BSF Genesis: Week 29, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

5.
a.
66, plus his family = 70

b.
God’s covenant was with them too, the promise to take them there and bring them back – the entire house of Israel

c.
Name written in heaven in the book , in the book of life that will be opened on judgment day

6.
a.
So they could survive the famine.  So they could be one nation and one people.  So they could be reconciled and restored as a family.

b.
Goshen was the best part of the land of Egypt for raising livestock.  It was the area for livestock and their shepherds.  The Egyptians found this a detestable occupation and so did not cross-marry with them (preserving them as a unique people)

7.
Not constrained by current societal custom. Egyptians would not eat with Hebrews, yet Pharaoh put one in charge of all food supply.  Welcomed Joseph’s family and gave them his herds to tend.  Despite them working in an occupation Egyptians detested, Pharaoh accepted blessing from Jacob

My Daily Journal:

The list of names in Genesis 46 in light of the passage in Revelation 20 has some interesting depth.  First, is the question of is this an all inclusive list of names.  Second is why, if they were so good with counting sheep, is their math so bad.  Third, and most importantly, is, why is this here and who cares.

We know from verse 26 that this is not everyone because it does not count the sons’ wives.

In terms of the count – I can’t make it exact.  Dinah might be the missing person in the list to get to 66, since Er and Onan were dead.  I’ve included the list below – if anyone has a better idea, let me know.  Some things we just might not know.   Like, what was going on that Jacob had all these boys and only Dinah and Serah listed as daughters?  Exodus 1:5 says he had 70 children in total, replacing Joseph with Ephraim and Manasseh and including Dinah in the list does equal 70.

But the really important question is the final one.  Why is this here?  There are many reasons.  Genealogy creates relevance.  This is a real account of real people.  But I think it is deeper than that and helps clear up something from the Revelation passage.  Rev 20:12 says, The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.  That can be troubling to people.  Is it faith or works?  How does this fit?

This is where the Genesis 46 passage becomes a key.  What do all these names in print have in common?  Not what they did (although we have written accounts of some of that throughout Genesis).  They are listed here because of the family to which they belong.  In the same way, we can have confidence in the book of life not because of what we do or don’t do but because we have been adopted to be brothers with Christ.  I picture a cross reference (no pun intended) index for all believers’ names in the book of life – an asterisks that says simply, “see Jesus”.  In the same way that we discussed last week Joseph giving all the glory to God, Christ paid the price in full for all of the “good works” that we are incapable of doing to be perfect in judgment.

—————————–

Jacob
1 Reuben 1 1
2 Hanok 2 2
3 Pallu 3 3
4 Hezron 4 4
5 Karmi 5 5
6 Simeon 6 6
7 Jemuel 7 7
8 Jamin 8 8
9 Ohad 9 9
10 Jakin 10 10
11 Zohar 11 11
12 Shaul 12 12
13 Levi 13 13
14 Gershon 14 14
15 Kohath 15 15
16 Merari 16 16
17 Judah 17 17
18 Er Dead 18
19 Onan Dead 19
20 Shelah 18 20
21 Perez 19 21
22 Zerah 20 22
23 Hezron 21 23
24 Hamul 22 24
25 Issachar 23 25
26 Tola 24 26
27 Puah 25 27
28 Jashub 26 28
29 Shimron 27 29
30 Zebulun 28 30
31 Sered 29 31
32 Elon 30 32
33 Jahleel 33 in all 31 33
1 Gad 32 34
2 Zephon 33 35
3 Haggi 34 36
4 Shuni 35 37
5 Ezbon 36 38
6 Eri 37 39
7 Arodi 38 40
8 Areli 39 41
9 Asher 40 42
10 Imnah 41 43
11 Ishvah 42 44
12 Ishvi 43 45
13 Beriah 44 46
14 Serah sister 45 47
15 Heber 46 48
16 Malkiel 16 in all 47 49
1 Joseph In Egypt 50
2 Manasseh In Egypt 51
3 Ephraim In Egypt 52
4 Benjamin 48 53
5 Bela 49 54
6 Beker 50 55
7 Ashbel 51 56
8 Gera 52 57
9 Naaman 53 58
10 Ehi 54 59
11 Rosh 55 60
12 Muppim 56 61
13 Huppim 57 62
14 Ard 14 58 63
1 Dan 59 64
2 Hushim 60 65
3 Naphtali 61 66
4 Jahziel 62 67
5 Guni 63 68
6 Jezer 64 69
7 Shillem 7 65 70

BSF Genesis: Week 29, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
a.
Plan had changed.  Was not supposed to go to Egypt before, now it was OK

b.
i.
It is current/timely.  based on time and situation

ii.
Trust wholeheartedly, not leaning on own understanding.  submit and things will be straight

iii.
Ask for wisdom, believe and not doubt – trust!

