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Archive for the ‘Genesis’ Category

 

Kindle Bible - The Holy Bible Formatted for the Amazon KindleGenesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of BeginningsSo Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.- Genesis 50:26 (NIV)

The last word in the book of Genesis is Egypt.  It seems appropriate that this book of the Bible would end in such a place.  Right after the death of Joseph, one of the final figures of the first book of the Old Testament, the book of Genesis ends right there in Egypt.

Joseph & His Brothers (Hanna Barbera the Greatest Adventure Stories From the Bible)The Life and Times of AkhnatonThink about Egypt’s history and how the coming of the Hebrews changed its social structure.  A famine throughout the world caused people to come from all parts of the world to Egypt.  God placed Joseph there through some extreme circumstances.  Yet, Joseph was placed in a position of power.  God used him to smooth things out when the shepherds from Canaan came to Egypt to buy grain.

Praying God's Word: Devotional JournalPromises to Keep: Daily Devotions for Men of IntegrityThe Christian may not see the blessing found in Egypt.  Jacob reunited with his son in Egypt. Joseph forgave his brothers and wept with them in Egypt.  Joseph and his kinsmen stayed in Goshen in Egypt.  Joseph had favor with Pharaoh and his people throughout the land of Egypt.  God had shown Joseph favor in Egypt.  Perhaps, as believers, we need to see where are the places that God has helped us to reunite with family and friends.  We need to rethink about how God allowed us to forgive othersThank God for giving us a place to stay.  Praise God for granting us favor

I believe we all have our own little “Egypt” when it comes to this walk of faith.  Thank God for leading you through this far to your Egypt.

Joseph in Egypt, Animated Stories From the Bible

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings
 15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. 18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. 19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
– Genesis 50:15-21 (NIV)

Joseph and His BrothersPaybackJoseph’s brothers feared him.  In fact, they believed that Joseph would take revenge on them and seek payback for all that they had done to him.  They even discussed it and sent word to Joseph via messenger.

When their message came to him, Joseph wept. (v. 17, NIV).

Cruel IntentionsJoseph wept based upon their message.  He reassured them and spoke kindly to them, according to verse 21.  Joseph had said to them that he was in the place of God.  He stated that he did not seek to harm them, even though they had harmed him.  He shared that God used their evil intentions to accomplish His perfect will.

Just Like Jesus DevotionalJoseph showed mercy.  In fact, Joseph showed his brothers mercy on more than one occasion.  He said that he was in the place of God, in a position to either harm them or help them.  He chose to help them instead of seeking revenge upon them and exercising his authority as an Egyptian governmental official.

Doing Justice, Showing Mercy: Christian Action in Today's World (Bible Study Guides)Lord, Teach Us To PrayComplete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer, The: Experience the Wonders of God through PrayerTake a moment today and see about ways to show mercy towards others.  Do you have an opportunity to show mercy at work or home? Pray to the Lord for discernment in dealing with those who wrong you.  Do all that you can to do like the Lord.

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So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company.
– Genesis 50:7-9 (ESV)
Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

Joseph went to bury his father Jacob in Canaan, but he did not go alone.  He did not only have his own household with him.  With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household, according to verse 7 and 8 in the English Standard Version.  He certainly was not alone in his grieving and mourning.  Multiple translations of the Bible call it: “a very great company” (ESV), “a very great gathering” (NKJV) and ” a very large company” (NIV). 
Distribution Of Land At Canaan Antique Print ReligionJoseph went to bury Jacob in the land of Canaan as he had sworn to his father, but he was accompanied by a great number of people connected to his father and those connected directly and indirectly to him.  There were those who were connected to Jacob by blood and “household.” There were those who were connected to Joseph directly like his kinsmen, brothers and his own household most probably did not outnumber those who were connected to Joseph through Pharaoh.
On Death and Dying (Scribner Classics)Death at a FuneralThey went on their way to bury one of the patriarchs of Judaism.  They went to bury an old man who had lived to see his “dead” son alive again.  They went on their way to Canaan to fulfill the promise of a son to his dying father.  They went on the journey to the land of Canaan to help Joseph bury his father. 
Death, Mourning, and Burial: A Cross-Cultural Reader (The Human Lifecycle: Cross-Cultural Readings)A Grief ObservedThe other brothers might have lived in Goshen and herded sheep, but Pharaoh’s people knew Joseph.  They may not have ever heard of Jacob or any of his sons, but they surely knew of Joseph.  Their paths may have never crossed any other Hebrew during those days, but they surely had some direct or indirect encounter on some level with Joseph.  The Egyptians went to Canaan with Joseph for the sake of Joseph, not Jacob or anyone else.

