Category Archives: Genesis

Only God could have done this!

“’No, please!’ said Jacob.  ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me.  For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.’” Genesis 33:10.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 31-33, and Luke 13.

You do something wrong to someone and you know it’s wrong.  You know that they are going to be ripped about what was done.  So what do you do?  You avoid that at all costs.

That’s “our” Jacob!

Jacob had schemed his way past his older brother and into a blessing from his father Isaac…..then he  ran for his life.

Easy reaction but now Jacob is on his way to a face-to-face with his surely aggravated brother Esau.

No imagination is required about the impending doom that Jacob faces when it is learned that Esau is on his way with 400 men!

BUT GOD.  Jacob has been told by God to return home and Jacob is obedient.

Jacob certainly feared what Esau might (rightly?) do to him but God’s direction was certainly in play for him.

And then everything ended amazingly well!  The expected-to-be irate brother reunites with Jacob.  Remarkable, to say the least.

Note Jacob’s reaction: “For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.”

Jacob was not describing Esau’s appearance.  He, instead, was realizing that only God could have engineered the ending he was experiencing.

God is unlimited.  Think, for a moment, of things that we have placed BEYOND God.  We consciously, or unconsciously, see a situation being bigger than God could handle.  Foolish us!

The Bible is filled with evidence of our amazing God in action.  He is not done with us yet.  We need to commit our lives to Him, do what He wants, and then join the hosts “seeing His face” in our midst.

“Lord, You are remarkable.  Thank You for the Jacob/Esau story.  More evidence of what You can do.  Forgive me for limiting You.  For leaving You out of situations.  I want You in charge of everything I do this day.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Is there anything in our lives that we have unconsciously designated as being beyond God’s pay grade?

 

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Why ignore the One who can help me the most?

“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless.  The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.”  Genesis 25:21.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 25-26, Psalm 6, and Luke 10.

I need to learn from the Bible.  Part of the learning is to take note of how people behave.  There are plenty of role models; some good and some not so good.

Today’s verse reveals a positive role model; Isaac.

Praying to God must be something that I do.  The life of Isaac was strongly impacted by prayer.

Isaac’s servant was sent by Abraham to bring back a wife for his son Isaac.  The servant, quite overwhelmed by the responsibility, prayed for guidance and was directed to Rebekah.

Now Isaac, aware of God’s promise of offspring outnumbering the stars in the sky, is wondering how it will happen since his wife Rebekah hasn’t be able to have children for twenty years.  So what does he (finally?) do?  Pray about it.  God hears.  God answers and the child-bearing begins.

Lessons from this story?  I need to be in steady contact with the Ultimate Source of everything; God.  My prayer life must be ongoing and unceasing.

I am assured that God hears me.  If I know that He hears me, then I want to constantly interact with Him.

I don’t always know the specifics of what God wants me to do BUT if I stay close enough to Him clarity will come.  He knows what is best for me and that is exactly what I want Him to direct me to.

“Lord, thank You for the Isaac story.  You are a great God.  I need to be close to You all the time.  Forgive me for creating distance between the two of us.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah. I love You, Lord.”

Praying, like breathing, needs to be done regularly!

 

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If I obey God, then what happens?

“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”  Genesis 22:17-18.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 20-22, and Luke 8.

Abraham obeyed God.

I must be careful not to be motivated to obey God because He will then give me stuff.

Whatever God “gives” to those who obey Him is good for us.  It may not be material things.

What I want is to have God’s blessing on my life and on my family’s lives.  What that blessing will look like is all up to God.

In a verse in Genesis 21, an angel of God tells Hagar that God has heard the crying of her son Ishmael and will take care of them.  I want that.  In my obedience to God, I get His Ear.

How can I actively obey Him?  I must be tuned in to Him.  I have been repeating two questions frequently: “God, where are You in this moment, and what do you want me to see and do?

Those questions bring an awareness of God to my forefront.  They keep me from drifting through a day with little consciousness of His presence.

“Lord, I adore You.  You are great.  I need You running every second of my life.  Prick my conscience when I am drifting from You.  I can’t live that way.  Empower me to see/know what You want done and to be into getting those things done.  I love You, Lord.”

Obeying God is a good thing.

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I’ll do it my way

“Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” Genesis 9:1

“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 9-11, and Luke 4.

God’s instruction is to spread out. These folks choose not to do it.

“There is fear in the unknown so let’s stay together.”

“We’ll be safer.”

I have no doubt that these folks knew about Noah and the ark.  Wouldn’t you think that they would have been impressed enough about Noah’s God to do what He said?  Apparently not.

