BSF Genesis: Week 31, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

11.
God will come to your aid and be true to promise ==> go home

12.
a.
God will come to aid, take my bones

b.
Ex 13:19 Moses took Joseph’s bones, Joshua 24:34 Joseph buried in the cave in Canaan

13.
God will come to your aid

My Daily Journal:

I know many people find comfort in the words of Genesis 50:24 that God will come to your aid.  But, as a husband, father and provider to my family, church and community I find special promise in these words and a comfort, a real lifting of a burden through these words.

I want to provide for those I love.  I want to protect them and care for them.  I want to serve them and model the love of God to them.  But how do you continue to do that after you die.  There is, obviously, financial planning that should take place and seeds that are planted throughout the years, but how can you possibly know if the best laid plans will be enough?

But, the reassurance that God will come to their aid is a huge relief.  And, as it was when the Holy Spirit was sent after Christ left, this verse tells me that there is actually a special outpouring of blessing that God will send to the ones I love and care for to specifically fill the void that would otherwise be present with my inevitable passing some day.  What a powerful and reassuring promise!

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BSF Genesis: Week 31, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

8.
a.
Worried that with Jacob dead Joseph would turn and payback for the wrongs they did to him.  So, they sent word (lie?) that Jacob told him to forgive them – Joseph wept and told them to not be afraid, he would not judge them but instead would provide for them and their children.  He reassured them and spoke kindly to them

b.
Wept.  Received them.  Spoke reasuring words to them

c.
God works all to His good.  No matter what, God is in control

9.
a.
1 John 1:9, if we confess our sins he will forgive us & purify us, Eph 1:7 in him we have redemption… the forgiveness of sins John 6:1-14 Christ provides (feeding 5000) John 14:2, my Father’s house has many rooms. Luke 23:43 today paradise

b.
confession, repententance, grateful acceptance of the gift of grace

c.
As an earthly father and teacher I try to protect and provide for my family and those in my care.  I teach them through words and modeling biblical values, worship and confession.

10.
a.
To save Israel from itself, from its sinful past, from intermarriage with canaanites and from famine

b. (Note: I answered this challenge question in light of what the bible says disciples of Christ are called to do):
2Tim 2:15, learn his word, 1 peter 5:7 pray, Eph 5:22-6:4 serve each other as family, Col 3:18 do all work for God, Acts 20:35 help the weak, more blessed to give, Act 8:4 preach the word wherever you go

My Daily Journal:

This was one of my favorite sections of our study this week.  After Jacob’s death, Joseph’s brothers get afraid.  They decide to take the approach with their brother that I’ve seen my own kid’s take.  They decided to “play the Dad card.”  “Dad said you have to forgive us…”

But Joseph’s response was amazing.  In response to the Dad card, Joseph plays the Big Dad card.  Instead of stepping into the middle of things and giving his own forgiveness, Joseph redirects them to God.  Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  God has already used everything you did for His good.  What is there to forgive that hasn’t been forgiven?  Don’t be afraid.

His brothers sought simply get out of the hole they had dug for themselves. Joseph doesn’t just bring them back to where they were before, but he elevates them.  He doesn’t just say I won’t punish you.  He says I will take care of you and provide for you and your children.  What a model and reflection of our loving God!  When we dig ourselves into a hole, we repent and ask Him to help us get out of the hole.  Instead of just restoring us, he lifts us up to a better place, a place in His kingdom, and eternal home.

On the flip side of this is the lesson and reminder of just how difficult it is for us, like Joseph’s brothers, to accept forgiveness.  We repent, we ask God to forgive us and He does.  But we don’t.  Instead of learning from and moving on, we keep reliving our past transgressions.  Instead of leaving them at the foot of the cross, we keep going back and picking them up, only to repent of them again and again.  But, God really does forgive.  Psalm 103:12 says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”  This is a challenge for me.  I’m one who, while I know God has forgiven me, I haven’t always forgiven myself, and that baggage can hinder my ability to move forward into the sanctification to which I (like all believers) am called.  That is one of the reasons this was such a powerful and personal lesson to me.

BSF Genesis: Week 31, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

6.
Pharaoh honored him by the entourage he sent to his graveside.  Dignitaries of his court, all the dignitaries of Egypt, Chariots and horsemen, a very large company, so great the the Canaanites renamed the place to mourning of the Egyptians. Only Hebrew children and livestock left behind.

7.
a.
The size and scale and the mourning that occurred at the threshing floor of Atad

b.
v12. Did as he commanded them, carried him, buried him.

c.
We are aliens here – our citizenship is in heaven.  We have been saved through Christ.

My Daily Journal:

Jacob was a mirror who reflected God.  When the bible says God is the God of Israel or the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it does not mean these men owned God.  It means that they reflected God for others to see.

