Read: Genesis 21:1 – 50:26
Whew! Finished the book of Genesis! I’m going to attempt a few comments on what I read this past week. How readable they’ll be remains to be seen. It’s late, my brain is fried but I’m determined to finish this before I go to sleep!! So here goes!
I don’t think I’ve ever gone through the entire book, at least, not all in order. It was fascinating to say the least. There were a few verses that surprised me, stuff that I’d either forgotten was there or had never read before. Then I began wondering what would the headlines look like in the morning papers back then…
90 Year-Old Woman Gives Birth to Her First Child
Rich Man’s Servant Sent to Far Away Country to Find a Wife for His Master’s Son
Hunter Sells His Birthright to His Twin Brother for a Bowl of Pottage
Cheating Twin Cheated on Out of His Beloved on His Wedding Night
Woman Uses Her Son’s Narcotics to Hire Her Husband for a Night
Two Brothers Avenge Their Sister’s Innocence and Wipe Out a City’s Male Population
Jealous Brothers Sell Father’s Favorite Son to Slave Traders
Hebrew Slave Becomes Second in Command to the Pharaoh of Egypt and Saves the World from a Seven Year Famine
Of course, those are only a few possibilities. I may have made similar comments last week but, I mean, for crying out loud, these stories just magnify the fact that these were real people who had real struggles, real problems, real joys, real sorrows, real challenges, and did really stupid things.
I don’t have the time to comment on everything I read about this week, but here are some thoughts on the major stories:
ABRAHAM & SARAH
Here is a couple that is uprooted from their hometown and commanded by God to go. And it’s not like God took a map and said, “Okay, I want you guys to travel this road for several hundred miles, make stops here, here, and here and in about, oh several months or so, you’ll end up here, where I’ve marked with a star.” No. God just said go and that’s it. They knew just enough to get them through the day. Talk about walking in complete faith!
A lot of fuss is made about Abraham and how much faith he had and he did, no doubt, but his wife was there too. She had to pick up and follow God just as her husband did. Abraham was to be the father of great nation and that meant she was to be the mother of that nation. Her story is just as important as Abraham’s which is why she has a place in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11.
What amazes me is even when Abraham lied about the fact that Sarah was his wife, even when Sarah gave up and determined to help God out by giving her maid, Hagar, to Abraham to bear his promised child, even when Abraham lied AGAIN about Sarah being his wife, even when Sarah laughed when the Lord said He still intended to keep his promise and give her a son, even though Abraham questioned and had to be reminded again and again, GOD KEPT HIS WORD. And Isaac was born.
That gives me hope for my pathetic, puny faith. If God was that long suffering with Abraham and Sarah, He won’t give up on me.
ISAAC & REBEKAH
For some reason, after all these years, I haven’t made up my mind about how I feel about these two. Their story begins with a rather sweet romance. God arranges their marriage and they’re happy at first but then it feels like they change as they age and not for the better. I don’t know why but I feel like the tone of their lives shifts after the births of Esau and Jacob. Perhaps it’s because each parent chooses a favorite son and that’s never a good situation. Maybe it’s cause Isaac, chip off the old block, lies to the men of Gerar and tells them Rebekah is his sister! Nevertheless, Isaac is blessed by God and his wealth grows! My opinion of Rebekah certainly changes drastically when she convinces Jacob to trick Isaac into giving him Esau’s blessing. How did such a sweet girl turn into such a conniving woman? But then again, it’s not a matter of virtuous woman gone bad but rather a daughter of God losing faith. God told her that her younger son would serve her older son. Like Sarah, Rebekah saw an opportunity to ‘help God out’ and took it!
Nothing good ever comes when we think we know best and try to help God out. Oh that I would learn to stay in step with Jesus and quit trying to run ahead of Him all the time!
I know I’m jumping ahead but I have always wondered how a man doesn’t know that the woman he’s in bed with is not the same woman he worked 7 years for!! There’s a headline for you! How was that even possible? Okay, I just needed to get that out of the way cause that has always boggled my mind. There is so much to the story of Jacob, I don’t even know where to begin so I’ll say two things:
1. To love a woman so much that you’ll work a total of 14 years to win and keep her is incredible. I think, as twisted as it does ends up, Jacob and Rachel’s love story is beautiful.
2. It blows my mind how Jacob fought all night with the angel and refused to let go until God blessed him. I hear people talk about how they pray and pray and plead and plead with the Lord for days, weeks, months, even years to answer their prayers. They refuse to let up until God answers them. And it’s not like God waits around til He feels like granting wishes. He’s listening. But sometimes the answer is ‘wait’. Even if what we’re praying for is in line with God’s will for our lives, our timing may not be God’s timing. That’s how faith is strengthened. Waiting upon the Lord is intense stuff. That’s how it was with Abraham and Sarah. That’s how it was with Jacob that night before he faced his brother Esau. The Lord didn’t answer him right away and Jacob struggled, but he held on.
Like Jacob, we could be in the midst of our darkest night, not knowing what the morning will bring but we cannot lose hope until God gives us the strength and the peace we need to face another day.
Whew! My fuzzy, exhausted brain is blown again!
Joseph is one of my favorite Bible heroes! I love his story! This guy does not move. He is unwavering. He does not give in. He does not falter. He does not complain, despair or distrust. He knows the God he serves and will not back down. Unlike his forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, there is not one negative word written about this young man. He passes every test of character and as a result, receives the highest promotion a guy in a foreign country could ever dream of! Being sold as a slave by his own flesh and blood, then later framed by his master’s disgruntled wife and thrown in jail doesn’t hold him back. In both cases, he allows God to use him and faithfully waits on the Lord perfect timing.
Yes, Joseph is a keeper! I pray I can develop a noble character he did.
It’s after midnight and I’m wiped out. I hope my comments are readable!! Technically it’s Wednesday but I’m saying it’s still Tuesday night and I made the deadline!
On to the book of Exodus and week number 3!!
But for now, good night, y’all :)