_ It was customary to give the firstborn son a double portion of your inheritance. In a sense, Jacob makes Joseph his firstborn instead of Reuben in Genesis 48:5. He “adopts” Joseph’s two firstborn sons and thereby allots each of them a portion of his inheritance. In other words, Joseph’s family received a double portion.
As you read the rest of chapter 48 and all of 49, it becomes apparent that Jacob understands clearly how the blessing of the LORD from a father works. It isn’t about saying some nice words that people want to hear, but releasing what God wants released by speaking His decree. Genesis 49:28 (ESV) says, “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 49:33 says, “When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.” I don’t know what to say, but wow! What a way to end your course; releasing the prophetic blessing to the next generations with your last breaths.
_ Genesis 47, verses 13 through 26 shows how God can cause a person or nation to gain great resources by first giving them His wisdom.
In the way the people did with Joseph, one day all nations will freely serve Christ Jesus as He reigns over the earth. They will be thankful that He has saved them just as the people were to Joseph.
_ Before God raised Joseph to power, he had many trials from the age of 17 to 30... (He was sold into slavery by his brothers, accused of attempted rape and put in prison, and forgotten by the king’s cupbearer after his release) He could have become bitter, but instead the character he had led him to more maturity of character.
Romans 5:3-4 (Amplified version) “Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. 4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.”
As you read through chapter 45 you see the meekness and the true heart of servant leadership that Joseph had. It was power and authority directed by love.
_ Genesis 41:8 says “Now it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh."
The end of the age is drawing closer and things will shake and topple. Man will have no answers for the problems around them, but God is preparing people to step into places of influence. They will come with God's wisdom and power revealing God's glory. As we see in chapter 41, God is preparing people in the “pit” of adversity for a day that He shall receive glory through them. One day Joseph was in prison, the next he was ruling over a nation… that is the power of God’s Word planted in a believers heart.
Something to think about: How did the belief that Jacob (Israel) had that Joseph had been killed affect his decision in this chapter 42?
_ Chapter 38
The story in chapter 38 with Judah’s words in verse 26, "She has been more righteous than I” are a sober reminder that our criticisms and judgments would often change if we had a realistic viewpoint of ourselves. Sin and wickedness needs to be addressed, but it should be addressed with meekness, humility and mercy.
Have you ever felt that you were a victim of circumstance? The LORD will cause everything to work for good for those that love God; He has called you with His purpose.
Genesis 40:23 says, “Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”
It’s comforting to know our destiny is not in the frailty of people. What God has promised, He will be faithful to bring to pass.
_ Chapter 27...
Joseph is one of the many types and foreshadows of Jesus Christ. He was loved by his father and hated by his brothers. His brother’s jealousy would lead them to do him evil, but God would use it for His purpose. Just like Jesus Christ, he was brought to a place of authority at age 30 to save many. Joseph says it best to his brother in Genesis 50:20 (NIV), “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
I would love to read any other thoughts you have along this line, or anything else you get from the Scripture today.
_ In chapter 32 the LORD brings Jacob to a place in his life where his faith is tested just as it was with Abraham and Isaac. He is afraid to go back because of Esau, but the LORD has spoken he must go back; it is there he and his descendents will be blessed.
How do you win a fight with God?
First off, let me point out that Jacob didn’t go to God; God came to Jacob to wrestle with him. Why? Jacob was “obeying” God to go back, but he was trying to do it in his own strength again! He was double-minded and unstable; he wanted to believe that the LORD would be with him, bless him, and protect him from his brother, but he knew the character of Esau and was afraid. We see that God came down to wrestle with him, but this was just the outward; the real wrestling match was going on in the heart of Jacob. Just as Jacob refused to let God win, so he had done the same in his life up until then. God had no option but to put his hip out of joint; He removed Jacobs’s strength. Jacob couldn’t “win” the fight now, and he couldn’t escape from Esau anymore. If he was going to go forward, he would have to trust God alone. With Jacob’s strength gone, all he could do is hold on to God for His blessings now; mainly the blessing of God performing His promises to him. I think verse 31 is a powerful picture of what victory looks like in the life of a believer: “Just as he crossed over Penuel (Meaning: face or seeing God) the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.” Victory isn’t us walking in our strength, but when we recognize our weakness and inability of ourselves and our heart trusts God alone. Then we will see the God’s presence rise upon us.
Question: What is the meaning of the altar he named “El Elohe Israel” in Genesis 33:20, and why is this significant? (See also Gen. 28:20 & 21)
_ The LORD needed Jacob to take a step of faith and go back to the land of Canaan; the land his descendents would inherit. In yesterdays reading, in Genesis 28:15, the LORD said to Jacob, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you." The only problem was that that Esau was in the land; the one who vowed to kill him.
I find it somewhat humorous that God chooses to speak to Jacob to go back to his homeland at the same time he observes things are becoming hostel where he is presently at. Genesis 31:1-3 says, “Now Jacob heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, "Jacob has taken away all that was our father's, and from what was our father's he has acquired all this wealth." 2 And Jacob saw the countenance of Laban, and indeed it was not favorable toward him as before. 3 Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you."
After Laban accuses Jacob of stealing his gods (Gen. 31:30) Jacob says in Genesis 31:32, ‘“With whomever you find your gods, do not let him live.” This may have been the reason for Rachel’s early death (Gen. 35:19). Our words have power; we must respect the power of our words and always speak life. If we speak death we ought to repent, verbally cancel those words and speak life into what we had said.
_ We see in Chapter 27 what a mess we make of things when we try to do things our own way. It is the willing and obedient that will eat the good of the land. (Isaiah 1:19)
In chapter 29 Jacob would begin to work for his conniving uncle Laban. God would use these 20 years to purify Jacob and begin to show him how the blessing of the LORD really comes into someone’s life. In other words, he would see God does not need our help; He only needs our cooperation as we trust Him. Laban tricks Jacob and gives him Leah instead of Rachel after working for seven years for her; then Jacob must work seven more years for Rachel. Later we will see how Laban changes Jacobs’s wages ten times in an attempt to keep the blessing that belonged to Jacob (See Gen.31:7). Laban’s attempts would be unfruitful, and Jacob would see more clearly how conniving does not work. He would learn that God can bless us as we trust Him and He does not need the feeble works of our flesh.
_ Chapter 25
The LORD spoke to Rebekah that, “the older shall serve the younger" (Gen. 25:23), so the encouragement of Rebekah to Jacob to be conniving in chapter 27 was entirely useless. Jacob would set himself up to learn the painful lesson that Abraham his grandfather learned: you can’t bring forth the promise of God with the strength of the flesh.
Just as Isaac needed to contend for the wells Abraham had dug, we need to contend to see everything God has given us regardless of the opposition. We need to stand with Leadership that will fight for what past generations had and then go on to see more. How sad it is when Leaders “explain away” the things God has for His people like healing and the release of God’s Spirit in their lives.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan
Wednesdays - Bible Study - 7-8:15 pm
Sundays - Prayer - 6 pm (7 pm on Dec. 10)
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