Sunday, November 29, 2009

Exodus Chapters 1-14

So I've been reading but having a null in writing. I have completed the beginning story of the Exodus. It is a great story, excuse me, great history.

Through reading these set of events there were small lessons here and there. Moses had a downfall of not fully trusting in the gifts of God. His speach wasn't clear and he was worried that noone would listen to him. So God had Aaron speak for Moses; like Moses is speaking for God. God would tell Moses what to do and Moses would bring it forth to everyone else. In the same way Moses told Aaron what to do and Aaron would do it. We can see a degration of the big picture, a blindness with each step down. There is no way the Moses could understand all that God was doing. Just like Aaron didn't know what all Moses was doing. Aaron didn't have as much revelation from God as waht Moses did. Later in Exodus we will find more strife through this set of events.

This movement, the Exodus, is a mass migration that is almost impossible to imagine. 600,000 men, plus you have women and children. You also have livestock and goods that are traveling all at once. Not only traveling but being drove out by the Egyptians. Then you have them crossing the Sea of Reeds on dry land. It is just amazing. The deliverance of the Hebrews of that time was astronamical.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Genesis 42-50

Wow I belong on failblog for my epic fail of keeping this up. Looks like I have some catching up to do. No real excuse other than laziness and failure to maintain a good habit.

These chapters bring Genesis to an end but preludes to the Exodus. Isn't it amazing the story of Isaac and his son Joseph. How Joseph's brothers wanted to harm him, for the vision he had from God. Nothing they could do would stop the will of God. They ended up, though wanting to harm, aiding God's plan to bring them deliverance from famine. I have to wonder how many times people have harmed me in the past. I was the kid that the bullies picked on in elementary. I do believe that made me stronger and made me part of who I am today. My dad and I have had a terrible relationship upon my parents split. He ridiculed me for my faith and deserted my mother. Through that God gave me great understanding and great strength. He allowed me to survive with a few hours sleep a night so that I could work and provide for my mom once my dad left. He taught me peace and hope through the toughest of times. These are the tips of the icebergs but God has delivered me from the hatred and the failures. It would have been so easy to have given up. Just like Joseph, imagine if he had given up through those times. God's nation wouldn't have survived. God directed Joseph and his brothers to bring a great nation forth.

Looking at the story as a whole, why do we worry? Though so much went wrong, ALL of it was for the glory of God and the creation of His will. If we maintain focused on God rather we have family trouble, lost loved ones, divorce, loss of money, loss of stability or whatever else may arrive won't we be able to look back maybe a few months, a couple years, or even 20 years and see how God used those situations to better His kingdom and to better us?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Genesis Chapter 39-41

In Genesis chapters 39-41 there is the story of Joseph's time in the hands of slaves, prison and then even Pharaohs right hand man. It is an amazing story and a great lesson in what Joseph both said and did. Joseph was a righteous man that was undeservedly thrown into slavery by his brothers (pulling on previous chapters.) Some say it was his pride and boasting that did it. For he told his brothers what God revealed to him in dreams and that somehow his brothers would bow to him. There is no record in scripture of what his heart was saying during the time with his brothers. In a family if God reveals something to you don't you want to tell everyone and get clarity? Anyways that's a side point.

Imagine being sold into slavery by your own family; forced to work for nothing, given the bare minimums to live, and expected to live your life as property. That is exactly what happened to Joseph, and he started off prosperous. Wouldn't we want to give up and grumble and complain through such trying times? Joseph didn't, instead he followed God with full face and was in-trusted with Potiphar's entire household. The only thing withheld from him was Potiphar's wife, of which took a great liking to Joseph. Eventually she lied got Joseph thrown in jail. Again Joseph did nothing wrong and was given horrible treatment.

Now imagine being in a prison, with the lowlifes of the world. God must not like you right? You did nothing wrong and now you are stuck at the lowest point of life. Thankfully Joseph did not take this attitude. Instead he again kept faithful to God and kept his head up. The warden put him in charge of everyone in the prison, and entrusted Joseph to the degree of not even needing to check on him. Joseph was working hard and full of integrity. During this time God brought two of Pharaoh's servants to him. They were thrown into prison with him for displeasing Pharaoh. They had a dream and Joseph interpreted them given full credit to God. Joseph allowed God to interpret them, not his own understanding, which led to both interpretations to be correct. Word got to Pharaoh and Pharaoh also had a dream. Joseph again was called to interpret and says "I cannot do it... but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires" (Gen 41:16.)

