Genesis

Genesis 35-37

This will be a brief post giving you time to catch up some of the things you may not have done this week…

  • Catch up on reading.
  • Print a map or genealogy.  If you are on a computer they are in the sidebar. if you are on a tablet or phone, they are at the bottom.

Jacob cleans house by not allowing “other gods'” to be in his camp.  Earnings at this time were often used for status or to catch evil spirits. Jacob Israel names for himself Bethel to El Bethel. (you should be able to decode this…unless you are over 45 and can’t remember why you came into this room!)  God reaffirms the Covenant (we should have kept count how many times).


Israel is not having a good season of his life:

  1. Rebekah’s (if you are over 45 you have to stop and think…wait…who? Who’s her husband?) nurse dies
  2. Rachel (the wife he loved) dies giving birth to Joseph’s brother, Benjamin.
  3. His oldest son, Reuben, has sex with one of Israel’s wives.  This sin may not he addressed here…but it is going to haunt him later and bite him in the butt.
  4. Issac dies.

27 Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 28 Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years. 29 Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.


Chapter 36 begins… took his wives from the woman of Cannan….well, this can’t be good.  The structure of this chapter is very much like ch 25. After Abraham dies there is an account of Ishmael’s  genealogy (I truly believe to show us the love and grace given to a child even born in circumstances).  Here Isaac’s  death is followed by Esau’s genealogy.

There are over 200 names mentioned: Esau may not be Jacob, but he is not a nobody either!  If this chapter bored you, something is wrong with you.  JUST kidding, I was just seeing if anyone read this far.  Of course it was boring BUT, go back and circle the word Edom (Edomites).  Just in this chapter you will read it 10 times, and 131 times in the entire Old Testament.  The book of Obadiah would not have been written without Edom, and HEROD THE GREAT is an Edomonite!!  That’s right, Herod the Great, who was a Roman appointed ruler over the Jews (we will call them Jews not Hebrews after the captivity).  This Herod even refurbished the entire Temple before Jesus was born in an effort to get the Jews to forget he was from the line of Esau (it didn’t work).


I have to tell you this.  I grew up outside of NYC.  Seeing or hearing about Broadway shows was common.  Did you know that I have heard the phrase Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat all my life and it wasn’t until recently that I knew it was from the Bible!

Chapter 37: Joseph is 17,  and lacks social skills (hmmm, like many today I guess).  His brothers hate him, and I don’t blame them.

  • He is 17…why is he not working hard in the field??
  • In verse 2 he “tattles” on his brothers.
  • Verse 3-4 we see that he is babied and loved more than the others
  • He can be seen as arrogant or egotistical  when discussing his dreams.

I don’t care if you have have never read this chapter or if you have read it 10 times.  Look for the details.  Joseph travels from Hebron, to Shecham to Dotham: over 100 miles.

God has a plan for Joseph’s life and that plan involves leadership and authority.  (So many life lessons about God’s character and promises are in this small chapter).  Anyway, the Ishmaelites buy Joseph and take him to Egypt to sell him to Potipher, one of the Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guards.  Once again, the deceiver (Jacob) gets deceived (by his own sons).

Now it is starting to make sense!  Judah! (Sorry, I thought this post would have been shorter.  But I also held a lot back giving you time to catch up if needed).  Have a wonderful day.  I really hope being in the Bible 24 days is making a difference in your daily walk.  I have been so blessed this month and it truly is amazing how different I am as a wife, mom, teacher, and friend when I am in the Word daily.  Why do I go through periods of my life when I can’t even find my Bible?

Genesis

Genesis 32-34

It has been about 20 years since Jacob has seen his brother Esau, the last time they were together we read in Genesis 27:14

Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

Esau has an army of 400 men with him.  Jacob, scared to death, sends ahead a fortune in gifts to pacify Esau.  Take note that Jacob says he is coming behind.  If the camp is attached, Jacob has no intention of going!  In 32:21 it states

So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.

Yellow belly!


