Posts Tagged ‘Brother’


Exodus 28:1-3,9-10,15,29,35-36,38,41 “Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests. Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron, to give him dignity and honor. Tell all the skilled men to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest… “Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel in the order of their birth—six names on one stone and the remaining six on the other… “Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions—the work of a skilled craftsman. Make it like the ephod… “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the LORD… Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the LORD and when he comes out, so that he will not die. “Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD… It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron’s forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the LORD… After you put these clothes on your brother Aaron and his sons, anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they may serve me as priests.

How interesting that God chose Aaron and his family of Levites to become the priests of Israel. Moses was the priest this far and now the mantle was going to be passed on to his older brother and his family.

Again we see God describe every garment, including undergarments and accessories in a precise manner and all with great significance. We don’t need any of this today to worship God and so how is this chapter relevant to us in today’s day and age? (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 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 28:1-4,18-22 So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. “Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham”… So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. “This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

What a volte-face for Jacob in terms of Isaac’s response to him and what a dramatic change in destinies! As we continue to journey with Jacob now, we see a new man.

Isaac blesses Jacob fully with the covenant blessing that was given to Abraham, his father and himself too.

Obviously the previous blessing Isaac had given to him thinking he was Esau was not as wholesome because both he and Rebekah were concerned for how Esau chose to live his life, forgoing his birthright, marrying Canaanites and living a carnal and sinful life.

The condition to the blessing however was the new life Jacob had to pursue by going away to Rebekah’s brother’s home in Paddan-aram and finding his own bride. That’s a contrast from what occurred in Isaac’s betrothal where Abraham’s trusted servant brought Rebekah from Laban’s home to Beersheba.

How could Jacob make a conditional covenant with God based on God’s provision to him? (more…)


3 John 1:2-4
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Sometimes I wonder what is the point of trying so hard to serve God to man when man does not want God. If God wanted, He could turn the heart of men towards Him just as He turned the heart of Pharaoh against Him when the Israelites were living in captivity in Egypt and Moses was requesting Pharaoh to release them. When I look around, the world around me seems to want to live in oblivion to God, sin and any sense of morality. Things that were shameful in the past is now acceptable and trendy and things that were condoned before are now revered. In such times, would it not be easier to blend in with the world and believe what we believe in the privacy of our hearts so as not to look foolish? What is God saying to us today as we rationalize our purpose? (more…)


James 5:13-16
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

In all of the aspects of the Christian faith, this is one area that has always made me feel comfortable. I may not be wise to speak well, not wealthy to give much, not influential to cause change but I serve a God who listens to our prayers and just being able to pray for others makes me feel more fulfilled in my walk with the Lord. Are we then called to pray for others or is there more to it? What does God want from us today? (more…)


James 4:4-10
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

I have recently started gardening as our home has a little patch of lawn and some space for a few plants. The first day I noticed the garden, it was a mess with dry grass all over, dead plants and wilted flowers. My first job was to weed and it seemed to take forever because the garden was not cared for and after an hour of back-breaking work, I found that I had taken the big weeds out but had lots of small weeds to clean up and had no energy left. If we compare our lives before Christ to a garden, wouldn’t it look as bad, if not worse with no care, fully clogged with the weeds of sin and left forgotten? Is there any connection to what God is speaking to us today in the James 4 and do you find some of the words used rather harsh? (more…)


James 3:9-12
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Have you realized that we generally speak in the way of the land that we live in because we are influenced by it. After having lived in many cities around the world, I have noticed that I tend to start speaking like the locals and use expressions that they use and think like them. It is amazing how adaptable the human mind is but it is also amazing how our spoken word can have such a dramatic effect on the world! Such is the power of the tongue that it can give life and cause death in a moment. The analogy used in this chapter of large ships being directed by rudders a fraction of their size puts our tongues in perspective. However, we know all of this and we generally don’t use our tongue for damage and so what is the point God is trying to make to us here?

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James 2:1-4, 12-13
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?… Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

God speaks very simply at times and today’s passage seems like one of those messages. How hard is it to understand favoritism? We’ve been there and done it and I hope you don’t disagree because we all have at some point and still do. It is evident in the places we live, at restaurants we dine at, in shopping malls, offices, schools, trains, planes, etc. People with more resources are always more privileged because they have more versus people with less. We have been victims or oppressors and so this is a reality we live with. Rather than causing a stir, wouldn’t it be more peaceable for us to gently ‘deal’ with this issue because the victims always understand their place as do the ‘wealthy’ in expectation. Would there not be more blessing and less friction to go this route?

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1 Corinthians 5:9-11
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

Before I started this book, I was concerned about how I would deal with these rather difficult topics Paul addresses. A big reason for my keenness to avoid it is that I myself am guilty of many of these sins or have once been guilty of them and talking about them publicly would be rather difficult for me. Today Paul focusses on adulterers and specially those who are believers in Jesus Christ. It would be easy to sit where I am and point a finger elsewhere but I cannot for I have to deal with my conscience when I sit before God. Therefore I believe this lesson is first for me before being preached to the rest of the world. In my brokenness, may the Lord be glorified!

My sin could be in the form of being a lay participant to crude jokes, watching television programs or movies that prescribe to broken values, thinking thoughts that could never be spoken aloud, etc. I don’t know about anyone else but these are issues I face regularly and I feel horrid standing before the cross when I have done this. As I prayed before I started reading today’s chapter, I was just talking to God about how broken I am and how I need His intervention in my life to transform me completely. As Paul cried out, I cry and ask the Lord to take away this thorn in my flesh and I know the solution is for us to walk away from such situations when we know we are getting into them and He will keep us safe. As a believer in Jesus Christ, are you grieving God’s heart by living a life contrary to His will and if so are you willing to ask the Lord for His forgiveness and help to put that sin behind you? Lets not be the yeast that ruins the entire batch!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy