January 31, 2012

31 – Manna from Heaven

The Israelites gathering Manna - 1490 by Ercole de Roberti
Kathleen’s thoughts

Exodus 15 -19

Imagine walking in the wilderness, hot, no water or food taking a whole family on this sort of journey. We complain today about having to walk here and we need a car to do this and that. Moses took on a huge project by taking the Israeli’s out of Egypt. One can understand why they kept on moaning but then one sees on the other hand they had the privilege to be guided by this magnificent cloud and in this cloud, the Lord’s glory appeared. How can one not know that you are being looked after? Then the Lord provides water on 2 separate occasions. When they came to Marah the water there was bitter and they could not drink it and the Lord sweetened it. At Mount Horeb Moses with instructions from the Lord struck the rock and water poured from it.

Once again the Israelis complained this time of not having food to eat. Then the Lord said to Moses “At twilight you will eat meat and in the morning you will eat bread until you are full Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”

There were instructions on how to eat this food from the Lord.
  1. Gather as much of it as each person needs to eat.
  2. Take two quarts per individual.
  3. No one is to let any of it remain until morning.

The house of Israel name the substance Manna. It resembled coriander seed, was white and tasted like wafers made with honey. Psalm 78: 25 Everyone ate the bread of the mighty (man ate angels’ food) God sent them meat in abundance.

I found this interesting that the Lord told Moses to take two quarts of it is to be preserved throughout his generation so they took a container and placed the manna in it and placed it before the Lord.
Imagine getting manna for 40 years and the Lord still today provides my daily needs and I give thanks.

Then in the evening quail came and covered the camp

In 15: 26 The Lord says…”If you will careful obey the Lord your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His commands, and keep all His statutes, I will not INFLICT ANY ILLNESS ON YOU I INFLICTED ON THE EGYPTIANS. FOR I AM THE LORD WHO HEALS YOU.

When they had the conflict with Amelek and won the war Moses built an altar and named it “The Lord is My Banner” Indeed my hand was lifted up toward the Lord’s throne.

In Exodus 18: 12 Then Jethro, Moses father-in-law brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in GOD’S PRESENCE. How awesome is that!

In Exodus 19:4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to me. This reminds me of Isaiah 40: 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.



31 - Training ground for a New Begining

The Gathering of the Manna by James Tissot

Chareen's Thoughts:
  • Exodus 16:4-36 The story of manna.  God supplied their need of food for 40 years. Six days a week there was enough for everyone. He was faithful and on time. 
  •  Sabbath a law of rest. Exodus 16:23-30  It is a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD
  • Exodus 18:1-27 Jethro returned Moses's family and visited him.  He gave Moses wise council and advised him to assign people to help him govern the house of Israel. Verse 11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, because He did wonders ... Interesting verse.  The Lords reputation is being forged among the people of the world.  Jethro was a priest verse 1 even as a priest he needed to hear the wonders of the LORD to affirm his faith.
  • Conflict with Amalek.  This is their first war as a nation.  Exodus 17:8-16 and Joshua's first training ground to lead.
  • Moses role became defined in Exodus 18:19-20 ...You be the one to represent the people before God and bring their cases to Him. Instruct them about the statutes and laws, and teach them the way to live and what they must do. Upon his shoulders rests the training of a nation.  He with the Lords guidance transformed a nation of slaves into a nation that influences the world to this very day.  The statutes he put in place are the skeleton for most developed nations today.
  • Why did all this happen to the Israelites ?  1 Corinthians 10:11 "Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us ..."
Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples, although all the earth is Mine, and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation. ... Exodus 19:5-6 


January 30, 2012

30 - Guided by His strength

Picture Credit/Source Exodus 13 - 14
Chareen's Thoughts
  • Every first born from the womb is the LORD's. The Lord asks that every firstborn male is His Exodus 13:2 "Consecrate every first born male to Me, the firstborn from every womb among the Israelites, both man and animal; it is Mine."
  •  How interesting.  God asks that every year the first born animal must be sacrificed but every single first born son must be redeemed.  Why ? Because it is a token of remembrance of what He did in Egypt. He took the life of every first born son in Egypt but Israel His first born son He redeemed by passover.  It was a token of honour and remembrance to Him. Exodus 13:12-16  Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem by [substituting for it] a lamb, or if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn among your sons shall you redeem. And when, in time to come, your son asks you, What does this mean? You shall say to him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage and bondmen.   For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and of livestock. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb; but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem
  • Exodus 13:19 Moses fulfilled Joseph's request Genesis 50:25 to have his remains removed from Egypt.
  • The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never left its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:22 while reading this I was struck by the word never.  It never left it's place in front of the people. As I thought I longed for a security like that and was a little envious when I felt a nudge in my heart.  He has given me the Holy Spirit who never leaves my side.  He is with me always. John 14:26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.
  • Exodus 13-14 Chronicles the events of the Israelites departure from Egypt and the crossing at the Red Sea.  I love the song the Israelites sang after the fact and this verse:
You will lead the people 
You have redeemed
with Your faithful love;
You will guide them 
to Your holy dwelling
with Your strength.