That night Jacob wrestles with God who has taken on flesh.  Until this point Jacob has referred to God as “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac…But does not refer to him as HIS God.  Part of our walk with the Lord is confession.  We must confess we are a sinner, we require a blessing:a promise of a covenant (Jesus on the Cross) to seal that God is MY GOD, not just your God.    In Genesis 32:26-27 Jacob confesses who he is in God’s eyes

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

I am Jacob!  “I am a deceiver, a heel grabber, a sinner”.    Jacob becomes a new creation with a destiny!  Just like Abraham and Sarah, he is given a new name: Israel “Struggles with God”.  So let’s see how this new creation has changed him.  He still has a fear of Esau (who wouldn’t), and lines up his family in least loved to loved just in case they are attacked (chapter 33):

Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants.  He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear.  He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.

But wait….did you see it!!  God has changed him: “He himself went ahead and bowed down to the ground…”   He received new courage.  He went from fear “staying behind” to courage “went on ahead”.  Insert smiley face with heart eyes.  Time has healed all wounds for Esau.


I think it is fair to say that very few people have read the parts of the Bible “in between” the stories the pastor talks about at church. So when I say “you know the part where Noah gets drunk and naked…” or “Lot’s daughter’s have sex with their dad to get pregnant” or “Rachel says she has her period so her dad doesn’t find the hidden idols she is sitting on”, people think I am kidding.  Who needs Netflix when you have the Bible!  Chapter 33 is one of those stories people think I am kidding when I say “One of Jacob’s daughter’s gets raped and 2 brothers concoct a plan to have them circumcised and on the third day when the pain in their…is at it’s worst they can pounce on them and kill them!!”.  You can’t make this stuff up!!


Jacob’s sons (but not Jacob himself) are furious when their sister Dinah is violated by a prince in Shecham.  This horrible man now wants her to be his.   Jacob (that’s right…I am not calling him Israel here because he is acting like a butt) does nothing!.  Two brothers, Simeon and Levi (take notes on your Genealogy) are ringleaders on a vengeful attack.  They lie and say: “Sure you can have her and we can ignore all the rules about intermarrying if you circumcise ALL your men.  The men say “Let’s snip! It’s a “win win” situation!  Our ruler gets the girl and we will share in their livestock and wealth”.   Well, the story turns out in a “lose lose” situation.  Just when the pain was at its highest from the circumcision, Simeon and Levi lead an attack on them.  The End.   NO!  Not the end….Jacob disappoints again…read the end of Chapter 34.  SMH!!

Taking notes will help when we get to Chapter 49 and land is distributed to the 12 tribes or why the Covenant gets passed to Judah.

Image preview        Image preview

Genesis

Genesis 30-31

Only 2 chapters today.  Am I a terrible Christian for saying “yay” in my head.  I love the Lord but I haven’t watched Netflix since before Jan 1!

If you did not look at the post from last night you may want to.  I have a choice of cheat sheets.  These are good to write notes on as you read.  Did anyone notice that the line of Jesus comes from Judah and not Reuben?   It is not just because singing the “The Lion of Rueben” awkward,  some stuff is going to happen with Reuben, Levi,  and Simeon that will push the blessing all the way to Judah.

Here are his 12 sons:  Spoiler Alert: Jacob is going to have a name change: Israel.  You may have heard of the 12 tribes of Israel.  Well, we are reading the birth of the nations.  So here is another fun fact: Levi does not become a tribe…so how do we still get 12?  Oh I am unglued with excitement!

So let’s have this conversation- What is a concubine and why did God allow this?  A concubine is:

“woman acquired by a man as a secondary wife. Her purpose was to provide a male heir in the case of a barren wife, to provide more children in general to enhance the family’s workforce and wealth, and to satisfy the man’s sexual desires. A concubine was endowed with rights and protections by Hebrew law but was not equal in status to a wife. Although God provided rights and protections for concubines in the Law of Moses, God did not introduce or approve of this marital model.”

Leah: Reuben (see, a son) Simeon (one who hears), Levi (attached), Judah(praise), Isaachar (reward), Zebulun (honor)

Rachel: Joseph(God has added),  Benjamin (son of my sorrow, it changes)

Zilpha: (Leah’s maidservant)  Gad (good fortune), Asher (happy).

Bilhah: (Rachel’s maidservant) Dan (vindicated) Naphtali (struggle)

Leah did have a daughter: Dinah.  12 boys, 1 girl.  “Bless her heart” (In my head I tried my southern voice…it didn’t work.  I only know about 10 out of 300 of you awesome people so you may not know I have a NJ accent).

The two names you need to circle are Levi and Judah.  From these sons come two of the most crucial institutions of the old testament.  Levi-priesthood, Judah-kingship.

