BSF Genesis Week 26

BSF Genesis: Week 26, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

12.
intermarried with canaanites.  Er and Onan, Judah’s sons, both put to death because of wickedness.  Things later forbidden (prostitution) are treated as normal

13.
Continued to intermarry with Canaanites, not living as a separate people.  They would have no longer been God’s people

14.
No, he too had a Levirate obligation to father children for his son through her.  He started the path of unrighteousness

15.
a.
She desired to honor her husband by continuing his line.  She was righteous

b.
Gentiles married into the family of Judah

16.
Blames her in 24, confesses in 26

17.
It is factual.  She was grafted into the house of Israel through faith, struggle and righteousness

My Daily Journal:

In verse 26 not only does Judah confess his sin but he acknowledges Tamar’s righteousness.  This means more than she did something right.  The word used here is tsadaq.  This is the same word used to describe  Noah (Gen. 7:1), the Law (Deu. 4:8), David (1 Sa. 24:17), and even Yahweh (2 Ch. 12:6).

In this story it is easy to get lost in the graphic nature of what is going on.  But there is a very interesting thought and application that we can apply from the then and there to the here and now.  It is the idea of “unexpected righteousness.”  If both Tamar and Judah were called in to court and each gave testimony, the court would surely side with Judah.  He is a man, he is wealthy, he comes from a noble and strong family in the lineage of Abraham and Jacob.  But we see here it is not the person in the position of authority (Judah, the patriarch and son of Israel) but someone quite unexpected (Tamar, a widow and a foreigner) who is found to be righteous. A label of righteousness is earned and preserved by being such, not given because of social status.  (kudos to http://www.theropps.com/papers/Winter1997/Genesis38exegesis.htm)

How we need to remember this is our view of others in the church and in future believers.  This was the main tripping stone of the leaders of the law with Jesus – how could this be the messiah? – this is not what we expected.  We see in God’s economy that righteousness is from the inside out, not the outside in.

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BSF Genesis Week 26

BSF Genesis: Week 26, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

9.
a.
He had created the divide through his favoritism.   He pledged to mourn until he died

b.
Until this had occurred the Isrealites would not have survived the famine because without Joseph in Egypt they would not have had access to food.  In Egypt the flourished for many years, became enslaved, then were set free by God.

10.
thrown in well, clothes stolen, sold into slavery, sold to Potiphar, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, imprisoned, promised to be remembered by cupbearer but forgotten, 2 years pass,

11.
favored in Potiphar’s house, put in charge, fortitude to not sleep with Potiphar’s wife, God with him in prison, put in charge of prisoners, ability to interpret dreams, survived dungeon, honored by Pharoah

 

My Daily Journal:

I think we see the years of craftiness and cunning that characterized Jacob’s life fully on display with Reuben and Judah.  Their over-arching desire was to “fit in.”  To fit in with a group, especially one with a moral compass that would conclude that it is a good idea to murder their own brother, means you have to shave a bit off the edges.  Think of it literally.  We are a stone crafted by the Master, square and true, finely measured.  But, that stone won’t fit in with a bunch of crooked other stones.  There are three choices: either help the other stones get straight with God, find other stones to connect with or start shaving off bits and pieces of your own self to fit in.

Reuben and Judah both made weak attempts to save Joseph.  Both helped keep him from death.  But neither still had the moral character, the true shape that matches the cornerstone of the church, that enabled them to stand up to the wrong thinking and action of their brothers.  That would have meant they didn’t fit in, just like Joseph didn’t, and we see how that went.

But Christ did not do that.  He shaved off nothing.  He did not conform to the world, and it hated Him for it.  He did not try to fit in with the vision that the religious leaders had, He stayed true to the task the Father had charged Him with.

Fitting in is only a good thing when those who you are trying to fit in with are true and level.

