Category: Genesis-BibleTrekToday

Trek through Genesis

The land of milk and honey!

Scripture Reading for February 23: Deuteronomy 8-11

In 1995, my son and I went to Israel and Egypt on a three week study tour of the Holy Land plus the route of the Exodus and Egypt.  In Egypt we visited the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and several museums.  The land of Egypt was primarily desert and dry rocky mountains until we got to the Nile River where the water and irrigation made some green areas and lush groves of tropical plants.  The land was fairly flat and sandy.  Israel, on the other hand was varied in topography and had many different areas of climate and vegetation.  The Jezreel valley was a rich agricultural region with big farms. The vineyard country was terraced and had trees and vines.  The area around the Sea of Galilee was lush and had banana and pineapples growing.  There were herds of cattle and sheep in the Golan Heights.  Shepherds drove their flocks of goats and sheep and camped in tents in the Negev desert.  It was a varied land full of milk (goats and cattle) and honey (bees pollinating vines and flowers).

God described the land that the Israelites were going to as a land flowing with milk and honey!  It was a land of hills and valleys! God sent the rain of heaven on Israel where in Egypt, by hand and foot, the land had to be irrigated! In Canaan, God cared for the land and His eyes were upon it to bless His people! (Deuteronomy 8:7-12) God wanted to inspire His people to move forward in faith to possess it.

As my son and I walked and rode through that land, God’s presence was evident to us.  It is a special land, although it is not remarkable or extraordinary in itself.  God’s presence and His people made it special!  God’s promises to Israel and His love for His people and our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob stand as a testimony of God’s faithfulness.  Four thousand years after Abraham, his descendants are still in that land and are taking possession of it yet!  They have defeated armies more numerous and stronger, because God is with them and His Word is still true.  (Deuteronomy 11:23,25)  It is a land that God cares for and His eyes are upon it continually!  He desire them all to know their Messiah, Jesus Christ!

Take time today to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and support God’s land and people!  Pray for the salvation of those who are seeking to destroy Israel. A blessing is on those who bless Israel!  (Genesis 12:3)

Tags : , , , , , ,

Sin that makes earth vomit!

Scripture Reading for February 7th: Leviticus 18-20

God talks about sex and all it’s perverted variations in these chapters of Leviticus.  He tells his people that they are not to have sexual relations like the nation of Egypt where they were enslaved.  God’s people are to live differently from the world.  God’s laws about sexual conduct are designed to bring about a holy people who have children who will be blessed by God with His presence and power through a relationship with Him. 

Honor is important in sexual relations.  Incest dishonors your father or mother and you if you initiate it.  God also states that it is wickedness.  (Leviticus 18:17)  Sex with close relatives (incest) is wrong and dishonors the family.  Sex with another man’s wife (adultery) defiles you! (Leviticus 18:20) Sex with the same sex is “detestable” to God.  (Leviticus 18:22) Sex with an animal (bestiality) is perverted! (Leviticus 18:23)  God has designed man for one woman for life and has promised to bless that relationship.  (Genesis 2:24) Are you pursuing His blessing?

When you commit any of these sexual sins, God says that you defile the land where you live.  God states that this defilement causes that land to “vomit” out people who do these sins!  (Leviticus 18:24-28)  In fact, this is why and how God has destroyed many of the great civilizations in history!  Many people living in America are committing sins of incest, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and bestiality.   We may appear to get by but the consequences of sin always find us out. (Numbers 32:23) God’s people are to be markedly different!  They are to be holy because God is holy. (Leviticus 19:2)  This holiness is to be walked out in love and respect for God’s laws and in our conduct towards others.

America today needs our prayer and intercession.  We are a nation who knows too much and applies too little.  These sins are prevalent in the church as well as in the nation we live in.  Take time today to repent and pray for God’s mercy.  The earth may be ready to vomit!

“And if you defile the land,(with these sexual sins) it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” Leviticus 18:28

Tags : , , , , , ,

Sin and death

Scripture reading for February 1st: Leviticus 1-3

Leviticus 3:16 “And the priest shall burn them (kidneys and fat) on the altar as a food offering with a pleasing aroma. All fat is the Lord’s.” It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.”

This book of Scripture was not originally one I liked to read.  But after careful and prayerful reflection, I began to understand.  Sin causes death.  (Genesis 2:16-17)  Death spread to all men by Adam’s sin. (Romans 5:12-14) God provided the first blood sacrifice for Adam and Eve after they sinned.  Initially, they had used fig leaves. God clothed them with bloody skins of animals.  (Genesis 3:21)  He was showing them the effects of sin each time they put their new “clothes” on.

God was again visually helping His people to see how sin affects their lives and nation.  These sacrifices offered made man aware of the cost of sin and a safe way to approach God.  When an animal was offered according to God’s instructions in Leviticus, God would accept the sacrifice and be pleased. (Leviticus 1:9,17; 2:9)  God was pleased because those who made the sacrifice were using their faith in His Word!