Let’s talk about the “weird” stuff and clarify it.

  • Mandrakes-these are a Mediterranean herb that grows flowers and small orange fruit.  When pulled out of the ground, the root can often look like a human.  These were thought to be an aphrodisiac,  as well as,  an aid for conception.   (My mom is a catholic Italian woman=superstitious, I am shocked she didn’t sneak these into my Sunday dinners since I didn’t start having kids till later than she preferred!) I was studying “via” text” with a friend and he pointed out last night Leah was temporarily infertile (v.30:9) and sent her son to grab some mandrakes to have another child and Rachel has yet to have any children of her own.  So this made sense to do.
  • Jacob’s mating rods-this too was a “theory” like the mandrakes but for animals. It’s been studied that some of the chemical properties of poplar bark and almond bark, when steeped in water,(it says Jacob put the stick IN the watering trough) have been shown to raise the reproductive rate of ewes. So again, it was like he was giving fertility medicine to the stronger animals. Chapter 31 will tell us Jacob had some advanced knowledge of which animals would be born due to him knowing which animals were breeding when he struck the deal. (Yet, Laban thought the deal favored his side).

Let’s clarify: neither the mandrakes nor the rods blessed Rachel or the flock.  God did!


Image result for teraphim

Vs:19 Rachel stole the household gods, called Teraphims.  These gods were idols, little statues,  that the family leader possessed.  Having them around the house gave them a sense of security, spiritual significance, as well as,  social/monetary meaning.  They were thought to advise them in times of need but also they were a part of family inheritance.  Back in vs 14,  Rachel,  when told by her husband that they were leaving Laban,  the first thing she said was: “What about the money I am to inherit” (paraphrase)  So did she take the idols because she was

  1.  mad at Laban
  2.  because she believed in their power
  3.  for the inheritance.

??  Either way, for the men out there….woman are smart…we use our menstrual cycle as an excuse  for many things!  LOL.

 

Genesis

Genesis 27-29

If you rolled out of bed,  picked up your phone  and are reading this and ponder checking facebook…don’t.  It’s a HEAVY read.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So yesterday Jacob took Esau’s birthright.  Yes it is a big deal, but not nearly as big a deal as what happens today.  There are so many details to this story so we will talk about a few and in 10 years when I do the read through again, we will catch the rest.

  • Esau marries a Hittite! Not just one but two!  We know this is not good because his grandfather, Abraham, made such efforts to make sure Isaac did not marry outside the culture!
  • So we read what might be a familiar story to some, the deception that Jacob and his mom concocted.  Jacob was too scared to pull this off, and he should be! But his “mommy” says “I will take full responsibility”.   Unfortunately, her consequence is going to be that she will never see him again!
  • What makes Jacob’s deception so bad was he referenced God’s help in hunting and cooking this meal so quickly!  Oh the humanity!!
  • Let’s read the blessing.  Now just like I teach my students: words are like toothpaste, once it is out you cannot put it back in the tube! So once Jacob is blessed….it is done.

28 May God give you heaven’s dew
    and earth’s richness—
    an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you
    and peoples bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
    and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed
    and those who bless you be blessed.”

This blessing was going to be given to Jacob regardless of human involvement.  In Genesis 25:

23 The Lord said to her, (Rebekah)

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”

Rebekah, just like Sarai, took God’s plan into her own hands.  God’s plan ALWAYS comes out in the end, but taking it away from God always has a consequence.  Not only will she not see Jacob ever again and have to live with her daughter -in-laws, the Hittites, but her son (the one she loved) now has consequences too.

  1. He will never see his mom again
  2. His brother wants to kill him
  3. He goes from being the deceiver to being deceived by Laban (Ch 28)

So….I know a lot of mom’s name their son Jacob.  Did they know it means “heal grabber or deceiver”? Just wondering.

So here is the question of the day for anyone who wants to write their answer in comments. (Candace, you ready?)

Why was losing the blessing a bigger deal than the birthright??   Much bigger.