For Further Reading:

30 – Crossing of the red sea

Kathleen’s thoughts
Exodus 13 – 15

And so the Israelites are now marching to the land of milk and honey. So the Israelites left the land of Eypt in battle formation. Moses taking Joseph’s bones with as was promised by the Israelites to Joseph on his death bed when they left Egypt to take his remains and bury them with his father and family.

Moses said to the people “Remember this day when you came out of Egypt. He brought you out of Egypt by the strength of His hand. It was the month Abib…Abib is the stage in the development of the Barley crops when it is ready for harvesting. It is said that this crop was the only thing that did not get damaged by the hail storms due to it being in its green stage of growth.

God diverts the Israelites through Succoth and they camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness, The Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to lead them on their way during the day and at night a pillar of fire to give them light at night. (Here I remember that scripture “God is light” 1 John 1:5: This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.)

The Israelites departed from Etham and turned back to Pi-hahiroth and the camped before Migdol. I can imagine the people being afraid when they looked up to see Pharaoh’s army coming towards them. Imagine trying to calm the crowd down. The Lord tells Mosesto lift up his staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divides it so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. Imagine seeing this with your very eyes. Walking into an ocean with the waters like a wall on each side must have been some experience. I love the way the Angel of God, who was going in front of the Israelites moves and goes to behind them The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them coming in between the Egyptians and the Israelites. Imagine being tail end Charlie and seeing the sea closing in behind you and swollowing up the Egyptians what a miracle to witness.

I love the song Moses and the Israelites sing and then Miriam the Prophetess takes her tambourine in her hand and along with all the woman start dancing and singing that song.

Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea. Exodus 15:21


2 Cor. 1:10 He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and He will deliver us; we have placed our hope in Him that He will deliver us again.

January 29, 2012

29 – Let my people go!

"Departure of the Israelites", by David Roberts, 1829

Kathleen’s thoughts

I sit here quite frustrated with myself after sitting last night doing my bible study on word document completing it and then deleting it by accident. I have been sitting thinking about the scriptures of yesterday and realizing that God is in control and maybe it’s a testing time for me to see what my reactions were.

Well I decided that God has his reasons for me not posting it to blog so here I am this morning contemplating on what to write and what I learnt from yesterday’s reading.

10th plague killing all the firstborn. Exodus 11:1-8 God’s instructions were clear cut for the Israelites in what to do to protect themselves from this plague by painting the blood from their animal (A unblemished animal, a year old male; you may take it from either the sheep or the goat) they had prepared and will eat their food. It was painted on both doorposts and lintel with cluster of hyssop this was done to the door posts and lintels. The specific times of collecting the animal to the time they cooked and ate. Here is another specific command and that is to roast the animal whole with head and guts, and to eat unleavened bread. I did a bit of research on this and found a very good site with good information on the Jewish Passover Do take the time to read it.

No Chametz:

To commemorate the unleavened bread that the Israelites ate when they left Egypt, we don't eat or even retain in our possession any "chametz" from midday of the day before Passover until the conclusion of the holiday. Chametz means leavened grain -- any food or drink that contains even a trace of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt or their derivatives and wasn't guarded from leavening or fermentation. This includes bread, cake, cookies, cereal, pasta, and most alcoholic beverages. Moreover, almost any processed food or drink can be assumed to bechametz unless certified otherwise.

Ridding our homes of chametz is an intensive process. It involves a full-out spring-cleaning search-and-destroy mission during the weeks before Passover, and culminates with a search for chametz on the night before Passover, and then burning the chametz on the morning before the holiday.

Eating Matza:

Instead of chametz, we eat matza -- flat unleavened bread. It is a mitzvah to partake of matza on the two Seder Nights. During the rest of the holiday it is optional.

I was reading What is Passover ? and the thing I found interesting here were the instruction here in how they must eat it; dressed for travel, your sandals on your feet, and you staff in your hand. You are to eat it in a hurry; it is the Lord’s Passover.

God gave the first Jewish calendar Exodus 12 1-2 “This month is to be the beginning of months for you; it is the first month of your year.

