Archive for January, 2011


Genesis 48:1,3-5,17-19 (ESV) After this, Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim… And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’ And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are… When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”

Why do all good things have to come to an end one wonders and that is the reality of life. Israel (Jacob) lived a full life and walked in the ways of the Lord.

His life was not easy until the end but his faith was and even though he did not fully see God’s promise of making him the father of the nations and blessing him with his land, he still remained faithful.

Is today a reminder of Jacob’s blessing to Joseph and his sons or is there more to this chapter? (more…)


Genesis 47:3-6,9,25-26 Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” So they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers.” They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, therefore, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. “The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock”… So Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning”… So they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s.

Is it not wonderful to see great blessing being poured out and to rest in the knowledge that God is almighty over everything that He has created?

Joseph’s family spoke truthfully of their occupation to Pharaoh and as Joseph expected, Pharaoh established Israel and his family well and gave them the responsibility to oversee his own flocks also.

Truth certainly paid off well and was rewarded well but is that what today’s chapter is about? (more…)


Genesis 46:1-4,31-34 So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes”… Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me; and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ “When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.”

Finally Israel and his large family, 75 in all, move to Goshen to go to live with his son, Joseph. A fitting end to a harsh and painful journey that Joseph was subjected to for no fault of his.

What joy Israel (Jacob) must have felt knowing that his son that he once lost is now found and not just found but is well and has made such a name for himself. Also, what a joy it must have been for Israel to know that his God, the God of his fathers was confirming to him that he was to go down to Egypt and God would make him a great nation there!

God certainly has wonderful ways of bringing about His will but is that what today’s passage is about? (more…)


Genesis 45:1-3,7-10,27-28 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried, “Have everyone go out from me.” So there was no man with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard of it. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence… “God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. “Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt. “Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. “You shall live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children and your flocks and your herds and all that you have… When they told him all the words of Joseph that he had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. Then Israel said, “It is enough; my son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

Finally Joseph can take it no longer and reveals himself, forgives his brothers and requests them to bring back Israel and the rest of their families to settle with him in the land of Goshen.

Seems like a real fairytale ending and fittingly so for a family that has gone through much because of misunderstanding, jealousy and deceit.

Is this as straightforward as it seems or is there more to it? (more…)


Genesis 44:1,2,4,5,9-13,16-17 Then he commanded his house steward, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. “Put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph had told him… They had just gone out of the city, and were not far off, when Joseph said to his house steward, “Up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? ‘Is not this the one from which my lord drinks and which he indeed uses for divination? You have done wrong in doing this.’”… “With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.” So he said, “Now let it also be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and the rest of you shall be innocent.” Then they hurried, each man lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. He searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. Then they tore their clothes, and when each man loaded his donkey, they returned to the city… So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s slaves, both we and the one in whose possession the cup has been found.” But he said, “Far be it from me to do this. The man in whose possession the cup has been found, he shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.”

I’m not sure about you but I was hoping today’s chapter would see the resolution of this great divide between the brothers.

Joseph’s actions are deplorable because he had his cup placed in Benjamin’s sack and then sent out his guards to catch Benjamin stealing.

What is God trying to teach us through Joseph’s treachery? (more…)


Genesis 43:1,2,8,9,23,24,33,34 Now the famine was severe in the land. So it came about when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food”… Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the lad with me and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. “I myself will be surety for him; you may hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame before you forever… He said, “Be at ease, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys fodder… Now they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. He took portions to them from his own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely with him.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and that is what has occurred in the house of Israel. The famine continued and the desperation of Israel’s (Jacob) stomach made him reconsider his decision of not sending Benjamin with his brothers to Joseph.

A payment was prepared of twice the amount they would need plus the amount that was returned the earlier time plus a special gift for Joseph for his kindness to them in releasing their brother Simeon.

Feels like the end of their struggles is at hand and is that the Lord’s word to us today? (more…)


Genesis 42:7,21-22,35 When Joseph saw his brothers he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly. And he said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food”… Then they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.” Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Now comes the reckoning for his blood”… Now it came about as they were emptying their sacks, that behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed. Their father Jacob said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.” Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my care, and I will return him to you.” But Jacob said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should befall him on the journey you are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”

Joseph was now in authority over Egypt and was respected and revered for his gift of divination by God and for the authority bestowed upon him by the Pharaoh.

Because of the widespread famine stretching all the way to Canaan, people from all over the region came to him for grain and this is how he chanced meeting with his 10 brothers.

Joseph’s response is odd in that he choses to imprison his brothers and treat them roughly but there seems to be justice in what he does when he sends them home while holding onto Simeon.

Wy would Joseph want to see Benjamin and what is God teaching us through this incident? (more…)