God introduced languages to get the people to separate from each other and begin the process of “filling” the earth.

What does God want me doing?  And if I know, am I choosing my own way instead of His?

God has left me with plenty of instructions.  Everyday, as I read the Bible, I read more of them.  I must move from read to heed in all of them.

Jesus told His followers to take His message to the “corners” of the earth.  Many wanted to stay in Jerusalem because they thought He would immediately return to them.  It took an outbreak of persecution in Jerusalem to get those folks to move!

I need to expand my witness beyond my current four walls.  I want to do it.  What will God have to do to get me out the door?

“Lord, there is none like You.  I want, so much, to do what You want me doing.  I need a full dose of You to make it happen.  Fill me this second, I beg. Run my life the rest of this day.  I surrender everything to You.  I love You, Lord.”

What does God want me doing?  Am I driven to find out and then do it?

 

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Noah: Role model

“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”  Genesis 6:8.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Genesis 5-8, and Luke 3.

Think of Noah; he didn’t have a Bible to read.

How did he find favor with God without being told what to do?

Do I need a Bible to be aware of God?  I do not.  I can see His handiwork, His creation, everywhere I look.

Noah figured out that there was a creator of the world he lived in.  He recognized that the creator was very powerful and someone he would want to please.

Noah apparently did an excellent job of pleasing God.  Note verse nine: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”

This man was tuned into God and found ways to please Him.

Certainly, in the Genesis story Noah was an exception because the rest of mankind was evil and persistent in it.

I must be aware of God and I must strive to please Him.  I am helped by the Bible as I try to be Godly but there are obvious ways that I can be Godly in my midst.  No Bible reading needed to do it.

What does God want from me?  He wants me to do whatever I can to make Him happy.  I can be kind.  I can be courteous.  I can be considerate.  I can be respectful.

God has shown me love by allowing me to live on His earth.  I can be thankful for every breath He gives me.

“Lord, You are my God.  I love You.  Guide me into right living.  Thank You for the story of Noah.  Enable me to be a righteous man this day.  Fill me with You.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Am I willing to do what God wants no matter what those in my midst think of me doing that?

 

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Being a blessing

“From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph.”  Genesis 39:5.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Genesis 39-41, and Luke 16.

Can you see the wonderful truth in today’s verse?

Potiphar’s household was godless but God still blessed them.  Why?  Because Joseph was in their household.

We can be in the midst of the godless and God will bless those in our midst.

Understand that Joseph was Godly.  Hear his reply to the advances of Potiphar’s wife: “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” – Genesis 39:9.

Joseph was determined to do what God wanted him to do.  That’s the criteria for having a spiritual impact where He has put us.

If I am in a godless setting and there is no evidence that I am Godly, I can’t imagine God pouring out a blessing to the godless in my midst.  However, if I am doing everything I can to be Godly, then those around me may be blessed.

Recall that when Paul was shipwrecked the passengers were saved because Paul was one of them.

We have great responsibility as believers.  We can make things better.  We can have people blessed because of us.  We should crave that.  We should do what we can to make it happen.

“Lord, thanks for showing to me the role-model behavior of Joseph.  I must follow his example and make a total effort everywhere to rightly represent You.  Prick my conscience when I am messing up so that I can quickly change.  I want to please You.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

If you realized that the godless in your midst could be blessed by having you there, would you behave differently?

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Abraham messed up

“And Abimelek asked Abraham, ‘What was your reason for doing this?’ Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place….’”  Genesis 20:10-11.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Genesis 20-22, and Luke 8.

Uh, uh, Abraham!

Abraham used situational ethics for his defense.

Abraham claimed that Sarah was his sister so that the two of them would benefit.  I am not sure how Sarah would have benefitted but she went along with this ploy for her own reasons.

How often do we live in a similar fashion?  We behave according to the situation we’re in.  If laughing at an off-colored joke is appropriate, then we do it.  If rejection of such a joke fits in, then we’re all in to that behavior.

This behavior implies that our relationship to God is situational.  Who are we fooling?  God knows everything.  We may fool those in our midst at the moment but certainly not Him.

We are to live for Him no matter where we are, if we really belong to Him.  It’s must be a full-time, 24/7 relationship.

Abraham, one of the all-time Bible heroes, tried to have it both ways.  Later, God had to bail Abraham out of the trouble he had deceptively gotten himself into.

I must include God in all my plans.  Inviting Him along after I’ve made the plans is folly.  I must have His guidance from the get-go.