God says Keep this command permanently as a stature for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as He promised, you are to observe this ritual. When your children ask you, “What does this ritual mean to you?” you are to reply, “It is the Pass over sacrifice to the Lord, and for He passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and spared our homes’

The Israelites lived 430 years in Egypt. And on that last day of the 430 years the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. This very night that it happened is the same night in honour of the Lord, a night vigil for all the Israelites throughout their generation.

Pharaoh finally saw the light when death knocked at his door and took his son it was here when he realized the hand of the Alnmighty God Exodus 12: 31-36 The Egyptians demand the Israelites departure and were allowed to take their live stock and all their possessions.


29 - Passover a symbol of deliverence

"Departure of the Israelites", by David Roberts, 1829
Chareen's Thoughts
  • The FIRST Passover: Exodus 11:1-8
  • Exodus 11:5  and every firstborn male in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the servant girl who is behind the millstones, as well as every firstborn of the livestock.
  • The death of Pharaoh's son was revealed to Moses before he even returned back in Egypt. Exodus 4: 22 Then you will say to Pharaoh: This is what the LORD says: Israel is My first born son. I told you: Let My son go so that he may worship Me, but you refused to let him go. Now I will kill your first born son!"
  • Passover instructions: Exodus 12:1-12 The Lord is very specific in His requirements of the people of Israel.  
  • He declarers His reason for His treatment of Egypt Exodus 12:12 ... I am the LORD; I will execute judgements against all the gods of Egypt.
  • ...when I see the blood I will pass over you Exodus 12:13 and it's the same for us today but we are covered in the blood of Jesus and He passes over us and forgives us. Therefore Jesus also suffered and died outside the [city's] gate in order that He might purify and consecrate the people through [the shedding of] His own blood and set them apart as holy [for God]. Hebrews 13:12 And to Jesus, the Mediator (Go-between, Agent) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance].Hebrews 12:24 And Jesus said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you cannot have any life in you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood [unless you appropriate His life and the saving merit of His blood]. John6:53
  • Passover is declared a memorial and it must be celebrated as a festival to the LORD Exodus 12:14
  • A second festival is declared: Festival of Unleavened Bread Exodus 12:17 The new testament speaks thus of unleavened bread Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of vice and malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened [bread] of purity (nobility, honor) and sincerity and [unadulterated] truth. 1 Corinthians 5:8
  •  Exodus 12:28-35 The first Passover happens and the Israelite s are asked to leave immediately.
  • 70 people arrived in Egypt Genesis 46:27 and 430 years later 600,000 foot soldiers and their families departed. Exodus 12:37

Purge (clean out) the old leaven that you may be fresh (new) dough, still uncontaminated [as you are], for Christ, our Passover [Lamb], has been sacrificed 1 Corinthians 5:8


For Further reading:

January 28, 2012

28 – The last 8 plagues

Kathleen’s thoughts
The 3rd plague was gnats… Exodus 8: 16-19. I found this interesting is that here the magicians tried to produce gnats using their occult practice but failed in doing so! They told Pharaoh but his heart hardened even more to not releasing the Israelites. The wonderful part here is the magicians said “This is the finger of God”
The 4th plague was flies. Exodus 8:20-32…I can imagine what it must have been like. Just being in the outback here in Australia with flies swarming around is bad enough but to have that amount and yet Pharaoh in his craftiness after saying he would let the people go to Moses and did not, and his heart hardened even more. The amazing thing here is how God protected the Israelites. I can see the barrier around them and not a fly in site.
The 5th Plague was the death of livestock. Exodus 9:1-7. Pharaoh’s stubbornness of not letting the Israelites go is just so wrong. Can you imagine having all your livestock die in front of you and not believe in God Almighty? It’s beyond me!
The 6th Plague was having boils. Exodus 9:8-12 This is just oh so painful! I can see Moses standing there and a handful of dust looking towards the heavens and throwing it towards the heavens and falling on the whole of Egypt and everyone gets boils. And Pharaoh still does not let the Israelites go. I just had a wee giggle now thinking of the magicians not being able to stand because of them.
The 7th Plague was Hail Exodus 9: 13-35 We all know what damage hail does and we are protected in our homes etc. but in those days a lot of them lived in tents as well so now down comes the hail and destroys the place and Pharaoh still relents to let the people go. You would think by now he would have learnt a lesson after all seeing it firsthand what God can do, he has seen it happen before his very eyes even when Moses liftted his hands up to the Lord and everything ceases.
The 8th Plague was Locusts, Exodus 10: 1-20 In this chapter God tells Moses this… “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened the hearts of Pharaoh and his officials so that in generations to come will know of the miraculous signs of mine and to know how severely I dealt with the Egyptians and you will know that I am Lord” Here one can see what God had in mind for our own generation so we can sit here and read the wonders of His mighty hand of that day and it still happens today the wonderful miracles. So here we see the locust invasion, it must have been awful with the sound of those things munching must have been very over powering.
The 9th Plague of darkness Exodus 10: 21-27 We have a power failure and we all run for the candles but can you imagine being in complete darkness with no moon or stars to shine on the earth and living like that for 3 days. Then Pharaoh in his desperation says to Moses “Go and worship the Lord with your families but leave your livestock behind” But Moses says he needs them for the sacrifice