Jacob reflected God in his prayer life.  He reflected God in His trust of God’s word.  He reflected God in his willingness to speak truth (especially in his later years).  He reflected God in his blessings (which were actually God’s blessings).  He reflected God in and through his children and especially through Joseph.

When pharoah send a very large company, chariots, horsemen; when he sent all the riches of Egypt; when he provided the royal embalmers; when the Egyptians mourned at the threshing floor; when the Egyptians stayed with the Israelite children and flocks so their parents could all go back to Canaan (even though they found shepherds detestable)… When all of these things occurred they reflected directly through Jacob back to God, His God, The God of Israel.

When we go to a funeral and participate in eulogies today it is the same thing.  When a christian has spent their life reflecting the glory of God, there is absolutely nothing wrong with spending some time reflecting on that reflection!  The glory is not going to the individual, it is going to the source of the light that they helped shine.

BSF Genesis: Week 31, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
a.
No.  He spent his last breath blessing others. He looked forward to being gathered to his people, pulled his feet up into his bed and died

b.
God is the God of Jacob – He is not the God of the dead but of the living – Jacob is experiencing eternal life

4.
a.
H.
people are destined to die once and after that to face judgment

R.
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, Wages of sin are death but the gift of God is eternal life

J5.
Whoever hears word and believes God has eternal life, will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life

J8.
told that you would die in yoru sins, if don’t believe then you will indeed die in your sins

J11.
Whoever lives by believing in me will never die.  Do you believe this?

b.
Spiritually ready and confident.  I believe there is still work for me to do here and more lives to touch and shepherd

5.
Honored the promise he made to his father.  Sought Pharaoh’s blessing.

My Daily Journal:

Death.  Until Christ comes again and calls us up to Him in heaven, we are all going to die.  Death is a doorway we all must cross through.

For a few years I had the opportunity to work with a motivational speaker who used board breaking in coaching and leading people.  The piece of pine represented a barrier to the individual, something that prevented them from “breaking through” to a higher level or better place.  One of the key things that he taught, and which I saw to be true, was that the more you focus on the board, the harder it is to break.  You don’t try to hit the board, you pick a focus point beyond the board and strike to it.  You don’t focus on the barrier, your focus on what things look like beyond the barrier.

The challenge for us is that we tend to focus on the door more than what’s on the other side when it comes to death.  Some might say that we don’t know what is on the other side, but I disagree.  While the door may be a solid door, Christ has provided a window for us to look through.  He tells us that “in My father’s house there are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you.”  He tells us that upon death “Today you will be with me in paradise.”  We know from Revelation that heaven is a real place, measurable, with walls of jasper and city of pure gold.    But, most importantly, we know it is where God is and where we go to be with Him.  This was revealed in the martyrdom of Stephen when he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God in heaven.   Jesus tells us about God and Heaven over and over again.  I am the way… no one comes to the Father but by me.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who believes in me shall not perish but have eternal life.

When Christ came back from the dead he showed that death has no hold over us.  There need be no uncertainty of what is on the other side of the door of death, Christ has shown us.  We, like Jacob need to be willing to trust in Him and put our focus on the beauty of breaking through to the other side, not on the door. When we focus on death, we bang in to something hard and difficult and painful, just like when someone would focus on the board, they would bang into the board.  Instead, we must focus on the life after death and break through death in joy and celebration.

BSF Genesis: Week 30, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

13.
To be buried in the cave of the patriarchs.  He had confidence his people would return to the promised land

14.
a.
in hard work be weak, it is more blessed to give than to receive

r.
whose transgressions are forgiven, sins are covered, whose sin the Lord will never count

e.
in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ

t.
in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ

j.
who perseveres under trial, having stood the test, receive the crown of life that Lord promised

p.
do not repay evil with evil/insult with insult, but evil with blessing – called

r.
read aloud the words of this prophecy, hear it, take it to heart – time is near

My Daily Journal:

I was torn at first with the line asking what a person must do to receive blessings.  Clearly we don’t do anything to earn blessings, no more than we do something to earn a gift.  If you earn it, it isn’t a gift, it is payment.  I see blessings in the same way.

But in preparing my lecture I was reminded of an older gentleman I worked with at a retail store in the mall when I was in high school.  This man suffered from periodontal disease and, to use the vernacular, had really bad breath.  He was aware of the problem and did things to try to cover up the situation.  He constantly ate breath mints.  He wore very strong cologne, he would attempt to not get too close to people when talking.  But all of those were simply steps to cover or mask the problem, they did nothing to fix it.