On the Jericho Road: A Memoir of Racial Justice, Social Action and Prophetic Ministry

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of BeginningsThen Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come. . . All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him.
– Genesis 49:1, 28 (ESV)


Jacob led a full and eventful life.  He gathered his sons together before breathing his last breath and shared “what shall happen…in days to come.” He offered insights into each son’s character as well as a snapshot of each one’s future. 

Lucado 3-in-1: Come Thirsty, Traveling Light, Next Door SaviorThese same sons of Jacob became the tribes of Israel.  Their father spoke to them with a blessing for each one.  The Scriptures say that he blessed them, “blessing each with the blessing suitable to him.” He offered each son what he needed based upon what he knew and understood.

My Grandpa Harvey called such things wisdom and know-how.  His sage advice was different for me than it was for my cousins.  We all probably thought he was playing favorites, but once I got older I realized what he was doing.  he was preparing each of us for the way we would have to walk in this world and face the realities of everything in our lives.  For those of us who needed to become leaders, he pushed us to do our best and be our best.  He even forced us to do more hard labor than the others.  I had thought he was being mean and unfair, but I recognize how much he was humbling us. 

Just try to picture the image of Jacob looking into the faces of his boys and seeing the eagerness in their eyes as they awaited to get a blessing from Daddy.  How emotional must that have been for him as a father? Think about how full circle his life had gone until that point.  Here he was with his sons, the future tribes of a great nation, God’s chosen people, his very own sons.

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And Israel said to Joseph, “I had not thought to see your face; but in fact, God has also shown me your offspring!”- Genesis 48:11 (NKJV)

The father who had shown Joseph favoritism was old and sick.  That was the report that had reached Joseph.  Joseph gathered up his two sons and took them to Grandpa Israel (Papa Jacob).  The words in verse 11 are Joseph’s father’s words to his son.

Keep in mind that Joseph had been presumed dead for years.  Al of his time in Potiphar’s house, prison and even the palace, Joseph was presumed dead by his father.  Upon coming to Egypt, Jacob reunited with his son. 

Joy must have captivated his heart.  He must have be overjoyed to some degree.  Not only was Joseph alive but he was doing quite well for himself as he worked under the king of Egypt.  Jacob must have been both happy and proud of his son.  However, Jacob blesses both of Joseph’s sons after Joseph gets the news of his father’s illness.

There are just somethings that we have to face in life, but when we can regain some other things it gives us our unique purpose. The are some defining moments that come about in our lives. They stick out in our memories.  We cling to them for one reason or another.  These are the very moments that serve as reminders to us all of how precious life is to each and every one of us.  How much did that moment of those two boys being blessed help Joseph recall how much he loved and missed his father?

Most probably, you have reflected on some moments that stood out for you in life and with your family and friends.  Live on and make more memories.  Live on and enjoy it.  Make memories as you go along.  Everyone will not be here forever, so make as many memories as you can now and be at peace among each other.  God bless.

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And Joseph situated his father and his brothers, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. Then Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with bread, according to the number in their families. – Genesis 47:11-12 (NKJV)

The Prince of EgyptJoseph assisted his family.  He advised his family on what to say when they entered into the presence of Pharaoh.  He approached Pharaoh with news of his family’s arrival in Egypt.  He advocated for his family.  He made allowances for his family to survive by giving them bread.

In the land of Rameses, Joseph’s family was better off for the time being than they had been in the land of Canaan.  Based upon how God had favored Joseph, his family was able to benefit.  They were blessed based upon Joseph’s favor and blessing.

Grace: Gods Unmerited FavorThink on that for a moment.  Joseph’s blessing allowed Joseph to provide for his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household.  Joseph’s favor helped his father and his family. Picture that happening today.  What if you used your blessing to bless others? What if you used your favor to grant others favor? Imagine how much of a blessing that would be for others.

We need to see Joseph’s character coming alive right here.  Joseph, the same dreamer that his family had despised and questioned, was now living the dream.  However, Joseph’s dream did not just benefit and bless Joseph.  The Bible makes it obvious that Joseph did not simply sit in a position of power and prestigeHis heart allowed him to forgive and give to those who had even sold him into slavery

Forgive to Live Devotional:: 8 Weeks of Daily Readings on Forgiveness That Could Change Your LifeJoseph depicts the epitome of forgiveness and favor in a man.  He obviously could have let his family live without any contact or consideration, still being okay with it as many Christians do so daily.  He could forgive and never allow himself to forget how they wronged him and set him up for failure.  No, that is not the path that Joseph took.  He did not allow it to harden him.  He did not allow it to turn him sour.  He forgave.  He gave to his father and his family.

How to Forgive...When You Don't Feel Like ItDo you need to forgive someone? Have you made the first move beyond saying so? How have you shown that person that you have truly forgiven them?

Praying the PsalmsLook at Joseph.  The Bible doesn’t say he had to fast for 40 days to get ready to forgive.  It doesn’t say that he needed to meditate on verses in Psalms to prepare to forgive.  He showed his forgiveness.  He said it.  He demonstrated it.  He did it.