28 - Goshen protected as a sign of His presence in the land

Chareen's Thoughts
  • Plague 3 Gnats Exodus 8:16-19 This was the first plague that Pharaohs magicians could not mimic using occult practices. The magicians concede that This is the finger of God Exodus 8:19
  • Plague 4 Flies Exodus 8:20-32 This was the first of the plagues that the Lords people were protected from and God declares it is a sign of HIS presence in the land. Exodus 8:22 .But on that day I will give special treatment  to the land of Goshen, where My people are living; no flies will be there. This way you will know that I, the LORD, am in the land.
  • Plague 5 Death of Livestock Exodus 9:1-7 This plague the LORD set a time for. Exodus 9:5 And the LORD set a time, saying, "Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land."
  • Plague 6 Boils Exodus 9:8-12 This plague made the magicians so ill they could no longer stand in Moses and Pharaohs presence. Exodus 9:11
  • Plague 7 Hail Exodus 9:13-35 In this plague God shows his merciful heart in that He warns the Egyptians of His intent and gives them time to bring their life stock indoors for protection. Exodus 9:19 Therefore give orders to bring your livestock and all that you have in the field into shelters. Every person and animal that is in the field and not brought inside will die when the hail falls on them." It did not hail in Goshen.  I see this as an act of mercy to the Egyptians too.  When the Israelite s leave there was one small area left unscathed by the hand of the Lord for them to use.  The hail in this plague not only killed the living but destroyed all crops and plant material in the whole land of Egypt. Verse 32 but the wheat and the spelt were not destroyed since they are later crops.  This is an act of His mercy too.  Food to grow for the remnant.
  • God declares His reasons for allowing the plagues and allowing survivors of the plagues: Exodus 9:14-16 For this time I will send all My plagues upon your heart and upon your servants and your people, that you may recognize and know that there is none like Me in all the earth. For by now I could have put forth My hand and have struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this very purpose have I let you live, that I might show you My power, and that My name may be declared throughout all the earth.
  • Plague 8 Locusts Exodus 10:1-20 When Moses declares this plague the officials finally start to question WHY of their Pharaoh. Exodus 10:7 And Pharaoh's servants said to him, How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God; do you not yet understand and know that Egypt is destroyed? Nothing green was left in all the land. Can you picture such devastation ?
  • God declared His reasons for hardening the hearts of Pharaoh and the hearts of the officials: Exodus 10:1-2 ... so that I may do these miraculous signs of Mine among them, and so that you may tell your son and grandson how severely I dealt with the Egyptians and performed miraculous signs among them, and you will know that I am the LORD.
  • Plague 9 Darkness Exodus 10:21-27 A darkness so invading it can be felt Exodus 10:21  ... there was thick darkness throughout the land of Egypt for three days. Exodus 10:22  The three days speaks to me of the three days that Jesus was in the grave.

For Further Reading:

January 27, 2012

27 - A journey with Moses walking with the Lord to free the Israelites.

Kathleen’s thoughts
The Lord instructs Moses to go back to Egypt – He was told by the Lord that the men who wanted to kill him are dead. Moses took his wife and sons and they set out for the land of Egypt.
Instructions given by the Lord to Moses and also told him he has hardened the Pharaohs heart.
And so the journey in trying to march the Israelites out of Egypt began.
Moses was at the age of 80 and Aaron 83. God told Moses because of his speech impediment He has given Aaron to him as a prophet.
God told Moses that “I am Yahweh.” I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty but I did not make My name Yahweh known to them. So God told Moses to tell the Israelites that He is Yahweh! A deliverer, a redeemer who will take you as My people, and I will be your GOD. You will know that I am Yahweh your God, who delivered you from the forced labour of the Egyptians, The sad part here is when Moses told this to the Israelites, they did not listen to him because of their broken spirit and hard labour.
Pharaoh sees Moses staff turn into a serpent and so Pharaoh brings out his wise men a sorcerers magicians and wise men do the same thing.
Frog Plague - Ted Larson
So God now hardens the Pharaohs heart and the 10 plagues begin.
1. Water turns to blood. I can’t even imagine this it must have been awful and smelt.
2. Frogs invade everywhere. This must have been awful. Imagine climbing into a bed full of them or sitting in your lounge and it’s covered with them Then the sound of frogs croaking- what a noise. You think after this Pharaoh would listen but God was in control of the situation.
These sorcerers being able to do the same thing as our God remind me of Satan the fallen angel and bring to mind that scripture that He is known as a Angel of lies, a deceiver, and a thief who roams around looking to see who he can devour. It’s like he is tempting God as he did with Jesus in the desert.