That is the exact attitude that Joseph had in everything he did in these chapters. God got the credit, God was his strength, and God delivered him to a leader directly under Pharaoh. I think we can learn from this. We may not always of the best circumstances but we shouldn't complain about them. What right do we to complain? God allows situations to happen to give us strength and to test us. Shall we complain and give up? Or lets keep the faith, follow God, and keep giving all that we have in everything we do. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (Colossians 3:23-24.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Genisis chapters 27-38

So I've been keeping up on reading but not on writing. So let me try to catch up and see what get written.

In chapter 27 Jacob steals Esau's blessing. Isaac was firstborn and deserved firstrights to his dad's authority and his goods. Isaac was blind and very old and Esau wanted to get his dad's blessing. He went out and hunted game and was preparing it for Isaac to eat. While he was out Rebekah, Jacob's mother, made some food and dressed him up in Esau's clothes to trick him. It worked. It's funny how Jacob has been after Esau's inhertence. In chapter 25 Jacob gets Esau to give up his birthright over some food. Here he tricks his dad to giving him the blessing. Because of this Jacob had to flee. Though in fullfillment of his blessing while he was gone he gained much weath, wives and children. God still watched over him and used Jacob to build his kingdom.

Though there is much stories in these chapters which have great meaning and insight they aren't really calling out to me in writing form. A little understanding here and there. What's funny though is stories is what Jesus preached with. Often when talking to someone a story of the Bible comes forth and is perfect for the setting. Plus this is, as Christians, our history as well as the jews.

God bless

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Genesis chapters 22-26

So I skipped yesterday and did twice the reading today. It's funny how that works sometimes. I planned on doing it late again for I awoke feeling exhausted and unable to focus and then by night plans had changed and I didn't have the time I thought I would.

This was a long segment so I'm going to just pick out a couple things that caught my eye. I have wrote on these verses a few times and I noticed some different things to point out. Abraham was tested with his son Isaac, to slay his son that was supposed to be his bloodline. God tested him and gave him a replacement sacrifice. Sarah died and Abraham was in search of a place to bury her. He went to the Hittites to buy a burial site. They insisted on giving him one. That changed to them wanting to give land that held a burial site. Abraham refused to take it for free and insisted on buying it, not discounted but full price. I wonder why he insisted on buying it still. Free is free right?

Abraham told one of his servants that his son is to stay in Canaan but that his wife is to be from Abraham's native land. We all have heard this story many times. The thing that I want to take note of is that God sent and angel ahead of his servant (Gen 24:7b). When we go on to read what happened in his native land there is no mention of the angel doing anything there. Many times angels will appear to people but this is not one of them. Yet Rebekah was ready and prepared for the time on a spiritual and emotional level. Sometimes we don't think or see that God's working. We don't know when His angels are near or far guiding us. It's a hidden realm that aides our journey.

You have Abraham's death and the birth of Jacob and Esau. Nothing really jumped at me when I read these. I have read them many times.

See you tomorrow,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Genesis Chapters 19-21

There was a lot in these passages but writing them is hard to do. I don't know why but today I find it difficult to write. Maybe it's because I've had a migraine all day and it is now almost 6 at night. A little out of routine.

God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in Chapter 19. Remember previously that God made a deal with Abraham to spare the city if He could find 10 righteous men. Well when God sent the angels to Sodom and Gomorrah they were attacked by the men of the city. At Lot's doorstep they wanted to rape them. That is just insane. Lot offered them his two daughters and the men insisted on the two men that was staying with Lot. That's just insane and pure wickedness. God saw that. The judgment was done, their second chance lost.

Lots wife looked back when they left. She had a second thought and yearned for what was of old. This caused her to be turned to a pillar of salt. It entrapped her to a place stuck in between two worlds; God's and sin's. Ever look back to days of lust or times of going with the crowd other than God's will? Ever wonder what it would have been like to embrace them? In essence this is what Lot's wife did. It gets you stuck in situations rather than living the fulfilment of God.

Lot's daughters, which may be the same ones that he offered up to the mob of men, found themselves wondering if they would be able to keep the bloodline going. So they got Lot extremely drunk and got pregnant by him. The sons did still make nations even though how they were brought about, incest. Just craziness.