Jesus Christ shed his precious blood on the cross of Calvary and declared: “It is finished!” (John 19:30)  When we approach this same Holy God, we can come boldly before His throne any time day or night for prayer, fellowship, or forgiveness. (Hebrews 4:14-16)  We do it by faith in the sacrifice of the body and blood of our Savior!

Why did God choose blood sacrifice as a way to cover sin? How would you describe your faith in Christ’s sacrifice for you? Why is a works-based salvation easier for mankind to trust in?

“But now He (Christ) has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:26-28

Tags : , , , , , ,

Sunday rest and reflection

Genesis began with God.  He is the central figure!  He is creating, working and enjoying!  It was good!  Man was placed by God in a Garden, walking with God in the cool of the day!   Man is made special and in God’s image, male and female. Man is to rule over creation and tend it with God’s blessing!

Genesis is foundational to our worldview as Christians.  Without Genesis we wouldn’t understand where the universe, earth, and solar system came from.  Without Genesis we wouldn’t know about the serpent and how sin entered along with death.  We wouldn’t know about our special creation and purpose on the earth.  We wouldn’t understand why the world was flooded and where the rainbow came from and what it testifies about! We would struggle to understand how we got all the nations and languages.  We would not know how and why God began the nation of Israel and His plans to bless the world through Abraham’s offspring.  We would not understand the conflict in the Middle East that pits millions of Arabs and Ishmael’s descendants against the Jews and Christians. We would miss all the rich stories of the fathers of faith as they struggled to walk with God, wrestled with Him, and followed Him through famine, imprisonment, threats and their eventual death.  The lives of Adam, Eve, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Esau, Rachael, Leah, Joseph, Judah, and numerous others are chronicled.  We read about their successes and failures; their loves and their quarrels; about births and deaths. They were much like us, yet known by name by our Father God!

Genesis 50:24-25 “And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”

Tags : , , ,

The Lion Roars!

Scripture reading for January 17th:  Genesis 48-50

Genesis 49:10-11 “You are a lion’s cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son.  Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness–who dares to rouse him?  The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”

Have you ever been at the bedside of a loved one who was soon to enter eternity?  If they are alert and able to talk, we listen for every word and thought.  Joseph or someone in the family took down  Jacob’s  last words to each family member.  He gave a special blessing to Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.  He then spoke a word, also recorded, over the other sons.  (Genesis 49:9-20)

The blessing of Joseph’s sons effectively made Joseph the first-born, who by law was to receive a double portion of the inheritance.  Israel blessed Joseph and adopted the boys. The other brothers had tried to kill Joseph and cut him out, but God re-established his place and doubled the inheritance!  Israel also chose Ephraim over Manasseh.  The younger over the older.  All blessing and God’s reward comes not from birth order but Divine order!  God alone knows the hearts and the end from the beginning!

One other blessing is worth noting.  Judah also received a word in Genesis 49:8-12.  Judah was told that his brothers would praise him. (His name means “praise”.)  His hand would be on the neck of his enemies and his father’s sons would bow down to him.  He was called a “lion’s cub”.  Jesus was the offspring of Judah in the genealogy of Matthew 1:3.  He is known as the “Lion of Judah” (Revelation 5:5)  He triumphed over all God’s enemies!  Israel finally made Joseph swear to take his bones back to the promised land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel).  He believed in God returning and that land his property that he wanted to be buried there.   

What would you say if you just had a very short time left here on earth?  What words would you leave with those closest to you?  Would your faith be evident in you life and statements?

“When Jacob had finished  giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.” Genesis 49:33

Tags : , , , , ,

Don’t quarrel on the way!

Scripture reading for January 16th: Genesis 45-47

Families and churches are sometimes prone to conflict!  I know because I live in a family, have attended churches for many years, and have pastored for 34 years in four different churches.  I have experienced conflict in family and church settings and sometimes been responsible for it myself.  Sometimes conflict comes from misunderstanding and poor communication.  Other times it comes from jealousy or envy.  Sometimes it comes from sin and wrong-doing.  Everybody wants to blame somebody else and arguments ensue about who is at fault! 

In our reading today, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers after a series of  encounters with them.  When Joseph revealed himself to them, they were astonished, speechless, and terrified because of guilt!  (Genesis 45:1-7)  Joseph had to reassure them that it was truly him.   He understood their feelings.  He had likely worked through these same kinds of feelings himself over the years.  God gave him understanding of His greater purpose that was being worked out.  Joseph shared this purpose with his brothers to encourage them.  “It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”

As Joseph sent them away to bring Israel and the rest of the family down to Egypt to save them during the coming 5 years of famine, he warned them not to quarrel on the way!  He knew human nature and the temperament of his brothers. God desires forgiveness, unity, and humbly serving one another. In that unity He can bless and fulfill His promises. Prophetic vision of God’s purposes helps us cooperate.

Are you experiencing strife or quarreling in your family, church or at work? What is God’s purpose that He has to place you there? How might you share this to God’s glory?  