27 - Begining of Egypts judgement by the LORD

Painted by William Brassey Hole. Exodus 5
Chareen's Thoughts:
  • Exodus 7:3 & Exodus 4:21 ... But I will harden his heart so that he won't let the people go This verse has often been a stumbling block of mine in the story of the Exodus of Israel.  Why did the LORD choose to harden the heart of the king ?  Because of this so many died.
  • Exodus 4:23 I told you: Let My son go so that he may worship Me, but you refused to let him go. Now I will kill your first born son!" The Lord told Moses the end before he even got back to Egypt.
  • Exodus 7:4 & Exodus 6:6 ... I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great acts of judgement. Ah now I understand.  The plagues are an act of judgement.  He hardened the King's heart because it is an act of judgement against the land of Egypt.
  • 1st Plague - Water into blood Exodus 7:14-25  Seven days passed.  Blood everywhere.  The stench must have been really bad.  All the fish died.  It must have been really difficult on the people of Egypt.
  • 2nd Plague - Frogs Frogs Everywhere! Exodus 8:1-15
Interesting read

For Further Reading:

January 26, 2012

26 - The Israelites and forgotten past in Egypt.

Kathleen’s thoughts
The Israelites increased rapidly, multiplied and became numerous. The new king who did not know of Joseph noticed the rapid increase and became uneasy and rebelled against the Hebrews dealing with them ruthlessly.
Going to Numbers 26: 59 Amrams wife was Jochebed, a descendant of Levi, born to Levi, in Egypt. She bore to Amram; Aaron, Moses, and their sister Miriam.
Even in those days they had midwives and the king of Egypt gave instructions to them to kill every Hebrew male that is born but can leave the females to live. They feared God and did not carry out his command and when he found this out that they were still increasing in number. The king called the midwives and they said that the Hebrew woman by the time they got to them they had given birth already. So he gave instructions to have every boy child killed.
A man from the Levi family married a Levite woman and she became pregnant and hid the baby boy him for three months. Eventually she could not hide him any longer she put him in a basket coated with asphalt and pitch and placed him in the reeds at the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what happens to him.
Baby is rescued by the Pharaoh’s daughter God’s plan at work here as this precious baby is handed over to his mother to nurse until he is weened and was promised wages to do so,
When the child grew up the mother returned him to the Pharaoh’s daughter and she named him Moses.
Moses grows up and was walking around the work place when he sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. Moses strikes him and he is dead. When the Pharaoh heard this he wanted to kill Moses. Moses fled to Midian and sat down by a well.
Moses marries sipporah and she gave birth to a son named Gershom, meaning ‘I have become a stranger in a foreign land.
God hears Israel’s groaning because of their difficult labour
Angel appears to Moses through the burning bush. God speaks to Moses about the Jews and he wants to rescue them and He has chosen Moses to do this. Moses has fears about dealing with Pharaoh and God tell him He is with him
God show the many miracles from the staff he carries turning it into a snake. Then Moses said Lord I cannot speak I stutter. God gives Aaron to him to be his spokesperson. He was also given instruction to carry the staff.

26 - the LORD creator of the deaf mute or blind

The Finding of Moses, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema [1904] (Public Domain Image)

Chareen's Thoughts:
  • Moses. I must confess this man is one of my favourite biblical heroes.  What a man he must have been to be allowed in the presence of the Almighty!
  • Exodus 1:8 A new king, who had not known Joseph, came to power in Egypt.  As I read this verse about this king I had the impression that he was an under educated monarch.  Why did he not know about such an important historical figure in the history of Egypt ?
  • Exodus 4:15 You will speak with him and tell him what to say. I will help both you and him to speak, and will teach you both what to do.  Think about it: God teaching.  He is ever patient and knows we need to be taught.  

One of my personal struggles is people being born deaf, blind or with some or other handicap.  I have always wrestled in my spirit because I can't reconcile this good God with bad things.  Then today in Genesis  4:11 I read this verse that stops me in my tracks:  The LORD said to him, "Who made the human mouth? Who makes him mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is is it not I, the LORD?  He chooses to do so for His glory.  This amazing God who created EVERYTHING at times chooses to create things that are not perfect for His glory. 

