresses you most about the words Joseph spoke to his brothers?


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January 20, 2013

Today’s Reading: Genesis 45:16-47:28

Highlights of today’s reading:  Jacob’s family moves to Egypt. They meet Pharoah and settle in the land of of Goshen.  Jacob dies.

This was a remarkable change of fortunes for Jacob’s family. Not only is Joseph alive but he is moving the entire family to Egypt. Instead of dying of hunger they are settling in the land of Goshen where all of their physical needs will be met.  What wonderful treatment for the brothers who hated Joseph and sold him into captivity! I wonder how many times they stopped and thought, “this is too good to be true?”

So much of what God did in the Old Testament was a “foreshadowing” of the spiritual blessings He will accomplish through Jesus. In this case, the striking similarity to the gospel should not be missed.  Because man rejected Jesus, He became our savior, forgives us, and supplies our every spiritual need!

Simple question for this Lord’s Day: Isn’t God’s word beautiful and isn’t God’s grace wonderful?


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January 19, 2013

Today’s Reading: Genesis 42:6 – 45:15

Highlights of today’s reading: Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy food and bow down before the brother they sold, but do not recognize him. Joseph does not reveal himself to his brothers at first but rather chooses to test them, perhaps to see what kind of men they really are. Eventually he reveals himself to his brothers, forgives them, and promises to take care of them in Egypt.

Yesterday we observed Joseph’s faithfulness in spite of some severely trying circumstances. His faith is impressive again today as he sees the bigger picture (“you meant evil, but God meant good”) and chose to forgive his brothers. But, how do you feel about the rough way Joseph treated his brothers before he revealed himself to them? He put them through a quite an ordeal and there was some deception involved. What do you think was his intention and motivation?


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January 18, 2013

Today’s Reading: Genesis 39-41:5

Highlights of today’s reading: This is about Joseph’s first 10 years or so in Egypt. He goes from being a slave, to the overseer of a house, to a prisoner,  to finally being 2nd in all the land of Egypt. A great famine occurs but, because of Joseph, there is food in Egypt and the sons of Jacob come to Egypt to buy grain.

As the reading closes Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt and bow before him (42:1-6) fulfilling the dream he had earlier.  It is clear that God is using these circumstances to fulfill his plan.

Many lessons here, but for our discussion consider the character of Joseph – his moral integrity, patience, and humility. Consider the incident of Potiphar’s wife trying to seduce him.  What is admirable about how Joseph handled the situation? Where did this devout integrity get him?


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The Bible Timeline

Note: The posting for January 17 is below.

There is a link in the sidebar on the right where you can  download a simple Bible Timeline. You can save a copy on your computer, print it, or  just keep the link handy and click on it anytime to view it in your browser.

It’s a handy tool for keeping track of the progression of the Bible story.  It will especially be useful later when we get into the Kings and Prophets.

Note that it is not really according to scale. In fact, as we noted previously, the first three items, “Creation, Adam, Noah” (basically Genesis 1-11) are equivalent in years to the rest of the timeline.  The main value of this is to help us visualize how the history of God’s people unfolds and to see when certain books were written.

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January 17, 2013

Today’s Reading: Genesis 37, 38

Highlights – Joseph’s brothers’ hate him and sell him to some Midianite  traders who take him to Egypt and sell him to Potiphar, an office of Pharoah. Also included is a disgraceful incident involving Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar.

Joseph is experiencing a severe trial and in the next few days as the story progresses we will see how he “holds up”. We might consider how would we have “held up” under such treatment?

But for today’s discussion, consider the story of Judah and Tamar.  Another son of Jacob makes a shameful, sinful choice. But what did Judah do in this story that was good?


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January 16, 2013

Today’s Reading: Genesis 36

Genesis 36 records the genealogy of Esau, the brother of Jacob who had sold his birthright and lost his father’s blessing.

This is one of those readings that demands extra concentration. It is tedious and it may not appear to be relevant. But there is only 1 chapter so lets look at it and see what we can learn.

God had promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations (Genesis 17:5), not just the nation of Israel. The Edomites are an example of that (as are the 12 sons of Ishmael – Gen.25:12-16). The history of the Edomites will cross paths with the Israelites in the future, mostly in a bad way.

All of these children of Esau are descendants of Abraham. Back when he had no son, his wife was barren, and they were both growing old, I suppose Abraham could not have imagined the things that God would do though him. Ephesians 3:20 says God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think”.

Don’t give up on God! He can do great things and He will keep His word!

How will you apply this chapter to your life today?



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January 15, 2013

We are half way through the first month!

Today’s Reading: Genesis 34 and 35

Highlights: Jacob is back in Canaan.  In chapter  34  Jacob’s sons avenge the rape of their sister Dinah.  In chapter 35 Jacob’s name is changed to Israel and the promises of a nation and land are given to him. Also in chapter 35 – Rachael dies giving birth to Jacob’s 12th son (Benjamin),  a sinful act on the part of Reuben is recorded, and finally,  Isaac’s death.

The torch of God’s blessing is passed from Isaac to Jacob. God will continue to work out his plan through Jacob, now named “Israel” and his 12 sons  (also known as “children of Israel” and “the 12 tribes”).

When Jacob fled from Esau, the night of the “Jacob’s ladder” dream, Jacob made the following vow:  “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God”  (Genesis 28:20-21).  God did take care of him and now Jacob is keeping his vow, honoring God by building altars from place to place. But what do you think about that vow? Shouldn’t the LORD be our God regardless of what happens to us?


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January 14, 2013

Today’s Reading: Genesis 31-33

Highlights of today’s reading:  After 20 years in Haran,  Jacob returns to Canaan. Before leaving he makes peace with Laban. On the way home he experiences a strange encounter with God and in chapter 32 and 33 Jacob makes reconciliation with Esau.

The moment of the reunion of Jacob and Esau is captured in 33:4  – “But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept”. Considering how they had parted 20 years earlier, how might this have turned out differently?  Why do you think there was forgiveness?


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