4.
a.
1. I will make you a great nation in Egypt, 2. I will go down to Egypt with you, 3. I will surely bring you back again.  4. Joseph’s hand will close your eyes.

b.
1. Ex 1:7 the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them 2. Ex 6:2-5 I have heard the groaning of the Israelites 3.Ex 12:31 Leave my people and go 4. Gen 49:33 Jacob dies, 50:1 Joseph threw himself on his father and wept and kissed him

My Daily Journal:

These first few verses of Genesis 46 are such a powerful reminder of a present God.  We can easily fall into an impression of God as being distant both in time and space.  So many of our depictions of God are cast in images of people walking around in robes and sandals.  We can fall into a trap of thinking of God as divine and loving but with a message that is set in stone for us to follow.

What we see in these verses is a different God.  He is present.  He is timely.  At an earlier time Jacob was not supposed to go to Egypt, but now he is.  God gives him new direction.  God is the author of the book (and of the universe) but it is an interactive story that includes us today.

What an encouragement to prayer and what a powerful image of a personal and present God.  We are encouraged to get into a proper state to talk with God, taking on a sacrificial attitude as Jacob did and then honor God’s direction in our life for who He is.  This means trust in what we hear from Him wholeheartedly, without doubt, and begin walking the path he lays out for us to go.

BSF Genesis: Week 28, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

15.
a.
wept loudly, come close to me, do not be distressed or angry with yourselves – it was to save lives, God did this, tell and bring father, threw his arms around them and wept

b.
embracing, wept, spoke truth and willingness to sacrifice for each other

16.
be truthful and heartfelt.  Forgive and see God’s good in all.

My Daily Journal:

I loved Genesis 45:1.

We have talked over the past few weeks about the parallels between Joseph and Christ and how, in many ways, Joseph was a foreshadowing pointing to Christ.  I think we see that so strongly in verse 1.

I’m a dad and there are times I need to use my dad voice and make decisions that, while not necessarily popular, are in the best interests of my family.  I have to discipline my children and allow them to make mistakes even when I know they are mistakes.  My natural desire is to protect them, to help them, to do for them and provide for them.  But for them to grow and learn, I have to control that nature and allow them to experience and learn.

In Genesis 45:1, we see how God has placed that same “control” for Joseph to direct with his brothers.  Then, Joseph could control himself no longer and we see the heart of God that beat inside Joseph pour out.  What did he do when he was “out of control”?  He poured out love.  He poured out tears of joy.  He poured kisses upon his brothers.  He hugged them. He forgave them.  He told them about God.  He told them not to condemn themselves.  He provided a new home for them.  He provided everything they would need for themselves, their children, their grandchildren.  He commanded them to reunite the entire family.

So, what does your “out of control” look like?

BSF Genesis: Week 28, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

11.
a.
They would understand the feeling of being falsely accused, his brothers had thought of Joseph as a spy for their father – a snitch

b.
They would feel being falsely imprisoned

c.
They would see the pain of separation

d.
They would see the pain they brought to his father

e.
Tested their honesty

f.
Test of jealousy and favoritism

g.
Would they stand up for a brother or sacrifice him

h.
Test of sacrificial love

12.
42:13 spoke honestly, 42:21 our sin, 28 God has done to us 43:12 2xsilver 28 bowed down prostrate, 34 feasted freely 44:16 we are all slaves 33 volunteered as tribute for Benjamin

13.
a.
God is Almighty and in control of all

b.
grant mercy before the man

c.
let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you

d.
If I am bereaved, I am bereaved.

e.
Trust in God and submit fully to his might and mercy

14.
submission, thinking first of others (his father, brother), substitutional sacrifice, honor to his promise

My Daily Journal:

I took exception to one of our questions.  I don’t think it was Joseph that was testing his brothers.  I think it was God who was testing and training the brothers through Joseph.  Why now would we bestow the credit onto Joseph when all along he has time and again funneled it all to God?

