Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Encountering God - Bible Study

“Our knowledge and understanding of the Word counts for little if it doesn’t express itself through corresponding action. Filling up on knowledge may give us a sense of righteousness, but it hasn’t done its job if it doesn’t bloom into immediate action.”

~Kelly Minter, Encountering God - Cultivating Habits of Faith Through the Spiritual Disciplines, p.29


Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Story of Redemption - Day 15

Genesis 43-46

Simeon is left in prison in Egypt and the brothers must return with Benjamin to get more provisions. Jacob is hesitant, but Reuben promised that Benjamin would be safe. Jacob sent double payment (Joseph had put their money back in their bags when they left) and sent them on their way, reluctantly. Simeon has been in prison in Egypt this whole time. (I wonder if he thought they weren't coming back for him?)

"Joseph's brothers returned to Egypt, and the plot deepens as Joseph (after several "tests" of his brothers**) reveals his identity to his unsuspecting brothers. Joseph wept as he told his brothers who he was. Yet right in the midst of confessing his identity, he declares that through his brothers sold him into slavery, God had a plan all along."

The brothers leave with lots of supplies, return home,  get Jacob, and the entire family (70 people) relocates to Egypt (Goshen).  One thing to remember, God doesn't concoct a plan when things go wrong. He is not reactive. His plans and purposes will be accomplished. 

**my addition to the quote

The Story of Redemption, Volume 1 | Genesis - 2 Samuel by The Daily Grace Co.

Friday, January 14, 2022

The Story of Redemption - Day 14

Genesis 40-42

God will work every part of our lives and every chapter of our stories for our good and His glory.

We see Joseph still in prison, interpreting the dreams of the butler (cupbearer) and the baker. Joseph asked the butler to remember him and try to help him get out of prison. It wasn't until Pharoah had some strange dreams about skinny/fat cows and skinny/fat ears of corn, two years later, that the butler remembered his promise to Joseph.

Joseph was very careful in Fenesis 40:8 and 41:16 to let everyone know that God was the One who gave him the interpretation of the dreams. 

"Joseph endured unjust suffering and trials throughout his life, but his suffering points us to the One who has suffered in our place. For our good and His glory. 

Joseph was made the second most powerful man in the land of Egypt. From prisoner to vice president in one day. 

When the famine finally strikes, Joseph's brothers come to Egypt to get food. They didn't recognize him, but he knew who they were immediately. Simeon is kept in prison until they return with Benjamin. The brothers argue that this is punishment for what they did to Joseph all those years ago. 

"Joseph's story reminds us that our Faithful God will not forsake us and that we can trust His plan, even when it does not make sense in our finite minds."

The Story of Redemption, Volume 1 | Genesis - 2 Samuel by The Daily Grace Co.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Story of Redemption - Day 13

 Genesis 37-39

This section of Scripture introduces us to Jacob's beloved son Joseph and the rest of the book of Genesis is about the story of his life.

Jacob plays favorites and presents Joseph with his Coat of Many Colors. His older brothers are understandably jealous. "This account provides additional evidence that the brokenness of this family abounds."

The story of Judah and Tamar is tucked into chapter 38 - BUT GRACE!

Jospeh and Potiphar's wife - Joseph's character would not allow him to betray his master's trust. He ran. She screamed. Potiphar was angry, but was it with Josephy? He was put in the king's prison but should have been put to death. 

God's steadfast love is His covenant faithfulness, mercy, and kindness. It never fails and never ends. (Romans 8:28)

"Through all of Joseph's life, through all of Tamar's life, and yes, through all of our lives -- God is with us. Even in hardship, or undeserved suffering, we can trust that the Lord will never leave us. He will never fail His own."

The Story of Redemption, Volume 1 | Genesis - 2 Samuel by The Daily Grace Co.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Story of Redemption - Day 12

Genesis 34-36
The One was coming who would heal brokenness and break the power of sin.
This passage begins with the tragic account of Dinah. People are capable of so much sin. 

Dinah was assaulted and Jacob + the brothers plan revenge. Moses gives a rare editorial comment in 34:7, "which thing ought not to be done."

"The tragic account reminds us that our God is the only one who can bring true comfort to the hurting and the oppressed. Dinah's father and brothers failed to protect her or ease her suffering in any meaningful way. However, we have hope in our suffering, Jesus is the one who has suffered in our place to give us peace with God. Not only does He know what it means to suffer, but He has suffered on earth."

The brothers took justice into their own hands, and Jacob responded in verse 30 - "Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and being few in number they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, | and my house." He was only concerned with how their retribution would affect his reputation. 

God is mentioned 11 times in chapter 35. How differently would Jacob have acted throughout his life if he had realized that God was with him everywhere he went (v. 3) Jacob builds an altar and the Abrahamic covenant is renewed. His name is changed to Israel.

Verse 16 begins a joyful + sad part of Jacob's story, as a son is born, but Rachel dies in childbirth. She named the child Ben-oni: the son of my sorrow, but Jacob changed his name to Benjamin: the son of my right hand. Rachel was buried in Ephrath (Bethlehem), further pointing to Christ. 

