Archive for the ‘Genesis’ Category


Genesis 38:1-2,24-26 And it came about at that time, that Judah departed from his brothers and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in to her… Now it was about three months later that Judah was informed, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot, and behold, she is also with child by harlotry.” Then Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” It was while she was being brought out that she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “I am with child by the man to whom these things belong.” And she said, “Please examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?” Judah recognized them, and said, “She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not have relations with her again.

Forgive me for feeling so outraged but why does the Bible record such depressing details of key figures who were supposed to carry God’s blessing?

This chapter – I encourage you to read it before you continue – shows the brokenness of Judah and his family. The reason I’m so upset is that Judah is Jesus’ ancestor!

This is a record of Judah’s disobedience by marrying a Canaanite woman which was forbidden by God, choosing another for his oldest son Er and their brokenness cost him the lives of his first 2 sons, makes him the father of two more sons born through an incestuous relationship with his daughter-in-law and a life of pure shame.

Is there any point to this story and what is God speaking to us through it? (more…)


Genesis 37:3,4,10,22,26,27,35,36 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic. His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms… He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?”… Reuben further said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay hands on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hands, to restore him to his father…Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? “Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him… Then all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, “Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him. Meanwhile, the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s officer, the captain of the bodyguard.

I have only taken a few verses to try and give a brief of the chapter but before you read any further, I encourage you to invest a few minutes to read the chapter in its entirety.

We move from the life of Israel to that of his children and in specific, to Joseph, his most loved child. This partial love was evidenced in the technicolor tunic and it became a reason for a rift in Israel’s household among his children.

Why does God permit His own to suffer so much to achieve what He intends? (more…)


Genesis 36:1-8 Now these are the records of the generations of Esau (that is, Edom). Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah and the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite; also Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth. Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, and Basemath bore Reuel, and Oholibamah bore Jeush and Jalam and Korah. These are the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan. Then Esau took his wives and his sons and his daughters and all his household, and his livestock and all his cattle and all his goods which he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to another land away from his brother Jacob. For their property had become too great for them to live together, and the land where they sojourned could not sustain them because of their livestock. So Esau lived in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom.

When I read this chapter, I was left with amazement of how God truly blessed Esau even though he was not the one to receive Isaac’s blessing.

Clearly Esau was blessed with a lineage of great kings who ruled the lands around Israel and great wealth that was for all to see. What then is the point of Isaac’s blessing and where is Israel in all of this? (more…)


Genesis 35:1-3,5,9-13 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone”… Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them… After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body. The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.

Another interesting portion in Jacob’s life was covered today and we are fortunate to be able to journey with him and his family.

There were several aspects that stood out to me but the two I chose were key to my understanding and I pray are helpful in yours too. The first was God’s request of Jacob to build an altar in Bethel and the next was God’s blessing of Jacob.

The question that lingered in my mind was why did Jacob not put away the idols until now? (more…)


Genesis 34:1-3,13,30 Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her. His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her… Because their sister Dinah had been defiled, Jacob’s sons replied deceitfully as they spoke to Shechem and his father Hamor… Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”

When I read this chapter, my first reaction was to cringe because of what Simeon and Levi did. Their actions did not reflect well on their family and us as their family in Christ.

I was wondering if I might be able to skip this chapter and look for something more suitable to share but with God, there is nothing in His word that He does not speak to us through and therefore I’m at it.

What is the point that God is speaking to us through this horrible incident and is this just a dark reality of our faith? (more…)


Genesis 33:4-5,12-14,18-20 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant”… Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way; I’ll accompany you.” But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the droves before me and that of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.” After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent. There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.

What a blessed journey this has been for Jacob, a journey that took 20 years to complete filled with treachery, deception, labour for love, sincere hard work, fleeing from bondage and so much more.

Jacob’s faith is revealed when he credit’s God for his significant family and wealth and his changed heart shown when he insist that Esau accept his extravagant gifts as an offering of thanks for his warm reception.

What lingered as a question to me was why he did not simply go back with Esau to his homeland after all these many blessings? (more…)


Genesis 32:24-28 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,e because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

This journey Jacob made is certainly most significant because it was not just a physical relocation but a mental and spiritual transition.

Jacob was moving from a place of great adversity back to him hometown where he was previously not welcome and the only reason was because God instructed him to.

Jacob tried to win his brother over by sending his messengers over, sending expensive gifts and finally split his entire convoy up to ensure that if attacked, the other groups would have a chance to escape.

What then is this wrestling competition in the middle of all of this meant to be and how could some man simply bless him? (more…)


Genesis 31:36,38,41-42 Then Jacob became angry and contended with Laban; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me?… “These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks… “These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flock, and you changed my wages ten times. “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night.”

It’s been 10 days since I’ve put pen to paper and the reason is that I took a holiday with my family. Feels good to be back at the writing desk again with the Lord as my guide and the word as his map to us.

This spat between Jacob and Laban may not be unknown to you but like in everything in the word of God, it speaks volumes into our lives when read with the guidance of God through His Holy Spirit.

Twenty years before, Jacob ran away from home to get away from Esau who wanted to murder him. He came to his mother’s brother Laban to live in safety and ended up being a slave to his uncle in exchange for his daughters Rachel and Leah and then for his flocks.

We know that God has been with Jacob from the beginning but what is hard to understand is why then Jacob suffered so much if God were on his side? (more…)


Genesis 30:1-3,9,15,22-23 Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die.” Then Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” She said, “Here is my maid Bilhah, go in to her that she may bear on my knees, that through her I too may have children”… When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife… But she said to her, “Is it a small matter for you to take my husband? And would you take my son’s mandrakes also?” So Rachel said, “Therefore he may lie with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes”… Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb. So she conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.”

These are the names of the twelve children of Jacob – Rueben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah, Joseph. There were born to his wives Rachel and Leah and through their maids Bilhah and Zilpah.

In today’s chapter, we see the problem of polygamy because it creates jealousy and bitterness. The two wives of Jacob want to bear more children so that he would love them more and so that through them their children would carry Abraham’s great blessing.

Nowadays one or two kids is common or no kids is starting to become natural too. Twelve from 4 women sounds like a real responsibility and all caused because of the error of having two wives.

Where was God in Jacob’s life and what does He intend to teach us through this passage? (more…)


Genesis 29:22-23,25-28,30-35 Laban gathered all the men of the place and made a feast. Now in the evening he took his daughter Leah, and brought her to him; and Jacob went in to her… So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have you deceived me?” But Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the firstborn. “Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me for another seven years.” Jacob did so and completed her week, and he gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife… So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served with Laban for another seven years. Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. She conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

Jacob finally reaches the land of Laban and has a chance meeting with Rachel, the beautiful younger daughter of Laban. In order to marry Rachel, he offers seven years of service to Laban and gets married.

Deception does not seem to go far from Jacob either in his own doing or as done to him. He is deceived by his uncle who gives Leah, Rachel’s older sister, in marriage to Jacob and he realizes only after he consummates the wedding.

However his uncle makes Jacob an offer to keep Leah as his wife, marry Rachel and serve another seven years. Jacob, so in love with Rachel, agrees and has two wives, one who is beautiful and one who has poor sight, both sisters and both his responsibility.

Unfortunately, Jacob’s love for Rachel makes him less considerate of Leah and she is left wanting. God intervenes and opens Leah’s womb so that she can have four sons while Rachel has none.

Why does God permit these strange situations and did He not promise to be with Jacob and bless him? (more…)