Posts Tagged ‘Brothers’


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 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 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…)


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 27:1-4,15-17,27-29 Now it came about, when Isaac was old and his eyes were too dim to see, that he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” Isaac said, “Behold now, I am old and I do not know the day of my death. “Now then, please take your gear, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me; and prepare a savory dish for me such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die”… Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And she put the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. She also gave the savory food and the bread, which she had made, to her son Jacob… So he came close and kissed him; and when he smelled the smell of his garments, he blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed; Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, And of the fatness of the earth, And an abundance of grain and new wine; May peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you; Be master of your brothers, And may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, And blessed be those who bless you.”

This is one of the Bible stories I wished dint exist. It seems to shake the core of our belief because Jesus Christ, the messiah of the world, was born in the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Makes one wonder why God would permit such people in his kingdom who make such a mockery of His holy name? Today’s chapter is a chapter of deception, revelation of the truth and blessings that went the wrong way.

The main characters are Isaac – the father, Esau – the son who deserved to be blessed by virtue of being born first, Jacob – the younger son who is also referred to as the deceiver and Rebekah – the mother who supported Jacob in deceiving Isaac.

In the context of a Holy God, what room is there for such deception and what is God speaking to us today? (more…)


1 Peter 5:6-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

One of the challenges of living is that we are constantly faced with choices and some of these choices are not easy to make. Sometimes it is an urge or craving that causes us to falter, sometimes it an offer of something that’s too hard to refuse, sometimes it is difficult circumstances in our lives which color our thinking and results in bad decisions, but there are always choices and wisdom is something we always wish we had. As a christian, it gets worse because we are called to live a life that glorifies God and in God’s sight all bad choices, whether ignorable or not in human eyes, are bad. How are we expected to make right choices and is God setting us up for failure? (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?

(more…)


Hebrews 2:14-18
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

I’ve been a loud participant of the debate that fought against the concept of God, our need for a God and the futility of our backward minds in falling prey to historic myths quoted in the Bible. In this dark world where survival of the fittest is the theme, the need for God was accounted for as equal to holding a lucky charm and hoping for hope’s sake that it worked. Being good, doing good and feeling good were fictions of fertile imagination because no one really cared and therefore I preached self-reliance and making a future for one’s self rather than being told what to do. One day in the not so distant past, I was met by this very God who changed my heart and mind forever and suddenly everything made sense and life had a purpose and I had a goal. I found that I was not alone and that many like me were riveted by this great God who was not a myth but a reality, more real than I am as a human. Are you like me one who wonders if any of this is true or are you one of us who found the truth? (more…)


2 Thessalonians 3:11-13, 16
We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right… Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

Being idle seems to be a real issue in the Church and Paul addresses it quite sternly. He goes on to say how to treat people who are idle so as to wake them up from their slumber and not to treat them as an enemy but as a brother who needs correction. In today’s day and age when we are constantly busy and 24 hours in a day does not seem to be enough, what is the relevance of such a word from God? Surely you are like me fighting to find time to spend at the foot of the cross daily and trying to get more done with less time in hand. Is there something else God is saying to us or should we ignore this word?

God is reminding us of two things. First is that we need to make every effort to seek Him daily regardless of what is happening in our lives because we call Him our Lord and Master and not our Genie whom we call when we need something. Second is that we are serving God and not Him serving us. When we fully comprehend this, we realize that it is our joy to serve God and not just a responsibility which results in us expecting a reward. If every time we faltered we saw our old sinful selves and what God saved us from, we would realize and correct our path but God in His goodness has taken away that hurt and guilt to set us free and so we idle in our new found freedom. Lets wake up from our slumber and joyfully serve the only Living Savior, Jesus Christ.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

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2 Thessalonians 1:3-5
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.

I was so exhilarated by Paul’s joyous statement to the Church in Thessalonica of their faithfulness to God and ever increasing love for each other. Sounds like a body of believers I would love to be a part of because I often feel it is something we really miss in today’s selfish world. What struck me as odd was his next statement about how the Church persevered in trials and persecution! If we are faithful and growing in love, why would God permit persecution and trials in our lives? Shouldn’t we be blessed with the opportunity to share this same faith and love with those around us and show people what true joy is? What is God speaking to us today through his Word?

To every story there is always a fairytale ending, at least in children’s books. As we grow up, we start to see the brokenness in the world and accept the bleak reality that there are no fairytale endings. In Christ however, there is a fairytale ending and it is more beautiful than any we have seen, heard or read. However, Christ is a fairytale to the world and we as His followers will always be plagued with people trying to shake us out of our misguided faith. This results in persecution and trials and they are not bad because being Christian is being Christ-like and that means living a life that Christ lived and acting and responding like Him. As we share our joy and faith with those around us like the Thessalonians, we will hit resistance and our response shows our faith. Are you suffering persecution and trials in your life because of your faith? May I direct you to the cross to find your hope and joy in Jesus Christ who overcame the world for us.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

2 Thessalonians 1:11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power

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