Reuben slept with his father's concubine (Bilhah) and Bible scholars believe he was trying to usurp his father's headship of the family.

The death of Isaac is mentioned at the close of chapter 35. 

Esau's descendants are mentioned in chapter 36.  Esau = Edom (Edomites) 

Our sin has disqualified us from God's blessing, but Jesus qualifies us. When we trust in His finished work on the cross, we are given His righteousness. In spite of all of our sin and disobedience, God intervenes, He redirects, He transforms. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Story of Redemption - Day 11

Genesis 31-33

Throughout the life of Jacob, we repeatedly see struggle.

“Through the life of Jacob we are reminded that living a life of blessing does not mean living a life free of sorrow or struggle. Jacob was clearly chosen to receive a special blessing but he also experienced intense struggle.” Some of it was brought on by his own actions and some was not his fault in anyway.

After an intense conversation with Laban, Jacob finally was able to head home. Realizing that he was going to encounter Esau, who he had cheated repeatedly, Jacob would be fearful. God came to him in a dream. He wrestled with the Lord all night long and begs God for a blessing. This signals a change of heart in Jacob. Before, he had been more concerned about his own benefit, but now he is begging God for a blessing. At the end of this night of wrestling, God changes his name to Israel. Jacob realized that he had seen God when he named the place Peniel, which  means I have seen the face of God in my life is saved. 

Jacob now prepares to see Esau. Much to his surprise, Esau ran to meet him, hugged him, and wept. Both of these men had a supernatural change of heart. Only the Lord could make this happen.

“Jacob‘s life of struggle is one part of the story that would culminate in the Messiah, and though Jacob was far from perfect, God showered him in grace and brought the Messiah through his line. Not only that, but Jesus uniquely appeared to Jacob. God had not forgotten his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Every moment of the journey was worked together by God.“

The Story of Redemption, Volume 1 | Genesis - 2 Samuel by The Daily Grace Co.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The Story of Redemption- Day 10

Genesis 28-30

Jacob’s life was full of struggle, and though he was raised in a family who knew the Lord, it was not until he had a dream that he truly met the Lord for himself. Even when we do not understand, his ways are good. 

On his way to his mother’s family to find a wife, Jacob has a dream. God reminds him of the Abrahamic covenant. Jacob responds with and if/then statement. He has conditional terms for the God of the universe. No relational Debs. He was more interested in the benefits in a relationship with the Lord. He name of the place Bethel.

He finds his family and serves 14 years plus for two wives. Lea and Rachel. Lots of jealousy, lots of resentment, and right in the middle of all of it we see Judah’s birth. There was a shift in Leah’s attitude. Instead of “maybe this child will make my husband love me” to I will praise the Lord…

There is a strange exchange between Jacob and Laban. In Bible times, the herdsman believed that whatever the animals saw while they were mating affected the offspring… Spotted, speckled, ringstraked, etc. That’s why Jacob put the sticks at the watering hole. He was hoping to weigh the balance in his favor.

In all of this story, we see God at work. Here’s yet another dysfunctional family that the Lord is using to bring the promised Savior into the world. God uses us right where we are.

The Story of Redemption, Volume 1 | Genesis - 2 Samuel by The Daily Grace Co.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

The Story of Redemption - Day 9

Genesis 25-27

Again, the Bible reminds us that the promises of God are not dependent on us.

Abraham remarries following the death of Sarah and has more sons, who end up being more enemies of Israel. 

I find it fascinating what the scripture say in chapter 25. Abraham gave everything he had to Isaac, but to his other sons he gave gifts and sent them away.

Abraham was 175 years older than his death and his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him with the Sarah.

Ishmael had 12 sons and was the father of a multitude at his death. He was 137 years old when he died.

Reminiscent of the story of his father and mother, Isaac took a wife and she was barren. He prayed that the Lord would give him a son. Rebekah became pregnant with twins. And a story of dysfunctional family continues. Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite and Esau was Isaac’s favorite. Jacob was crafty and deceptive and a saw was hot tempered and only interested in temporary pleasure. Isa sold his birthright for a bowl of stew.

Isaac knew his time on earth was short (he lived 40 more years after the story) and wanted to give the blessing to his son Esau, even though God had said Jacob would be the one to receive the blessing. The story that follows in the rest of chapter 27 is unbelievably sad.

Deception, lies, threats-through the evil plan of Rebecca and Jacob God still works out his righteous plan. In spite of him, not because of him. Jacob is essentially exiled for what they thought would be a few days until “thy brother’s anger turn away from thee,” but ended up being more than 20 years until he was able to return home. 

There are no heroes in this story, other than God. His promises are not based on our goodness or what we can do for Him. Those who bless Him will receive His blessing. Those who reject Him are under the curse of condemnation.

The Story of Redemption, Volume 1 | Genesis - 2 Samuel by The Daily Grace Co.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

The Story of Redemption - Day 8

Genesis 22-24

God provides for his people. He is faithful to his covenant promises.

Chapter 22 opens with what seems to us like an impossible story. Abraham was asked to take his promised son, Isaac, to offer him as a burnt offering. Isaac was probably around 19 years old at this point.

When they arrived at the location, Isaac carried the wood that would be made to build the altar. Abraham was old. Isaac most likely helped build the altar as well as had to climb on the altar and lay down. He was not a small child. He trusted his father Abraham, who trusted the Lord, and never hesitated in his obedience.

What a beautiful picture of how the Lord provided for our salvation. (Luke 2; Romans 8)

Chapter 23 records the death and burial of Sarah. Verse two is the only record of Abraham weeping. 

Chapter 24 is the search for a wife for Isaac. There are at least 21 references to God in this chapter. The entire story is proof that it had to be God’s direction for the servant to find Rebekah. 

God is at work in every area of our lives to bring about His good plans and promises. Even when we can’t understand, God is faithful.

The Story of Redemption, Volume 1 | Genesis - 2 Samuel by The Daily Grace Co.

Friday, January 7, 2022

The Story of Redemption - Day 7

Genesis 19-21

God always keeps His promises.

Throughout today’s passages we are reminded that the Lord moves in righteousness and judgment. Sodom was a sinful place. Lot, who knew better, did everything he could to keep the evil men away from the angelic visitors. In 19:7 he called them “brethren” and was obviously a leader in the community. The angels had to blind the men to keep Lot and his family safe. He had to be dragged out of the city. Lot’s wife turned back and turned into a pillar of salt. Alcoholism and incest. The two children who were born from these sinful relationships became the Moabites and the Ammonites, the sworn enemies of Israel.

His story is a reminder that God’s grace is not based on our failures, or our faithfulness. We are all subject to the wrath of God for our sin. but if we trust in Jesus we can be declared righteous by His blood.

Abraham attempts to deceive someone else about Sarah being his sister. For Abimelech, this marriage would’ve been a great political alliance. Abraham was rich and powerful. God came to Abimelech in a dream and stopped him from committing sin. It is possible, at this point, Sarah was already pregnant. God was protecting her and leaving no doubt who the father of Isaac was.

Isaac, the promised son, was born when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old. A great reminder that there’s no circumstance too hard and no heart too hard for God to work. Is anything too hard for Him? Sarah laughed, but not in disbelief. It was laughter of joy. That joy was soon turned to anger as the 17 year old Ishmael was laughing, mocking, and poking fun at three year old Isaac. Sarah was so upset that she wouldn’t even say Hagar‘s name. She called Ishmael the “son of the bondwoman“ and demanded that Abraham make this “Plan B” child and his mother go away. Abraham was reluctant, but God told him that he would make a great nation of Ishmael because he was Abraham son.

Ishmael and Hagar were sent away with supplies, but soon ran out of food and water. Not wanting to see her son die, she made him comfortable and walked away. At this point, an angel told her that she should fear not because God had heard them. He showed her a well, and she was reminded of the promise God made to her so many years ago. (Genesis 16)

Chapter 21 ends with Abraham making a political alliance with Abimelech. He made a covenant of peace and Abraham, wanting to remember what God had done, planted a grove, praying  and referring to the everlasting God (El-Olam). 

The Story of Redemption, Volume 1 | Genesis - 2 Samuel by The Daily Grace Co.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Story of Redemption - Day 6

Genesis 16-18

He is the one who sees the outcast and the broken. God made a promise that, from the perspective of man, seemed impossible.

When reminded of God’s promise, Sarai was unsure, so she took matters into her own hands.

She gave Hagar to Abram to produce an heir.
Hagar was an Egyptian
Egypt: self-reliance

Hagar became pregnant and flaunted it in front of Sarai. Sarai was cruel to Hagar and sent her away. God came to Hagar in the wilderness and basically made a covenant with her, very similar to what he had made with Abram. She rejoiced in the Lord and His promise and is the only person in the Old Testament to give God a name.

El-Roy-the God Who sees me

God renewed the covenant with Abram and changed his name to Abraham, which means father of many nations. He also changed Sarai‘s name to Sarah, which means princess.

“He always keeps His promises. It may not be in the timing we expect. It may not be in the way we expect. But He will do what He has promised. The covenant promises were never dependent on Abram and Sarai but on the Lord.”

Abraham was 86 when Ishmael was born

Abraham sought the Lord on behalf of Sodom. He asked for 50, 45, 40, 30, 20, and 10 righteous people. There were none. Abraham was not trying to change God’s mind. He never changes His purposes. What this passage shows us that God is just in punishing sin.

Is anything too hard for God?

The Story of Redemption, Volume 1 | Genesis - 2 Samuel by The Daily Grace Co.

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Encountering God - Bible Study

​ “Our knowledge and understanding of the Word counts for little if it doesn’t express itself through corresponding action. Filling up on kn...