For us, sin is the problem and it stinks.  The bible says our prayers are like a pleasing aroma to God.  In the same way, our sin is a stench.  We do all kinds of things, all kinds of “good works” to try to mask it, but we can’t.  The only fix is to fix the problem.  That is called sanctification and it is a process that God, our great physician, takes in our lives to remove the infection of sin in our lives and transform us into His image.  Christ is the only cure, and while we can’t do anything to earn Him in our lives, if we fail to accept Him then we miss the cure.

In the same way, if we fail to do spiritual work, we miss the blessings of that work, if we fail to be in Christ we miss the blessings of the heavenly realm, if we avoid trials and tests we miss the growth they provide.  This isn’t earned, it is lived.  It isn’t covering over, it is submitting to the only one who can heal.

BSF Genesis: Week 30, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

10.
fruitful vine near a spring: his actions in Egypt, by the Nile, saved nations from starvation. branches climb over a wall: moved from Canaan to Egypt received Egyptian name and honors, Archer attach: Brothers, Potiphars wife, forgotten in prison – he faced many attacks; Bow remained steady, strong arms limber: despite hardship he stayed true and honorable to God; because of hand of Mighty One, Shepherd, Rock: All was because of God and for His glory.

11.
blessings from skies above waters below, sun and moon; gifts from ancient mountains and hills; let all these rest on the head of Joseph the prince among his brothers

12.
Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.  He may be a ravenous wolf to the world, but he carries the lamb upon his shoulders

My Daily Journal:

We are wisely encouraged in life to save and set funds aside for our old age and for an inheritance to our children.  While the bible warns against placing our faith in this accumulation, it is also clearly taught to set funds aside in the years of plenty for the lean years that often follow.

We can see a parallel in these spiritual blessings that Jacob has accumulated for his sons.  Do these things belong to Jacob, no, they belong to God.  But through a life devoted to God and setting aside treasures of faith in his heart, Jacob can bestow these blessings onto his sons and the sons of Joseph.  Blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb. Blessings greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills.

What am I, through faith, receiving as a spiritual blessing that I, through the almighty hand of God, will be able to bestow upon my children and grandchildren?  Is my inheritance to them measured in dollars or measured in blessings and grace and truth?  What words do I need to say to my children?  Shouldn’t I say them now until waiting until my deathbed?

BSF Genesis: Week 30, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

5.
Hand on neck of enemies, brothers praise you, relatives bow down, Lion, scepter will not depart, ruler’s staff…until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, whom all nations will honor

6.
a.
all bow to him, victorious against his prey, holds the scepter and ruler’s staff for they belong to him, from the line of Judah,  the one whom all nations will honor

b.
1 Cr 15:54, Death has been swallowed up in victory; Rom 6:9 Death no longer has mastery over him; Luke 22:69 The Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God; Heb 1:2 by His Son whom he appointed heir of all things; Heb 1:8 about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter…, Matt 27:18 Christ was dressed in a crimson robe (crimson would be the color of a robe died in the blood of grapes, it was also the color representing sin, e.g., the crimson sash hung outside the window by Rahab.)

c.
He is victorious over death so I need not fear the grave.  He is at the right hand of God and holds the scepter of heaven, so I can trust in His rule.

7.
His region was beside the sea of Galilee and included Capernaum.  Many gentiles (ships) lived there and were saved (safe harbor)

8.
The tribe of Issachar were to be farmers.  We know from the time of Adam that farming would be hard work and toil, but we know also from Eccles 3:12-13 that toil is a gift from God.  God encourages us to work and do good hard work which yields benefits to us now and eternally

9.
Samson – Judges 13-18 – killed many Philistines who ruled over Israel at the time

My Daily Journal:

Many of us know the story of Samson and his incredible strength when the spirit would come upon him in strength.  But as I reread the story I was struck by his parents.

Manoah, who was from the tribe of Dan, lived in the land unjustly ruled by the Philistines.  The Israelites had been turned over to the Philistines because of their sin.  Manoah was married to a woman who was childless.  The angel of the Lord came to her and told her she would give birth to a son who would be a Nazirite and he will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.

The part that came next is what really struck me in relation to our lesson this week.  In Judges 13:18, “Then Manoah prayed to the LORD: “Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.””

In our scripture this week Jacob has assembled and is speaking truth about the future to his sons, including many things they either don’t understand or, in some instances, things they don’t want to hear.  This made me think about what I should do if God delivered news about my future to me.  What if he told me something about my health, my finances, my children, my church?  Should I worry about it?  Should I jump into action? Should I just take the news and do nothing? Should I use my own intellect to “figure things out”?

But, the example we learn from Manoah is the right response.  Given revelation about the future, my first step should be to drop to my knees and humbly pray to God to come into my life and teach me how to do what He wants with this revelation.  To teach me how to honor Him and be true in my work in the future to His calling for my life.