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Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘My brothers and those of my father’s house, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. And the men are shepherds, for their occupation has been to feed livestock; and they have brought their flocks, their herds, and all that they have.’ So it shall be, when Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ that you shall say, ‘Your servants’ occupation has been with livestock from our youth even till now, both we and also our fathers,’ that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”- Genesis 46:31-34 (NKJV)

Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

The Jungle (Enriched Classics)The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin Classics)Joseph did something with his family that many in Western culture may not be able to relate in recent generations.  Too many of us may be so far removed from our families being immigrants that we have no real understanding of what it took to be outsiders in a new land.  Upton Sinclair conveyed the concept in his classic The Jungle  and John Steinbeck shared a similar story in The Grapes of WrathImmigrants have long come into lands of opportunity, willing to do the work that others regarded as below them.

 
Joseph Advised His Family: He shared with them and spoke them.  He gave them advice from having some experience from being in the land during the recent “lean years” and before then.  He had some understanding and insight into how the Egyptians viewed shepherds.  Joseph shared what he knew and understood about the culture and circumstances that his family was embarking on living within at that time.

The Grapes of Wrath1931 Ford Model A PickupHe offered keen advice to his family members on how they would be viewed by the Egyptians.  He seems to have gathered them together before they unloaded their carts.  It is like seeing the Joads packed altogether with their belongings piled up on their Model A Ford in the 1940 classic film “The Grapes of Wrath” inspired by Steinbeck’s novel.  Most probably, Joseph huddled his family together to speak in a hushed voice or with whispers of wisdom in order to make sure that everyone was on the same page. 
He coached them on what to say.  He prepared them for being called before the king of Egypt.  He wanted to ensure that all of his people had their stories straight before they ever encountered or interacted with Pharaoh or any of his other officials.  He wanted to make sure that no one made a mistake or brought about any trouble due to ignorance of what they had come into when they entered into Egypt.
Prince of Egypt & Joseph: King of Dreams (Double Feature)Pharaoh Adult - Standard One SizeJoseph Advocated for His Family:  Joseph stated that he would vouch for them.  He shared with his family that he would inform Pharaoh of their arrival and their occupation.  He would alert Pharaoh so that the king would not be taken by surprise when he discovered that more foreigners had arrived in his land.
He would speak up for his family in the royal court and share what they all did for a living.  Joseph had a prominent position and could share such information with Pharaoh without the ruler feeling that these outsiders would present a threat to his kingdom.
In The Jungle, that is how the newcomers were able to join other family members in the factories and mills after their arrival into the city.  When you watch “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevye and his family are forced out of the land with other Jews during the Russian Revolution and, just like many other characters in the play, they plan on going to America where other relatives have settled.  The Joads were viewed as Okies and met obstacles in their travels as they sought to escape the dust bowls of Oklahoma and find work in California.  In many cases, foreigners, immigrants and refugees face opposing forces upon their entry into a new place.
The Shepherd Trilogy: A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm / A Shepherd Looks at the Good Shepherd / A Shepherd Looks at the Lamb of GodJoseph Assured His Family: Based upon his position, Joseph was able to assure his family that they would live in Goshen as shepherds.  They would be able to herd their livestock.  Even though every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians, they would be able to tend to their flocks freely in Goshen. 


These people would be able to practice their trade in this new land.  The occupants of the land would not care for them,according to Joseph, due to their occupation.  Yet, they would not bother them either.

Joseph gathered his family together to inform them.  He brought them together to prepare them.  He huddled them together to coach them.  He did all of this to protect and support them.

Look at Joseph’s family leadership example.  He did not seek to usurp any authority from his father.  He did not claim to stand in the stead of his eldest brother.  He did not seek to break any cultural traditions or forsake any religious practices.  He simply spoke up and shared some advice that could help his family survive in a foreign land. 

We sure could use a reminder of how to do likewise these days.

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Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV)3Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. 4And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

-Genesis 45:3-8 ( NKJV )

Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings
Joseph took his brothers through some hoops before revealing his identity to them.  He gave them grain,but told them not to return without their other brother, Benjamin. He played a trick on them and had them returned to his presence for questioning.  He used some deceptive measures in dealing with them.
He could have done more and worse.
Finally, Joseph cannot contain himself.  He orders everyone else out of the room, leaving him alone with his brothers.  He reveals his true identity.  He addressesthe elephant in the room before going any further.  He tels them to have no fear of him.  He assures them that God has ordained things to happen as they did in order to position him in Egypt.  He appears to be content with all that has transpired.
Soul Brothers: Men in the Bible Speak to Men Today 
Joseph’s brothers had every right to fear him.  He was sold into slavery by them.  The Bible doesn’t say how they got hold of him.It doesn’t tell us if Judah or one of the others grabbed the coat from him as the others pounced upon him.  We are not given the gross details of the incident.  However, I believe that the scenes of that incident played back in the minds of those men as they stood before Joseph that day. 


I figure that these guys probably trembled with fear.  Despite all of Joseph’s assurances, these men had every reason to legitimately fear their own brother.  They probably felt that Joseph was ready to take full advantage of them and lord over them.  They probably realized how real his dreams had become on that day.

Deja VuReciprocity is one of those things that arises when we least expect it.  It comes about when we have let our guard down and we think that we have gotten away with whatever it is that we have done.  We believe that all is good until it shows up.  It borders somewhere between de ja vu and karma.  That’s when we somehow catch our breath and simply submit to the will of God in whatever the situation.
Payback - The Director's Cut (Special Collector's Edition)Live without guilt and regrets.  Don’t make the mistakes of these young men.  Just when they think that their plot has worked out for them, Joseph appears alive and in a position of power.  You don’t know what the future holds for you or anyone else.  Your best bet would be to hold to the Golden Rule, live up to the first commandment and uphold the Law of Christ which is love.  Otherwise, you would have to watch your back every single waking moment of every single day.  Payback could be around the corner.  Fear and anxiety can wear you out and wear you down.  You don’t have to live in fear.  Just live right.  Live right now.

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>Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.
Genesis: Translation and Commentary– Genesis 42:6 (NIV)

Did you remember that Joseph had a dream? Yeah.  I am talking about the dream that he shared with his brothers.  That’s the one.  In verse 4, it says that they hated him and couldn’t find a good thing to say about him.  then, in verse 5, it escalates a notch and it says that they “hated him even more.”  Yet, when you get to verse 8, it ends with these words: So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words
Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1992 Canadian Cast)Their hate went so far as to hate the dreamer, his dreams, and his words.  These were his blood, his family, and his brothers.  Yet, they hated him.  Imagine the unsettled hostility at the dinner table.  Think about how their seething hatred towards him must have kept growing as he talked among them.  They truly hated Joseph.

Fast forward some years and enter into Genesis 42A famine strikes the land of Canaan.  No Burt Lancaster cannot come into the land of Canaan with his dividing rod and find water buried beneath the earth.  Jacob directs his sons to do something to preserve their family, seeking grain in Egypt.  So, when this band of brothers arrive, minus their “dead” brother and Jacob’s other favored son Benjamin, the find the man who has charge over all of the grain in the land.  They come to that man and bow their heads.

What Dreams May Come
Joseph’s dream came true.  He may not have been ready for it, but it came true.  He may not have thought that his day would involve an interaction with those who had told his father that he was dead, but it came upon him in an instant.  Joseph’s dream came true as he stood over his brothers who bowed and prostrated themselves with their faces to the ground before him.

 

He Restores My Soul: A Forty-Day Journey Toward Personal RenewalTake note that others may despise and hate you all that they want to, but you don’t have to buy into it.  You don’t have to do the same.  You can uphold the Golden Rule, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Set yourself apart from the fray and the ruckus of low level thinking and behavior.  Be a model of patience and obedience for others.  Surely, as we see with Joseph, your day will come.  Hopefully, you will be able to say like Joseph: So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

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Zondervan NIV Study Bible37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
– Genesis 45:37-40 (NIV)


Joseph started out the day in prison.  That very morning started for Joseph behind bars.  He began his day with prison as his abode.

That wasn’t how his day ended.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

At some point during the day, someone summoned Joseph.  A message was passed down the chain of command that Pharaoh wanted to see Joseph.  The jailers and guards had get the prisoner and send him under armed guard to the palace to meet with the king of Egypt

Cast Iron Skeleton Key Set Jail Cell Jailer PirateJoseph (The Bible Collection)Imagine the rumors and buzz that went throughout the prison cells that day. Think of the curious looks that must have come across numerous faces as the message was read to those who guarded Joseph that Pharaoh wanted to see the young man at once.  Picture the change in atmosphere as Joseph walked up from the depths of the dark dungeons to the corridors that lead to the awaiting king.  Imagine what must have gone through his mind as he took a step into the presence of the most powerful man in the world, the ruler of Egypt.Grace: Gods Unmerited FavorThe Black Pharaohs: Egypt's Nubian Rulers 
Think of how much God can intervene on your behalf.  He can open doors in an instant.  He can work in your favor without you having to lift a single finger. For those who subscribe to Murphy’s Law, believing that if it can go wrong that it will go wrong, you have to see that God has a law higher than Murphy’s Law.  If you believe in karma, you truly have to see that God has grace and favor for the obedient and faithful.  Karma doesn’t do what God’s unmerited favor is capable of doing in your lives.  When you look at Joseph’s life, you see favor from God on display before men.  That’s the difference God can make in our lives daily.

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