What are your thoughts on this ?

January 25, 2012

25 - Jacob tells his sons what will happen to them

Kathleen’s thoughts
Genesis 40 -50
Before Jacobs’s death He calls in his sons and tells each one of them what is going to happen to them. I love Joseph one. He is a fruitful vine a fruitful vine beside a spring; its branches cli move the wall. The archers attacked him, shot at him, and were hostile toward him. Yet his bow remained steady, a and his strong arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, by the God of your father who helps you, and bye the Almighty who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, and blessings of the breasts and the womb. The blessings of your father excel the blessings of my ancestors and the bounty of the eternal hills May they rest on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the prince of his brothers.
His sons are the tribes of Israel, 12 in all, and this was what their father said to them. He blessed them, and he blessed each one with a suitable blessing.
After this he gave instructions to be buried at the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan. Abraham and his wife Sarah, Isaac and his wife Rebekah and Leah were buried there.
I find this interesting it took 40 days to complete the embalming of Jacob and 70 days of mourning.
Joseph lived to 110 years. Joseph said to his brothers, I am about to die. Joseph made the Israelites take an oath When God comes to your aid, you are to carry my bones up from here. He did not want to be buried in Egypt; they embalmed and placed him in a coffin in Egypt.
Exodus 1 Joseph and his brothers and all that generation died.

25 - God planned it for good

Picture by Harry Anderson from Abraham Father of the Faithful
Chareen's Thoughts:
  • Genesis 49 Jacobs prophecy / blessing of his sons and their families.
  • Genesis 50:15-21 These verses are the pinnacle of the story of Joseph.  How many could forgive and see His hand in their situation the way Joseph did ?  Imagine the blessing that would flow in our lives if we could truly forgive and bless those who intend to harm us ? If only I could practice that sort of deep forgetting forgiveness in the close relationships that I am in ?  Oh Lord help me !
You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result .... Genesis 50:19

Our God is so good.  How often when things look bad to our earthly eyes do we lean on our own understanding and ultimately miss His goodness towards us ?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5

January 24, 2012

24 – Joseph reunited with his father and Provision instead of famine.

Kathleen’s thoughts
Genesis 43 – 48
Joseph is reunited with his brothers. I can imagine the delight in Joseph heart when he finally met his brothers and then his brother Benjamin. Imagine sending the brothers off with food knowing these are my brothers and they have not recognised him, and then having to wait another wee while for them to return for more food. It’s an amazing story.
It would have been a wonderful day when his father was finally able to see Joseph but I wonder if they ever told Jacob the truth in what they did. The forgiveness in Joseph’s heart is amazing and to have stayed true to the Lord living in Egypt must have been very hard, and yet his faith and love for God never left him.
Jacob went to live in Egypt and Joseph as per Pharaoh’s instruction gave them the best land and he supplied all their needs, what a blessing. The one thing I find very strange was Jacob only meeting Joseph’s sons near his death bed. Jacob lived in the land of Egypt for 17 years when he finally met them. Jacob blessed Joseph’s sons.
This I find interesting Ephraim was on Jacobs left and Manesseh was on Jacobs’s right but Israel stretched out his right hand and put it on the head of Ephraim the younger and crossing his hands, put his left on Manesseh’s head although Manesseh was the first born.
Joseph noticed this and told his father and Joseph said I know my son, I know! He too will become a tribe, and he too will be great nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a populous nation” So he blessed them that way.
When Israel spoke He invoked blessings by you saying May God make you like Ephraim and Manessheh” putting Ephraim before Manesseh. If you go back to chapter 41 the meaning of their names Manesseh “God has made me forget all my hardship in my father’s house and Ephraim God has made me fruitful line the land of my affliction.
Jacob’s life span was 147 and He told Joseph not to bury him in Egypt and told him to bury him in his father’s place

24 - Do not argue on the way

Joseph reunited with his family.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come near me,' and they came near. "I am Joseph, your brother," he said, "the one you sold into Egypt. And now don't be worried or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. Genesis 45:4-5
Therefore it was not you who sent me here but God. Genesis 45:8