Though I did read through more I'm finding my focus drifting and unable to continue. May God bring revelations tomorrow and some much needed focus.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Genesis chapter 15-18

This morning was a tough read, not that the passages were tough, but that my focus is off this morning. Honestly I don't want to right this morning. I don't know why, I think it may be because I'm tired and didn't sleep well last night. I'm a little saddened because there is a lot of the history and story in these passages. You have the change of Abram's name to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah. You have the covenant of God's chosen people and circumcision. Which actually does have an interesting side not to it. In a class in college, Epistles of Paul, we were talking about good works vs faith to get to heaven. There was strife because of Chapter 17 verse 7. An everlasting covenant for God to be Abraham's descendents God. Then you have Jesus saying it's by faith alone that you get to Heaven. Now this seems a little weird and not right but there is a difference between going to the everlasting peace and God being your God. For God is truly God of everyone on earth, but not all accept Him. Also God's covenant is of land with Abraham and dependents. The land of Canaan was given. Something to think about I guess.

Yeah a short writing today haha. Tomorrow's should be better.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Genisis chapters 11-14

I find the chronological order of Genesis a bit confusing this morning. It really likes to sum up time frames with the table of nations, with the seven day creation, and then afterwards jumps back a bit, or well it must be anyways. The tower of Babel occurs in chapter 11. To me it seems kinda tossed in to be honest. Nothing leads up to it, it doesn't name anyone previously talked about to date when the tower of Babel began to be erected. It actually begins with the phrase "Now the whole world had one language and a common speech" (Genesis 11:1a.) Yet when we look back to chapter 10 verse 5 "From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language." If each had their own language then the tower of Babel must of occurred before the sons of Javan settled in other areas, actually probably even before Noah's sons began to create other territories and they all must have been together in one place. To me chapter 11 verses 1-9 should almost be switched with chapter 10. That would make more sense. Just a little confused is all. Onward to the rest.

Now the tower of Babel has some good lessons within it. Here we have the collective knowledge, skill and vision of the entire human race working together. Can you imagine that? Everyone working together sharing skills and knowledge. Yet with it we still reverted back to the same as Adam and Eve. They wanted more. They decided that it would be good for them to make a tower to reach the heavens. They wanted to make a name for themselves. They were smart; they knew that stacked stones were unstable but if they make bricks of the same size and used mortar that the tower would hold up. I wonder upon why they thought this was a good idea still. As I look back into the passage a phrase pops out at me. "So that we ma make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth" (Gen 11:4b.) Why would they be worrying, before creating the tower, about being dispersed around the earth? I wonder if they were having unity problems and people were wondering off, or quarrels and people being thrown out or something different all together. But this was a fear that they had. This is part of the reason for building the tower. Ironically, it is the consequences for their actions as well. I think part of the problem may have arrived with them not looking towards God for understanding and unity, but that they decided to handle it themselves and reach God by their own means.

After the tower of Babel we again are brought to names and who had whos and the sorts. Fun stuff. Looking at the dates I remembered back at the begining of the flood that God was going to number our years to 120. I don't see that in the beginning of Gen 11:10-24. Humans are still living hundreds of years. Yet you see the years fall drastically. In verse 25 though we finally see someone living only to be 119. I think sometimes when we hear God say something we expect it to be immediate. With this we are often dissapointed because it often is not immediate. For us to change it's usually a process, for others it is also a process. If we don't see our prayers answer right away we sometimes get disappointed. Yet we need to hold to hope and remember that God has His timing to strengthen us and to do what is best for us. Be patient for the answering of prayers, which is very hard for people like me.

In Chapter 12 is the call for Abram to get up and go. I have wrote on this subject many times and feel that this is something God has called for me recently. With God on your side it is not something to worry about honestly, even though I do so often. In verses 2-3 God tells Abram that he will bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. That is a very powerful protection in my mind. Abram is quit lucky to have God tell him that, right? Doesn't God promise to protect us as well? Doesn't He bless those who bless others still? Aren't we lucky that God protects us and has promised us!