In Chapter 28, before sending Jacob to Paddam Aram (which is Haran….is this place familiar?? It was where Abraham stopped for a while when he left his hometown).  I put a map in the printable sections but click here if you want to print it now.  It will look like this:

 

Isaac tells Jacob exactly where to go as he flees Esau’s plan to kill him    Here is the version in my head:

“Get your suitcase son…go to my old stomping grounds…find my father in law’s house.  You never met him, his name was Bethuel.  He’s dead,  so don’t worry about that.  Your mother, who planned this whole deception has a money hungry brother, Laban, who lives there, he’s a piece of work but don’t worry about that either, he will find you a wife.  Pack quicker son…you know your brother is a good hunter!  Anyway, remember God’s covenant, so make lots of babies…maybe 12 sons and a daughter sounds like a good number.  You will be a foreigner in this land, but Trump’s not President yet, so you will be safe.  One day your descendants will own this land!  Get a good night’s rest…if you can’t find a pillow, use a rock”  Now go on…I have to deal with Esau…evidently he is dating a new girl, an Ishmaelite this time!


Jacob’s dream at Bethel.  (Beth meaning house and El…you should know this…means God)

Image result for jacob's ladder bible

Not the best picture but it was the only one I could find that the angels did not have wings.  Why do we think angels have wings? Am I missing something?

Jacob has heard of God.  He is the God if Abraham and the God of Isaac, however that is where it stops (for now).  Abraham retells the covenant to Jacob but God comes to Jacob directly and confirms the Covenant in a dream.  He uses imagery that will make sense to Jacob (I could be wrong but I think it looks like a ziggurat like in chapter 11).

One phrase stands out to me and I can’t get past it: verse 20

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey….”

I may be looking at it wrong, but I feel like Jacob is still on the fence about this God thing.  I feel like he is wrestling with it a bit….


Jacob Meets the Family!

I think the story is pretty clear (and I am sure you are about to kill me this is so long) So let me just clear up the ending.  So obviously Laban used “it is not our custom to give the younger daughter before the older” as an excuse.  The Bible described Leah as “weak eyes”.   Leah in Hebrew means “weary” but the Hebrew word can also be translated to “Cow” so draw your own conclusions!

So the deceiver gets deceived!   In verse 29:25 It says’ “why have you deceived me” I like to say “why have you Jacobed me!”  Anyway, it’s important to know that the wedding headdresses of this time was very modest and ornate.  Jacob would have only seen her eyes that night.

 

Genesis

Genesis 25-26

Only 2 chapters today people! Only an 8 minute read.

Chapter 25-

  • Go Abraham!  He must take vitamins.
  • Abraham dies and even though EVERYTHING was left to Isaac, don’t miss that it says in verse 9 “His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the Cave of Machpelah near the Mamre in the field of Ephron son of the Zohar the Hittite.”
    • How cool is it that you can read a verse like that and actually say “ok, ok…I actually understand that Abraham bought that cave for a ton of money…his wife was buried there, and his descendants will inherit this land one day (after 400+ years BUT they will).  Pretty stinking cool.
  • Ishmael was promised 2 things:
    • He will be the father to 12 rulers, sons (Gen 17:20)
    • BUT,  he will live in hostility toward all his brothers (16:12)

Jacob and Esau-

The Lord said to her:

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”

  • Interesting that this prophecy was given to Rebekah, and not Isaac (I don’t tthink she told him either)
  • Esau mean “hairy”
  • Jacob means “deceiver” “heal grabber” (better than butt grabber I guess)

Let’s talk about Birthright verse Blessing:

Birthright:  Natural privileged of the firstborn son (today’s read)

  • included a double portion of the inheritance from the father
  • would become the head of the family
  • would be in charge of the property
  • would be in charge of the younger sons, any widows in the family, and unmarried daughters (were they ugly?)

Blessing: (tomorrow’s read)

  • the blessing put you on a Covenant relationship with the Lord! 
  • a promise of divine protection  through the nations to come
  • whoever curses them will be cursed, whoever blesses them will be blessed.

So when we teach this to the little ones in Sunday school, the whole key to the lesson is following the Covenant!  The Covenant gets passed Starting at Abraham…..Ends with Jesus.  The deceitful act of stealing the Blessing is 10 times worse than taking the birthright.


Abimelek- (not the same guy, this is a term the kings in Caanan used for themselves)

God confirms the Covenant with Isaac directly….and then Isaac did the same “lack of faith” move- “She’s my sister!”  Man, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree!