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BSF Genesis Week 26

BSF Genesis: Week 26, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

5.
He walked about 100 miles.  His brothers plotted to kill him, thrown into a cistern, sold into slavery to the Ishmaelites/Midianites, taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar (here is a good map)

6.
a.
Reuben, Judah

b.
Distressed.  Pleading for his life.  Unjustly wronged

c.
Hatred for the message and favoritism of our Father

d.
guarded as a prisoner, stole his robe

7.
a.
20 Sheckels / 30

b.
He had been treated as something special, honored with an ornate robe.  He had only obeyed. Unjustly treated

c.
When things seem unjust and unfair.  When the innocent are victimized.

8.
a.
1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith…. may be proved genuine…

b.
prophecy through dreams.  A walk with God (literally, for about 100 miles)

My Daily Journal:

It is easy to see the troubles surrounding Joseph.  He obediently walks almost 100 miles in search of his brothers and everything goes south.  But, in this story, just like in the challenges within our own life, we need to pull our eyes from “the troubles all around us” and see God’s amazing provision.

When they are ready to kill him, there just happens to be a cistern available.  It just happens to be a dry cistern.  No bones are broken throwing him into the cistern, no poisonous creatures are present.  Within minutes or hours at most a caravan just happens to be coming by.  It just happens to be heading to Egypt and the proprietors have cash, not just goods to sell.  Joseph just happens to be sold to Potiphar instead of into some other service. Backing up Joseph just happens to find someone who just happened to hear his brothers in Shechem, who, by the way, doesn’t choose to kill Joseph since he does belong to the family that killed all the men in Shechem in the not too distant past.  And, most amazing of all, Joseph, a guy, actually stops and asks directions!

I can see God’s hand in so many ways when I look for the blessings and the provision.

On  a different thought, I get it that these are his brothers, but I saw a strong lesson for myself and my children (and the children in my class) about carefully choosing our inner-circle of friends.  Let’s put it this way, if the people you are closest with are the ones who are willing to throw you in the cistern and kill you, having one phone call to call for help doesn’t do you much good.  Do I spend my time with people that would come to my protection or people that would throw me under the bus when they are angry?  How strong would my friends stand against the sentiment of the group?

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BSF Genesis Week 26

BSF Genesis: Week 26, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
a.
As prophecy of things to come.  To give Joseph guidance and fortitude

b.
He wasn’t street smart or worldly wise, but, is it unwise to share visions from above?

c.
Keep your audience in mind when delivering something sacred, the sweetness will turn to bitterness when mixed with their emotions and contempt

4.
He was his father’s favorite.  He was a dreamer. They were jealous of him and he came across to them as being arrogant

My Daily Journal:

I liked the discussion on Matthew 7:6, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”  While my answer stemmed from the viewpoint of the giver in the sentence, it is interesting to turn the tables and look at it from the opposite perspective.

Joseph’s brothers, and even father for that matter, were only able to see Joseph’s dream through the goggles of their own sinful heart.  They couldn’t rejoice for him that God might someday make him a king or ruler, they couldn’t see the blessings that might flow to them if he achieved such a stature.  They could only see him as something less than themselves.  What nerve for him to have such a dream.  Who does he think he is?  We need to knock him back down a few notches.

There is an old saying, when you lay down with dogs you get fleas.  In the same way, when you wallow in sin, you get dirty like a pig.  This is where Joseph’s family was.  With itchy fleas and mud-caked flesh, how could they have possibly seen God’s providential blessing for their brother and son?

But how often do I do the same thing.  My own sin clouds my ability to see God’s blessing.  My sin distracts me and irritates me so that I miss rejoicing and come across as upset, irritated or distracted.  Like Joseph’s brothers, the sin in my heart can make it so I can’t look past the mud.

But, that is also the beauty of the analogy of this scripture.  Through the saving grace of Jesus, God offers to wash my sins away and cloth me in new garments.  He offers to remove the scales from my eyes, as he healed the blind time and again.  All I need do is the same thing Joseph’s family should have done, repent my sin and seek the cleansing power of my loving Father.

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