Posts tagged ‘Genesis’
Can you imagine being a hundred and thirty years old and having to move? I’m sure Jacob (Israel) was thrilled to be going to Egypt to see Joseph again, but it still had to be tough to completely move to a foreign land so late in life.
I think it would have to be tough to go to a foreign land at any time in life. The language would be different, the people may resent foreigners, and the customs may be unfamiliar. However, for Jacob and his family, it meant survival: food!
Have you ever lived in a “foreign land?” Somewhere completely unfamiliar? I would love to hear any stories you may have about living as a foreigner somewhere.
Would you be willing to completely move to a distant country if God told you to do so?
Is anyone else completely taken aback by the story of Judah and Tamar? I used to read this story and see all sorts of fault with Tamar. I used to think, “How could she do this?”
But then one day I read an amazing book that helped clear up a few things for me. Unveiled by Francine Rivers is a historical fiction novella that focuses on Tamar’s life. If you are the least bit intrigued by this story, I highly recommend reading this book. You will not be disappointed. Plus, it is relatively short, so it’s a quick read.
In fact, I recommend the whole Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers: it is a series of five books that each cover one of the women in Jesus’s genealogy.
On to my own thoughts about today’s reading. Did you notice in chapter 39 that “The Lord was with Joseph?” God was with him when he first went to Potiphar’s house to serve him and God gave Joseph great success.
However, did you also notice that even after Joseph was wrongly accused of rape and thrown into prison “the Lord was with him?” (Genesis 39:21). I think this reading has huge implications for our own lives! Knowing that even in our trials, God has not abandoned us brings great comfort.
Just because you are attempting to live a righteous life and please God does not mean that bad things will not happen to you, but as we see here, when those bad things do happen, God is right there with you. This reminds me of the song “Held” by Natalie Grant.
It is so easy for us to read about Esau and look back and say to ourselves, “What a foolish decision!” Can you believe he gave away his birthright as firstborn for a bowl of lentil stew? (see Gen 25:29-34).
Then the very last verse of our reading today says that Esau’s wives were “a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.” It looks like Esau just has trouble making the right decisions. I do not think Esau was trying to displease his parents by marrying foreign women, but it just happened as a result of his decisions.
Esau’s decisions are not so far removed from our own. I’m sure we have all made a mistake or two. Are you being foolish in any of your current decision-making? Have you asked God to help you make the tough decisions in your life? Let’s pray about our upcoming decisions instead of making choices in our own strength.
A little something extra to get your taste buds smiling today. This is my mother-in-law’s recipe for Lentil Soup. Be forewarned: it is delicious! Don’t make any foolish decisions in exchange for a bowl!
Lentil Bean Soup
- 1 pkg lentils
- 1 lb carrots, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 can Rotel
- 1 lb ground meat (ground beef is delicious, but deer meat adds a tasty variety to this dish)
Rinse beans and cover with water to cook. While cooking add carrots, onion, celery, and Rotel. Season to taste. Beans and vegetables take about 20 minutes to cook. Meanwhile, cook the ground meat and drain if needed. Season to taste. Add ground meat to pot of beans and vegetables toward the end of cooking. You may have to add some extra water. Serve hot with some homemade cornbread. Yum!
Is it just me or should someone cue the romantic music at the end of chapter 24? I think the whole scene of Rebekah riding on the camels in the evening light and seeing her future husband in the distance is perfect for the makings of a great chick flick.
In fact, the whole of chapter 24 really would make a great movie. Did you see that amazing hospitality at work again? Rebekah bringing Abraham’s servant water and then watering all his camels is our modern-day equivalent of purchasing a strange, weary traveler a drink from a gas station and then filling up their car with gas (but hand-pumping it!).
I am truly amazed at Rebekah’s willingness to travel to a foreign land and marry someone she’s never met. On the bright side, she knows it is a distant relative and she knows she will not be lacking for wealth. But still, to leave your whole family and willingly be whisked away to get married. I suppose it sounds exciting, but to me pretty scary too!
Have you ever been asked to do something so spontaneous? Have you ever had to travel head-first into an unknown situation? How was your faith at that point?
A lesson in handling conflict and getting along with relatives:
Did you notice how there was great potential for disagreements to arise between Abram and Lot when they were living on the same land? Each had many flocks and herds and the land simply was not big enough for both of them.
Abram, very wisely, said in Gen 13:8-9, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”
So, in an effort to avoid conflict, Abram not only suggests he part company with his nephew but also allows his nephew to choose whatever land he wants. Abram truly puts the needs of his nephew above his own to make sure conflict does not escalate and to be sure to remain on good terms with his family member.
So they part ways, but we see in the next chapter that they not only remained on friendly terms but that Abram fought against 4 kings to rescue Lot from their hands! Talk about fighting for family!
Maybe the next time a conflict arises within your own family (or even just with your spouse) you (and I) can apply these principles from the righteous Abram:
- Resolve the issue at the first sign of conflict instead of letting the situation get worse.
- Put the other’s needs above your own. Let them have the best of the situation.
- Fight for them! They are your family after all.
A couple of other interesting things happen in today’s reading; be sure not to miss it! We have Abram telling his wife Sarai to pretend to be his sister, the first tithe, and a fiery covenant between God and Abram. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these chapters! Do you think it was wrong for Abram to ask his wife to lie about who she was?