 

Chapel Time

Chapel Time

Image result for chapel

If you are new this week, Chapel Time is an opportunity to share something you heard today at church, in a song, on a podcast, or from the reading that fell on you!  Maybe it’s a scripture you have heard 5,000 times but this time it was different, or it was a scripture that was brand new to you, or this is your first time reading the Bible and something blew you away,  or you were singing a song (any song) and it was new to you.  Please comment below.  I am headed to a Springfield to watch a student wrestle today, I am probably going to be bored…give me SOMETHING to read 🙂

Genesis

Genesis 22-24

So last night I posted a pre-read to give you time to chew on Genesis 22:1-19.  It begins with “Some time later God tested Abraham”  What is he testing him for now?  He was told to leave his county, his people, his father’s household, save Lot from a large army, tithe, circumcise himself, wait 30 years for your wife to get pregnant…what else can Abraham be tested on?  Let’s get our geography…

Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. – 2 Chron,3:1

So we are on the land that will be later called Jerusalem.  Where Jesus, God’s son, his only son, whom he loved,  will come, carry wood on his back….

Obviously,  I can talk about this chapter all week but let me point out verse 5:

“Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”– Genesis 22:4

combined with:

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.-Hebrews 11:17-19

back to Genesis.  Why was he Abraham stopped??

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham had faith from the moment he was told to “Go” or “Leave”.  There were times he trusted and obeyed God.  But did Abraham fully trust God.  If he killed Isaac, then God’s promise wouldn’t happen??  Yes, he fully believed God’s Promise! 

He passed the test of believing God’s full measure in the promise that He conquers death.  “Now I know that you fear God”  Abraham believed God’s Promise!!  He was told he would be a father of nations.  Abraham believed.  The Gospel is actually that easy.  Do you put all your faith in the Creator of the universe that when he says “I PROMISE, you will be raised from the dead.  I will PROVIDE a SUBSTITUTE!  God will provide the Lamb (I grew up going to catholic mass: “the lamb that takes away our sins”….I had no idea what that meant).  Do you hope that’s going to happen or do you BELIEVE that is going to happen?  Do you believe his Promise in Salvation that God will provide Jesus as your substitute on the Cross?? 

17 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, 18 and through your offspring  all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”

Abraham believed that even if he followed through, God was still God, and would have fulfilled his promise.  So you can move on, I am going to write some more in Comments on the blog.


Nahor’s sons:  Printable is in the handout section.  If you can’t find it let me know.  BTW, how come no one names their son Uz or Buz anymore??

Image result for abraham's family


Chapter 23  The death of Sarah.

Why is Abraham wanting to buy this burial site so badly that when the price of the land was offered to him at double the price he doesn’t even negotiate, he just buys it?  Abraham is a foreigner of this land, but he knows that God’s promise will be fulfilled and his descendants WILL be given this land so he wants to secure the cave of Machpelah as a burial site so that when they are given the land,  Sarah’s burial will be there.    Abraham will also be buried there as well as Isaac and Jacob later.


Chapter 24 Rebekah

Servant Eliezar (we know his name from Chapter 15) is told: “Umm, my son is getting old, he is about 40, go get him a wife!   But there are 2 conditions:

  1. She must not be a Caananite!   (party girls!)
  2. She must be willing to come back to the land promised to us.

So Eliezar prays “can you make this easy on me and give me a unmistakable sign so that I know she is the one”.  (If only this happened on the show The Bachelor!) Just kidding, Eliezar knows the importance of the task so goes to the Lord in prayer.   Before he is done praying….She’s The ONE!  Not only is she the one but she is kind, a virgin, and beautiful!  Jackpot!  Look at your family tree above…Bethuel was her father…check #1 off your list.  Bethuel must have passed away because Laban commits her to marriage ONLY after drooling over the $$$.  He noticed the jewlery first…then was told in verse 39 my master is wealthy.  Score!!  So now what about #2 on the checklist.  Could be a problem because Assyrian Law may not protect a woman from WHO they get to marry BUT they do get a say in WHERE they live (well isn’t that nice of you men!)

57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”

“I will go,” she said.

I picture this in slow motion…both Laban and Eliezar sweating…waiting on an answer…and finally they hear “IIIII….wiiiiilllll……goooooo”

And so they were married.  And lived happily ever after!  (If only that were true!!)  Till tomorrow….