With that perspective, God allowed the brothers to experience all of the things He had used to train up Joseph.  Accused of being a spy, falsely accused, falsely imprisoned, the pain of separation, the fear of being without any power or authority, being a slave, having their clothing torn, etc., etc., etc.

By living these experiences they did not just have to imagine what their actions had wrought, they could fully empathize.  They fully understand and, as a result, Judah’s willingness to be a substitutional sacrifice was all the more powerful when he pleaded at the throne of the almighty ruler.  (catching the parallels to Christ?)

Speaking of parallels, the other one that I enjoyed was when Joseph made Benjamin the cupbearer, by literally having him bear the cup in his bag.  He could have put any item in Benjamin’s bag, a candlestick, a ring, but he chose to have him bear the cup.

From this, first we are reminded of the cupbearer to Pharoah.  Look at all the parallels, he was thrown into prison but later redeemed and restored to his position of honor to the Pharaoh.  The cupbearer was the messenger to carry the message, when appropriate, to Pharaoh to set Joseph free from bondage.  Benjamin is the one Joseph turns to to testify that he is his brother to restore the family to Joseph.  The cupbearer’s actions set things in place to save his nation from starvation.  Benjamin is thrust into the same role with his nation – doing nothing but remembering and being willing to testify.

Secondly, we are reminded of Christ and the cup He drank on the cross to pay the price of our sins.  The fact that Christ comes from the line of Judah and Judah is the one giving the speech of substitutional sacrifice should not be missed.

BSF Genesis: Week 28, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

7.
16.I cannot do it but God can, 25.God has revealed 28.God has shown what He is about to do 32.firmly decided by God and God will do it soon 38.find anyone with spirit of God 39.God made known to you 51.Manasseh, God made forget 52. Ephraim.God made fruitful

8.
a.
1. Dreams are one and same, 2. Seven good years, 3. Seven years of famine 4. firmly decided and happening soon

b.
1. find discerning and wise man 2. put him in charge of the land 3. appoint commissioners to take 20% of harvest 4. Store up the grain. 5. Keep it in cities for food 6. use reserves during famine

9.
God has made all known to you, no one so discerning and wise, in charge of palace, all people submit to your orders, Only with respect to the throne will I be greater.  In charge

10.
a.
Faith, discernment, wisdom, ability to speak to royalty, honor, truthfulness

b.
The fact that he knew it was nothing he had earned or deserved, in the same way that he had not earned or deserved the hard times.  It was simply a new coat

c.
Seek daily to do the will of God and remind everyone that He is all glory, honor and praiseworthy

My Daily Journal:

Did you catch the provision in the math?

Joseph is 100% confident in the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams.  7 years of plenty, 7 years of famine.  Later we see him talk with his brothers and say we have seen 2 years of famine and we have 5 left.  It wasn’t approximately 7 years.  It was 7 years.

So, how much food to you need to hold in store from the 7 years of plenty to prepare for exactly 7 years of famine?  1/7th of the harvest per year for 7 years would provide the exact right amount of food for all the people of Egypt.  That is about 14.3% per year.

So how much food did God have Joseph tell Pharaoh to store up?  1/5th!  20%!

Was he hedging?  Adding a bit extra just in case?  Or was there provision in the amount held to expand Egypt.  Maybe to bring another hungry nation into the land of Goshen in the very midst of the famine?

BSF Genesis: Week 28: Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
Nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit                        Served others, declined Potiphars wife, accepted prison

in humility value others above self                                            Placed loyalty to master and warden over own self interest

taking the nature of a servant                                                    Served Potiphar, served household, served prisoners

obedient                                                                                        All glory to God, obedient to God and men

4.
He, through God, interpreted the dream of the cupbearer and asked him to remember him before Pharoah.  2 years later, he did.