Chareen's Thoughts:
  • What is it with the members of Jacobs family declaring death upon a thief ?  First Isaac declares death to Rebecca and now the brothers over a silver cup ! Genesis 44:9
  • Genesis 45:20 Do not be concerned about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours. The Israelite s arrived receiving the best of the land and departed with the best of the land.  
  • 70 people arrived in Egypt. 70 in the house of Israel! Genesis 46:27
  • Genesis 45:24 "Don't argue on the way." A very interesting parting instruction from Joseph.
  • Genesis 48:1-21 How interesting that when Jacob (Israel) prays a blessing over Joseph's two sons the younger is given a greater blessing / prophesy than the older.  Once again history is repeated. It happened between Jacob and Esau and now between Manasseh and Ephraim.  The way of our Lord is not our ways. Holy is His name.
This week I have really had on my heart about arguing and contention and strife.  As I read today's reading I really felt I need to take Genesis 45:24 and add it to my keys.
"Don't argue on the way."
For where two walk in agreement the Lord commands a blessing Psalm 133:1-3
For Further Reading:
Why were shepherds detestable to the Egyptians ? over at Ferrell's Travel Blog.
Those Who Know by Rabbi Labbel Lam
Parsha Q&A

January 23, 2012

23 - When Dreams Come True

Genesis 42:6
Chareen's Thoughts:
  • Thirteen years of slavery and life in prison before Joseph was released to be second in charge of Egypt. Genesis 37:2 He was 17 years old when he left to find his brothers and was sold a slave and 30 years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh. Genesis 41:46 13 humbling years of training in wisdom and understanding of who God was in his life.
  • Can you imagine having so much food stored up that you stop measuring it ? Actually so much food that it is beyond measure ? I can't even picture so much food especially when we see so much famine in the world today. Genesis 41:49
  • Genesis 38:6-30 The story of Judah and Tamar. I found the fact that Judah's son spilling his seed on the ground being evil in the sight of the Lord and the Lord killing him for it an interesting part of the story. I also found it interesting that the LORD blessed her with twins after she had been cheated twice by the family of Judah. Once by the son of Judah (Onan) and once by Judah himself.
  • Genesis 41:57 The whole world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, for the famine was so severe all over the earth. Imagine that the WHOLE world came to the servant of the most high to buy food.  A famine all over the earth.  I did not realise that this famine was a world wide phenomenon I always pictured it to be in Egypt and the surrounding land but it was not.
  • Genesis 42:6 Imagine the feeling of seeing your dream come true ? Your family are bowing before you but do not recognise you ?
  • Genesis 42:1-28 It gives me such a feeling of anticipation reading how Joseph treated his family when they were before him. The way that the brothers still were living under the weight of their sin from years before.  How as each negative blow was dealt they said among themselves how they are suffering for what they did to their brother.
  • Genesis 42: 29-38 Jacobs response to the request to have his youngest son return to Egypt.  I can feel his heartache as I read this account.  I have never given his words much thought till today. 20+ years had passed since he had lost his son Joseph yet the ache of that loss is still raw and vivid in Jacob. 
  • Genesis 43:1-14 Israel concedes allowing Benjamin to return with his older brothers to Egypt to secure the release of his captive brother.  The life of one to secure the release of the other.
 Philippians 1:6 ... He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
The story of Joseph is a story of hope and fulfillment.  A story of completion and healing. I forget so easily in my struggles that actually He is in control and He is the one growing me, shaping me and molding me for a good work and He will perfect this and bring it to full completion.


For Further Reading:

23 – Joseph meets his brothers during the famine.

Kathleen’s thoughts
Genesis 41 -43
Pharaoh gives Joseph a wife, Asenath daughter of Potiphera and she bore him 2 sons... First born Manasseh, meaning, God has made me forget all my hardship in my father’s house” the Second born he named Ephraim, meaning, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction”
The Pharaoh’s dreams become a reality. Fruitful harvest and stored in the cities then followed the famine in the country.
Joseph meets his brothers through this famine and the brothers do not recognize their brother Joseph. Joseph supplies their needs with requests of them to bring Benjamin with them and his father is very sad but in the end relents to the request in order to get food for his household.
I can’t imagine what Joseph felt when he saw his brothers after all those years and this was caused through Jealousy and self-centeredness. This is a lesson for us in this reading that when we act badly many people get hurt in the process and it can take years of sadness before healing takes place. Let the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to the Lord and let us walk in integrity and respect for each other and most of all with love in our hearts.

January 22, 2012

22 – God looks after Joseph.

Kathleen’s thoughts
Genesis 39 – 41
The Lord was with Joseph and blessed everything he did. He became a very successful man serving in the household of his Egyptian master.

His master’s wife looked at Joseph with lust in her heart and tried to coax Joseph to sin and Joseph being an up right man refrained and told her “He could not do such an evil thing and sin against God? She was a wicked woman and one day grabbed Joseph by his garment and he escaped leaving his garment with her, this giving her ammunition to lie about Joseph. Then she lied about him to his master and he became furious and had Joseph thrown into prison.