Genesis

Genesis 22 for tomorrow

Tomorrow you are going to read 3 deep chapters.  I wanted to carve out the first 19 verses as a pre-read.  Listen, I don’t care if you signed up on January 1 and you haven’t started yet, I want you to read this chapter. Years ago,  I read this and I met up with a woman later that day.   I said (with astonishment)  “Did you know that Genesis 22 is a foreshadow of the Gospel??” I do love this woman, but she had been marinating in christian circles all her life (and did not know that I was from New Jersey…HA!…not much marinating in that State)  and she said “Well, of course I do….everyone knows that”.  NO, I didn’t know that!! 

I never want to assume “everyone knows that”…Chapter 22:1-19

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 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, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”

19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.

We will dig in tomorrow.

Genesis

Genesis 19-21

Click here for reading: Sodom and Gomorrah, Abimelek, The Birth of Isaac

Click here to Listen 🙂

Chapter 19: So when you hear the words:The Bible story of Sodom and Gommorah what comes to mind?   I can only imagine!!  But if we read chapter 9 looking at it from God’s perspective does that change the view?   Yes. Let’s start with the New Testament:

if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 2 Peter 2:6-8

What is the theme of this event?  RedemptionLot was a righteous man!   The story is about God’s hand on those that are His at the time of judgement. They will be saved.  He will pull us by the hand and save us!

Lot is sitting at the gate of the city (where business and politics are decided) so Lot is obviously an important person in this town.  The 2 angels offered to stay in the square,  however,  Lot insists they get shelter since part of this town’s sin is sexual depravity…he is scared to leave them in public overnight! Like the French Quarter during Mardi Gras!  A Near Eastern law of hospitality says that: a host MUST not allow any harm to come upon his guests, so he makes great efforts in keeping them safe, even offering his virgin daughters.

Lot’s family is warned about God’s coming judgement and not only do they ignore him, but they think he is kidding!!  Ready to read something beautiful:

16 When he hesitated (meaning Lot), the men (meaning the angels on God’s mission) grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.

If you know this story or have already read today, after telling them NOT to look back….not at their old life, not at their belongings, not to see if they can return to their old ways, not to want for that life again…Lot’s wife looks back!!  It wasn’t THAT she looked, it was WHY she looked.  

Quick Geography Lesson:

Image result for Salt pillar in Sodom today

  • This totally makes historical sense since the Dead Sea has 10 times the salt than the Ocean.
  • Pictures below of salt stacks.

Image result for current pictures of sodom and gomorrah      Image result for current pictures of sodom and gomorrah

Lot’s daughters: remember we are trying to read this from a different perspective, but I won’t judge you if you gagged in your mouth.  Lot raised his daughters in an environment of sin.  Sexual immorality was so desensitized that this act of using their father to start a family was not as weird to them as it is to us.  Having descendants was so important in this time and their immoral upbringing was so corrupt that this was not (in their minds) a horrible plan.

BUT….what is the consequence!!!  The sons are Moab “by the father”, and Ben-Ammi “son of my parent” (that must make it weird at casual introductions….”Hi teacher, this is my son Moab….”         The Moabites and the Ammonites will become forever enemies of Israel.  We will encounter them 182 times in the Bible so I am glad we took the time to read their origin so it will all make sense.


Genesis 20: I know this post is too long so I am going to skip the Venn Diagram I drew comparing and contrasting Chapter 12 to 20.  So as much as I want to throw Abraham out of my window and say “Are you kidding me…AGAIN??  You just saw God take an army of thousands against your 318…you saw Him take Sodom down….you don’t think he has his hand of protection on you ALL the time….”   But then I would have to look in the mirror and say it, and that’s not fun.


Chapter 21:  Skipping to the bottom: The treaty of Beersheba- obviously I need a map!!

Image result for map beersheba

So Abimilek, was told in Chapter 20:7 “all that belongs to you will die”,  probably wanted to kill his men for messing with Abraham’s well!  A well is so important in these times but this well also marks the southern part of the territory God is going to hand to him in His promise.  Abimilek and the men really were afraid and would have given the well back, but Abraham makes it legit (can anyone say that word without MC Hammer in their head) by creating an “oath”.  Beersheba means “well of seven or well of oath”.


BY the way…brace yourself…I peeked at tomorrow.  Oh  My  Stars!!!