5.
Number 7.  Cows out of a river, skinny cows eating fat cows, 2nd dream, 7 , grain swallowed up other grain

6.
16.I cannot do it but God can, 25.God has revealed 28.God has shown what He is about to do 32.firmly decided by God and God will do it soon

My Daily Journal:

I love the way that God reached out and grabbed Pharaoh’s heart.  We tend to focus so much on Joseph and his brothers in this story that we can miss Pharaoh.

As the leader of what was probably the most significant nation on the face of the earth Pharaoh would have been a very wise and powerful leader.  As a leader, however, he recognized several key limitations.  One was information.  He could only make decisions based on the information he had available.  The second was weather and it’s impact on food supplies.  No amount of sorcery or magicians could accurately predict the weather and it’s affects on harvests.  As today’s politicians know “it’s the economy”, leaders of that day would have known, “it’s the food.”

So this is exactly how God got Pharaoh’s attention.  He gave 2 dreams to pharaoh.  He could have given the dreams to anyone to communicate to Pharaoh, but he made them personal to him.  But, while He gave Pharaoh the dreams, he did not provide him with the ability to understand their meaning.  Without that, they were simply troubling dreams.

God withheld the ability to interpret the dreams from anyone who would not testify to the fact that the interpretation came from God.  Enter Joseph.

And the result?  Gen 41:38-39, Pharaoh recognizes the God of Israel.  He seeks to put someone with the spirit of God in charge and turns everything over to God through the stewardship of such a man.

BSF Genesis: Week 27, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

11.
a.
To be remembered by the cupbearer and be shown kindness, to be mentioned to Pharaoh as wrongfully imprisoned

b.
v23  The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.

12.
He had work to do for God.  A ministry to an unbelieving nation who did not know the one true God of Israel

13.
Literally: Joseph was cast into the earth to be left for dead.  His identity (coat) was stripped from him.  His freedom was sold.  He was treated as a possession and false witness befell him, he was cast into a dungeon and forgotten.  Yet, he rose from this to a greater ministry, both to save the people of Egypt, but also his own kin.

My Daily Journal:

The means by which God directed Joseph and the lessons He taught him were hard taught.  Joseph didn’t sit in a classroom under a kind and gentle teacher.  He didn’t read leadership principles from a book.  He learned to rely on God and His blessings because there was no one else he could rely on.  Joseph didn’t learn grace and fairness from it being bestowed on him by other men.  He learned it from longing for it and seeing it come from no where but the Lord.

Yet, even in the darkest circumstances, even in the darkest dungeon, Joseph saw that God was there with him and Joseph learned to trust in God.  Joseph’s developed perseverance, patience, trust, character, forgiveness, and leadership from the one true Personal Trainer, God!

What parts of my life could use more time in God’s gym to be worked and strengthened?  What hardships and disappointments in my life do I need to re-examine to see God’s presence in them (He is there, whether I see Him or not)?  Where do I need to just get to work doing the work that God is giving me instead of spending time and effort fretting about my situation and unfairness I see?

BSF Genesis: Week 27, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

8.
a.
He came to them in the morning.  He noticed they were dejected.  He inquired.  He witnessed (interpretations belong to God?) He told them what God interpreted in their dreams

b.
To witness to both men.  To be remembered by the cupbearer and be shown kindness, to be mentioned to Pharaoh as wrongfully imprisoned

c.
Rely on God.  Pay attention and be fully present each day with them.  Look for their concerns and turn them over to God.  Be honest with them.

9.
a.
It is not of man or by man but comes from God alone

b.
The feeling of being forgotten.  But, also, the feeling of unjustness.  He was imprisoned in Potiphar’s house.  He would have been able to see all that was under him before but now instead of a slave he was a prisoner.  While Potiphar didn’t believe him (or did but had to save face with his wife) Potiphar continued to use Joseph and rely on the blessings of God delivered through Joseph.

10.
Hard work, care, concern, patience, honesty, trustworthiness, management, presence

My Daily Journal:

There were a number of things in today’s lesson that grabbed me.  One was the pain and disappointment that people often feel when they are cast out of a relationship but still in the same physical location.  This made me think about the pain and disappointment divorce can cause.  Like Joseph and Potiphar, there was a change of relationship, but Joseph still lived in his household and still interacted with him.