In chapter 13 we again have querells over land and supplies. This caused Lot and Abram to split their groups up. They were so blessed that they needed more room and that was a good problem to have. In Chapter 14 it talks about a war that happend between some kings. Many armies would have clashed together. Through it Lot was taken. Abram assembled a whole 318 men to get Lot back. 318 against a king with armies and allies! Who won? Abram of course. Just shows the power that God has and protection that Abram was given.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Genisis chapters 8-10

Chapter 8 brings the end of the flood. The water receeds and Noah sent out a raven and a dove to find dry land. Once the land was dry one of the first things he did was build an alter and offered sacrifice. His mind was right on God when walking out of the ark. As it should have been. God then made a covenant with man. To never destroy all living creatures ever again... as long as the earth endures. When I first read to never destroy all living creatures I instantly thought of the end times. If God said he would never wipe out everything again how would the end times happen? But the end times isn't wiping out just the creatures. It is also wiping out earth. Kind of interseting.

Another side note is within that passage as well. "Every inclination of his [man's] heart is evil from childhood." Just think where I would be if God didn't change my heart. Our inclinations, from childhood, are all selfish and apart of God. Sometimes it makes me wonder why God even wants us to come to Him. In our core we are rotten, yet He set up redemption to bring us to Him.

In Chapter 9 God opens up the variety of foods we may eat. No longer is it just plants, but God gave us meat as well. With the exception of anything that has lifeblood in it. (remember God breathed life into us.) Just as I thought canibalism is wrong. haha. But God has set up severe punishment for those who murder. "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall hs blood be shed."

God set a sign to confirm his covenant. A rainbow, which when I think of rainbows I think of peace and beauty. Which is something God has set for us to have. It is a reminder to God of the covenant and a reminder to us of what power He has, yet He will not send it down on us before the end times.

Chapter 10 goes on with the nations that each of Noahs sons created. Kind of facinating just how much God used a few people to create so much. I'm sure deep study would reveal a lot with these passages but with a read through it kind of leaves you blank.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Genesis chapters 4-7

Cain and Abel, the first murder to ever occur. What did it occur over? Selfishness. Cain saw that God like Abel's offering better. It says that Cain brought some of the fruits. Not that Cain brought the best of, the first fruits or the sorts. Abel brought the fat portions from the firstborn. The best parts. Because of Cain's selfishness and jealousy he got angry and killed his brother. Over such a little thing. Not thinking of the consequences but of only himself and anger. God asked Cain why he was so upset. God told him that "if you does what is right, will you not be accepted?" (Gen 4:7) God was saying that he loved Cain and that he was accepted. But also knew that Sin was creeping in with Cain's anger, anger through selfishness. The consequences that occurred after Cain's murder showed Cain's self centered-ness even more. Cain's response, Gen 4:13-14, is filled with nothing but I; it's to hard for me to bear, I will be hidden, they will kill me. He didn't show remorse for what he was done, but scared for himself. Yet God still protected him and wouldn't allow anyone to kill him.

Then the scriptures goes through many names and the sons of people. What is crazy is how long they lived. 800 to 900 years old. I couldn't imagine living that long. Yet what happened, the "sons of God- to my understanding often refers to angels) saw that daughters of men were beautiful and would marry them. This is even stranger in my mind. Angels marrying humans. But God Clarifies a little more further in the passage. "Then the Lord said, "My spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred in twenty years" (Gen 6:3.) We started off really close to God but through time God began distancing himself and not allowing us to be with Him for so long on earth. The reason for this I believe is the greater sin we were getting into. He numbered our days to 120 years. Things were going crazy and wickedness was filling the lands. I believe this coincides with the angels marrying daughters. It wasn't meant to be but even with God right there we were ignoring Him. So God sent the flood. Not to just destroy everything that was created, but it was a second chance for us to live close to Him on our own accord. Noah, a follower of God shown by his actions of obeying God's commands, made the ark to keep life going and to start over.

The flood is very symbolic, I believe it really happened as well, to me especially right now. Some times in our lives God sends a flood. The flood may be in many forms: life changes, deaths, illnesses, lost jobs etc. For me it is both death in family and a drastic life change and direction change. I don't know what steps are next, just like Noah when he built the ark. But it's a chance to start anew. To rekindle the relationship we have with Jesus. It is a time to refocus on God's commands. Not to destroy what we have had before, but another beginning to create something greater. There will be many changes that will continue to happen to better ones standing. Like God changed the years men lived from almost a thousand to barely over a hundred. A drastic change to allow people to live more on God's accord.