“Lord, thank You for the Bible.  We all have feet of clay, even Abraham did.  We need You in all we do.  Forgive me for migrating away from You.  I know better.  Direct my path from the outset.  My life will be a failure otherwise.  I love You, Father.”

Are you a different person in different places?  Folks may be fooled by that routine but God isn’t.

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Water everywhere!

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month – on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” Genesis 7:11.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Genesis 5-8, and Luke 3.

I am looking out today at drizzle.

Wondering what the outbursts of water from above and below must have been like as described in today’s verse.

This was water that was not limited to an area.  This was water that gathered on the whole world.

Verse 20 says that the waters covered the tops of mountains by more than 23 feet!  How can any of us imagine what a deluge this must have been.

God is in control.  He can send moisture.  He can restrict moisture.  We are at the mercy of God getting the “water timing” right.  We can’t live without water or with too much water.  BUT He is in charge and knows our needs.

God is trustworthy.  Will I trust Him with my life?  Will I recognize how awesome He is and has been?

“Lord, You are great.  Your manipulation of water in the Noah story is beyond comprehension.  I will never know Your Ways unless You show them to me.  I want to read (Your Word) and heed its instruction.  Help me to do it. I need You, Lord.”

God is the Head of the water department.

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Why is God doing this to me?

“Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, ‘What is this that God has done to us?’” Genesis 42:28

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Genesis 42-43 & Psalm 5 & Luke 17.

Joseph’s brothers had tried to kill him and the thought of it hung over them.

When things got dire and the family needed food, Jacob sent them to Egypt to get food. There they are unknowingly reunited with Joseph.

Good things happen to them in Egypt as far as food goes but they are suspicious of what Joseph’s intentions are. When Joseph demands that their youngest brother be brought to Egypt they become convinced that they are facing punishment for what they did to Joseph.

That fear heightens when on the way back home they discover that there is money in their sacks even though they had spent that same amount on food. They worry that they are being set up and that it is all part of righting the wrong they inflicted on Joseph.

So they ask, “What is this that God has done to us?” Interesting question since they appear to ignore a better question: “Why did we chose to do evil to our brother?”

Actions have consequences. When I voice things such as, “God is with me wherever I am because I am a believer,” I must remember that this assumes I am doing His Will. Note that God is omnipresent. He is “with” me, but to be blessed where I am I MUST be in His Will.

Joseph’s brothers sinned against God and him. Sins always are against God.

If the brothers were intimating that they were undeserving of what happened to them, then they were deluding themselves.

If the brothers, instead, realized that God was going to punish them some way and on His time schedule, then they got it right.

God sees me clearly. The sin in my life must be dealt with. I must never think He doesn’t see what I do. I must never think that sin will fade away from God. It will hang on me until I confess it, and get clean with Him and with those effected by my sin.

“Lord, good word today. Sin has consequences. Notify me of where I have sinned so that I can take the right action to do something about it. I want to be clean in Your sight. Prick my conscience concerning sin. I must not conceal it nor carry it any further. You have forgiven me of my sins. Why would I ever want to sink back into that sludge? Help me, God!”

Believers in God’s Will can completely trust Him with their lives.

+9 – Can I get lower?

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You’re heard

“…for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.” Genesis 31:12

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Genesis 31-33 & Luke 13.

Do you ever wonder if maybe God has stepped away when things go south in your life?

Do you sometimes feel alone despite being a believer?

If Jesus is your Savior, you are NEVER alone.

Note in today’s chosen verse that Jacob gets the comforting word from God: “I’m watching and I’ve seen what Laban’s doing.”

There are times when I know that God is watching things go south and I realize that I have brought the trouble on myself. I have separated from Him in some word or deed. Then the consequences set in and I cringe because I caused it.

In Jacob’s case, he was doing what Laban wanted him to do and Laban was taking advantage of Jacob. God saw it and later Laban would be without two of his daughters, his grandchildren by them, and much of his wealth.

I must be in right relationship with God. That is an ongoing challenge that I must take on with gusto. I must be conscience of any separation I have from God and adjust quickly.

I must face each day tight with Him. Sin must be confessed and a complete willingness to please God must be in place. As the day unfolds, my relationship to God must be the driver at the center of my thoughts, words, and deeds.

“Lord, I know what I have to do……..get as close to You as possible. I want that intimate relationship. I want to be motivated by You to do what pleases You. Forgive me for losing touch with You. I need You every second. I thank You for Your presence and Your many blessings to me. You are a great God!”

Because you are a believer God sees everything that happens to you.  He knows what needs to be done.  Ask Him.  Trust Him.

+9 – New ground

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