Secondly, one of the men in our group pointed out that this was the first prison ministry on record.  An interesting bible trivia point.

Third, I was struck by how present Joseph was with the cupbearer, baker and God.  When we go through hardship it can be distracting and cause us to distance ourselves from others.  Sometimes we create that situation by allowing ourselves to become distracted by things we clearly do not hold in higher value but we let fill our attention.  For example, our family was at dinner in a restaurant and I noticed another table with a mom, dad and 2 children.  Mom and dad both had their phones out texting or surfing or playing games.  Who knows, they may have been texting each other.  But they were totally ignoring the kids.  While they were at a restaurant eating as a family, they weren’t present.  For us to be like Joseph and find opportunities to witness, to take peoples’ burdens and lay them at the feet of God (as he did), we must first be present.

What is distracting me that I need to turn off?  When do I need to fill my mind more with meditating on the word of God than surfing on facebook?

Our TL pointed us to 2 Corinthians 10:5 and the challenge to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

BSF Genesis: Week 27, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions

6.
a.
my master has withheld nothing from me except you.  How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?  Not only did he flee the scene but he let go of his cloak

b.
Recognize it as a sin against God, not just men and not just myself.  Look for God’s strength and provision and blessing

7.
a.
While he was a servant, he was put in charge of everything in the household and in the field.  Recognized and relied on God being with him and showing him favor and kindness through his obedience

b.
By being with me and continuing to teach me to trust and rely in Him alone and not myself.  By reminding me to be humble and obedient and show that all the glory is His.

My Daily Journal:

There are some great lessons in temptation in today’s lesson with Joseph.  To start with, Joseph knew the rules and didn’t try to bend them or find loop holes.  His right and wrong were black and white, not scales of gray.  In this regard he recognized that to do wrong was not only against his earthly master but was a sin against God.  When we do wrong we tarnish our ability to reflect God’s righteousness.

Within this I also found it very interesting that Joseph had to part with his cloak to be obedient to God.  His brothers had already stripped him of his ornate coat, a gift from his father.  Now Potiphar’s wife strips him of the cloak given to him as a slave by his master.  Each of these trials seems to result in stripping coats from Joseph.  This brought to mind the process involved in refinishing furniture.  I wonder if God might have a new coat planned in Joseph’s future that, to wear, he needs to abandon his old uniform.

What do I need to let go of so God can bless me with something new?  How firm is my conviction to keeping my mirror clean to reflect God’s full glory instead of tarnishing it with sin?

BSF Genesis: Week 27, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
a.
Lord is present, Lord gives success, Lord is with people (like Joseph)

Shows kindness and grants favor

Be strong and courageous for God is with us wherever we may go.  Expects obedience

b.
Obedience, avoidance of sin, walking in the path of the righteous, meditating on the law (the scriptures) day and night

4.
He was trustworthy.  Potiphar was a leader of men and he saw Joseph’s trustworthiness and character.  These were not of his own, but a gift from God who continued to bless him and bless everything he did (to the benefit of Potiphar)

5.
a.
Faith in God and in His promises delivered through dreams and a walk with the Lord.  He had sustained Joseph through everything so far

b.
through prosperity

My Daily Journal:

Potiphar trusted Joseph because Joseph was trustworthy.  Joseph was worthy of trust (trustworthy) not because of his own background, status, heritage, power, position or wealth but because Joseph trusted God.  Joseph showed his obedience to God by trusting in Him.  God showed his love for Joseph and his power and mercy by blessing everything that Joseph oversaw.

So what does obedience and trust mean.  Our Joshua 1 and Psalm 1 references are great illustrations, and I love the way they paint the picture.  As parents we learned that it is important not only to teach your kids what not to do but to teach them what to do instead.  I remember teaching woodworking.  It was important to not only say, don’t put your hand there, but to also say, put your hands here and here instead.

These aren’t do’s and don’ts, but proper methods of teaching and learning.  Don’t be afraid, don’t be terrified, don’t be discouraged but instead be strong, be courageous, obey the laws, know that God is with you wherever you may go.  Do not walk in step with the wicked, do not stand in the way that sinners take, do not sit in the company of mockers, but instead delight in the law, meditate on it day and night, stand in the assembly of the righteous.