Posts Tagged ‘Sojourn’


Leviticus 20:1-3,6-7,22-24,26 (ESV) The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name… “If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people. Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God… “You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them. But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples… You shall be holy to me, for I the LORD am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.

When I read this chapter, I thought I had already finished it because chapter 19 is very similar to this chapter in structure and content.

What is God speaking to us through this harsh message and what is the purpose of being so repetitive? (more…)


Leviticus 17:1-4,10-12 (ESV) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the people of Israel and say to them, This is the thing that the LORD has commanded. If any one of the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it as a gift to the LORD in front of the tabernacle of the LORD, bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man… “If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.

Over and over again, the LORD God speaks to Moses to instruct the Israelites and the stipulations of the law are so many and so comprehensive that it seems easier to live outside the law than in the confines of it.

With the new regulations on slaughtering animals and eating the blood of animals, what is God speaking to us today? (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 26:1-4,6-7,12-17 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. The LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. “Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham… So Isaac lived in Gerar. When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, “the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful”… Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with earth. Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are too powerful for us.” And Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar, and settled there.

Today’s chapter has a lot more than just the few verses I’ve selected and I sometimes wonder if we should draw more from it but there will be a time for that in the future. After Abraham and Sarah’s journey, we are now journeying with Isaac, Rebekah, Esau and Jacob.

Amazing how true the statement is that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree! Isaac says to the Philistines the very same thing his father Abraham said to them that their wives were their sisters.

They were operating in fear instead of in faith and it is only by God’s grace that they were spared. We read later that Abimelech discovers the truth, is angry again, and prohibits anyone in the land from touching Rebekah.

Because Isaac does not go down to Egypt but stays in the land God promised to bless him in, he is now blessed with abundance of everything, so much so that Abimelech requests him to leave the land and Isaac then moves to the valley of Gerar and settles there.

As we read this passage, we can see the pain of lying, the fruit of obedience and the nature of God. What probably surprises us is why God permits suffering in our lives when we willingly follow Him? (more…)


Genesis 21:1-4,12-14,30-34 Then the LORD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him… But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. “And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba… He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand so that it may be a witness to me, that I dug this well.” Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because there the two of them took an oath. So they made a covenant at Beersheba; and Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, arose and returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines for many days.

Three major themes are in today’s chapter and as always, I recommend you read the entire chapter rather than just the few verses I’ve used to bring in the essence of the chapter.

First is the birth of Isaac, which was a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah, and their age did not come in the way of God delivering this bundle of joy at the right time, God’s perfect timing.

Next is the separation of Hagar and Ishmael from Abraham’s household and it seems rather cruel but God’s assured Abraham of Hagar and Ishmael’s welfare and therefore he goes ahead with it.

Lastly, the human covenant between King Abimelech and Abraham that gave Abraham the peace of knowing he was here to stay for a while and not move for a while.

What is God trying to teach us through the joyous birth, the painful separation and the peaceful covenant? (more…)


Genesis 20:1-7,15-18 Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.” Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a nation, even though blameless? “Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. “Now therefore, restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours”… Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; settle wherever you please.” To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold, it is your vindication before all who are with you, and before all men you are cleared.” Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children. For the LORD had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

The last time Abraham asked his wife Sarah to say that she was his sister was back in Egypt when they had sojourned there (chapter 12). The problem was similar and the result was the same – God spared Abraham, Sarah and the rulers who took Sarah to be their wife.

We need to remember here that even though Sarah was in her 90s, she obviously looked physically much, much younger and was certainly so beautiful that men found her attractive and wanted to have her as their wives.

Also, Abraham was not lying about his relationship to Sarah because she was his sister through his Dad but not through his Mum. This whole situation seems bizarre but in those days, there were many such cultural oddities that we will not understand till we get our heads around their culture and the growth of polytheism and resultant sinfulness.

The question that comes to my mind when I considered this passage is God’s support for Abraham and the purpose of this situation? (more…)


Genesis 12:10-20 Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. “Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.” It came about when Abram came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. Therefore he treated Abram well for her sake; and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels. But the LORD struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? “Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him.

We now start journeying with Abram and his family and it is an interesting journey indeed. God choses Abram to be the father of the nation and tells him to go to the land God has chosen for him to establish his family in.

Abram certainly was an obedient man and God clearly was being faithful in showing Abram the land that He would bless him with. As Abram journeyed to Negev, a famine hit the land and so Abram went west towards Egypt to take a break until the famine was over.

Sounds like a rational plan until we realize that Egypt was a land ruled by a people whose morals and ethics were far from those of Abram’s and therefore what Abram was venturing to do was a serious risk to life and limb.

This is when he makes the most bizarre request of his wife, Sarai, asking her to claim she is his sister. Technically speaking, this is not wrong because she is his father’s daughter from another mother, but the reality is that she is his wife and she belongs to him and no other man.

The question that comes to mind is not why did Abram did that but rather why God permitted him or rather why God did not stop him? (more…)