Through this entire God was with him in these dark days of his life.

Joseph interprets dreams that the prisioners dream about and these interpretations all came true.

Two years later Pharaoh had a dream and it’s here that Joseph is called in to interpret the dream but Joseph tells the Pharaoh that it is God who will give him the answer to his dreams.

The seven good cows are seven years and the seven good heads are seven years. The dreams mean the same thing. The seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven worthless, scorched heads of grain are seven years of famine. Here I note again that God is working in the number 7! Joseph tells Pharaoh because the dream was given twice to him, it means that the matter has been determined by God, and He will soon carry it out. So Joseph gives the Pharoah instructions in what to do to save his fortune and his city. Pharaoh gives Joseph the authority over his house and his people will obey his commands He also gave Joseph his signet ring and clothed him with fine linen and the servants called him Abrek!


22 - the LORD made everything successful

Joseph made ruler in Egypt
Chareen's Thoughts
  • Genesis 39:2-23 Joseph's early days in Egypt. God blessed Potiphar because of Joseph.  Imagine if we were faithful and God blessed our places of employment because of us ?? (Genesis 39:5)
  • Genesis 39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him. He granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. It was the same with Jesus God granted Him favour with man. Luke 2:52
  • Success !  Where does it come from ?  It comes from the hand of the LORD. Genesis 39:23 ... , because the LORD was with him, and the LORD made everything that he did successful.
  • How short our memories are ! Amazing that in the space of three days and the restoration of his position the cup bearer forgot the man who had interpreted his dream and looked after him in Pharoahs dungeon. (Genesis 40:23
  • Genesis 41:38-44 Joseph was king of Egypt in every way except the throne. He went from slave to King in a matter of two sentences from the King. Can you imagine standing in the most powerful man on earths throne room and walking out King of that same land ?  Wow.

... the LORD made everything that he did successful. Genesis 39:23

Striving to be successful has been one of my personal downfalls. It has weighted me down and caused me many nights of anxious sleep or should I say lack of sleep.  This is key for me.  I can not make it a success only God can make something successful.  Lord help me remember this key ...


For Further Reading:

January 21, 2012

21 – Deceit, Jealousy and hatred

Kathleen’s thoughts
Genesis 34 -39
Jacobs sons deceive Shechem and his father Hamor which Jacob says to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me, making me odious to the inhabitants of the land the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
In Gen 35:11-15 God’s promise to Jacob. I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply a nation, indeed an assembly of nations will come from you, and kings will descend from you. The land that I gave Abraham and Isaac I will give to you. And I will give the land to your descendants after you. God withdrew from Jacob. Jacob made a marker anointed it with oil a called the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.
Jacobs beloved Rachel dies in child birth.

Jacob had 12 sons.

Joseph…Jacob loved Joseph and his brothers were jealous of him. Joseph dreams and tells his brothers and they mock him. His brothers had hatred towards Jacob and wanted to kill him.
Jacob gives his son Joseph a coat of many colours and it’s this coat that is taken back to his father with goat’s blood on it by his brothers to say that he had died. His father is in deep mourning. The sad thing here is Joseph’s brothers lied to their father and their hearts were in a bad place by selling their brother to the Midianites who sold Joseph to Potiphar an office of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard.
I wonder how these brothers could live with themselves doing that to their brother. But God’s plan is at work.

21 - Get rid of foreign gods that are among you

Well it definately takes more than twenty one days to form and keep a habit! I am playing catch up.

Joseph's Coat Brought to Jacob
by Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari, c. 1640
Chareen's Thoughts:
  • Genesis 35:2  ... "Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Purify yourselves and change your clothes. I love this verse. Get rid of the foreign gods and purify yourself.  This is true for us today.  I have wondered what foreign gods we bring home with us with out even realising that they are foreign gods ? 
  • Genesis 35:11-15 God reaffirms his covenant with Jacob.
  • Genesis 37 chronicles the Joseph's journey to Egypt and his sale to Potiphar.
  • 1 Chronicles 2:3 ...., was evil in the LORD'S sight, so He put him to death. I was a little shocked when I read this.  Just how evil does one need to be for the LORD to intervene and put you to death ?  When I think about some of the attrocities that man has commited in history this man must have been really bad.  Genesis 38:7
  • In Genesis 38 we read about Tamar.  This has inspired me to read the book Tamar by Francine Rivers.  Did you know that Tamar is in the Lineage of Jesus ?   Matthew 1:3
Todays reading has me thinking about idols in our homes and hearts.


For further study:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...