Genesis 45:24 “Don’t quarrel on the way!” 

Tags : , , , , , , ,

From prison to palace!

Scripture reading for January 15: Genesis 41-44

Genesis 41:41-42 “So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took the signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger.  He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.”

Joseph had been in prison for several years for a crime he did not commit.  He had been faithful to God and avoided the seductive trap of Potiphar’s wife but it cost him imprisonment. In jail his righteous character brought him trust and a reputation. He had interpreted the dreams of two other prisoners. One was executed but the other one who was freed had agreed to help him get out, but promptly forgot! Two years later, Pharaoh had a disturbing dream that none of his advisers could interpret and the chief cupbearer, formerly Joseph’s fellow prisoner,  remembered Joseph’s ability! Joseph was brought before Pharaoh and he interpreted the dream, giving God credit! ( Genesis 41:16)  Pharaoh promoted Joseph from prisoner to second in command in all of Egypt in a few hours

Joseph’s time in jail tested his faith and centered him even closer to God.  God’s blessing rested on him even in that jail.  When God’s time came, the prince came out and Joseph’s dreams came true!  Joseph was also a type of Jesus Christ.  God sent Him before us to deliver us by His suffering.  The Word of the Lord has proved Him true too!  Our light momentary afflictions are working an eternal weight of glory!  Keep on being faithful and He will exalt you in due time!

Are you believing God for dreams or visions He has given you? Are you being faithful to serve God and others in the place He has you in now?

Psalm 105:17-19“and he sent a man before them–Joseph, sold as a slave.  They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the Word of the Lord proved him true.”

Tags : , , ,

Use ‘de’ feet to avoid defeat!

Scripture reading for January 13th: Genesis 37-40

Genesis 39:11-12 “One day he (Joseph) went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants were inside.  She caught him by the cloak and said, “come to bed with me!”  But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.

The story of Joseph is a fascinating one!  He was a dreamer and the youngest of 11 brothers.  He was also his father’s favorite and probably a little spoiled.  After sharing dreams that showed his father and brothers bowing down to him, jealousy and murderous intentions in his brothers nearly cost him his life. Thankfully, one of his brothers showed a small amount of compassion and his life was spared. Joseph was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt, his dreams apparently shattered.

In Egypt, God placed Joseph as a servant to a wealthy Egyptian, Potiphar. One day when Potiphar was gone, Joseph was doing his duties in the house. He was propositioned by Potiphar’s wife.  “Come to bed with me!”   Joseph’s response was full of truth and godly wisdom.  “My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife.  How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”  Day after day, Joseph continued to refuse her advances.  One day she grabbed him by his cloak and Joseph used his feet to escape. He was falsely accused by the shunned woman, and ended up in prison!

Adultery is a sin!  It is a sin against God and another person and their mate made in God’s image and joined as one.  Adultery causes lying, jealousy, hatred, violence and ultimately death.  It sows violence in a relationship and destroys marriages and homes.  Children are the victims and the devil loves to devour children in the midst of adultery, lying and violence. Scripture calls us to marriage purity and tells us to flee temptation to avoid defeat!

Are you caught in temptations that you are finding difficult to resist? Have you asked God for inner strength to stand up for His Word? What’s keeping you from using your feet?

Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed should be kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4

Tags : , , , ,

Wrestling with God!

Scripture Reading for January 12:  Genesis 32-36

And God said to him, “I am God Almighty, be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and community of nations will come from your body.  The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.”  Genesis 36:11-12 

Have you ever felt that God has told you to do something difficult?  Our first move away from home to pastor our first church in Washington was like that. Our daughter just ready for her senior year in a good Christian high school.  We had always lived close to family and our church family. This new church was in a different culture and was two thousand miles away. We had told God we would go anywhere, but not necessarily this far!  But we are so thankful for obeying God! Our lives were made rich in His plans!

Jacob faced just such a challenge in Genesis 31:13. God commanded him to go back home after twenty years in exile. Jacob had taken his brother Esau’s birthright and stolen his father’s blessing.  He had just upset his father-in-law by leaving with his family and herds acquired by his shrewdness.  Jacob sent his family across the Jabok, a tributary of the Jordan River. He heard reports that Esau was coming with 400 men  and he stayed behind to pray.

That night Scripture says “a man wrestled with him until daybreak”.  (Genesis 32:22-31) This “man” touched Jacobs hip socket and put it out of joint.  But Jacob would not let him go until this “man” blessed him.  The man asked Jacob his name–“Jacob” (cheat, supplanter).  The man changed Jacob’s name to “Israel” (wrestled with God and men and have overcome.)  Thus the nation of “Israel” was born out of this amazing wrestling match!   

Have you ‘wrestled with God’? Is there something that God is asking you to do that is troubling or dangerous or causes fear? Confess your old ‘name’. Persistently seek the Lord for His provision and blessing and humbly receive His new name for you!  

“He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”  Revelation 2:17

Tags : , , , , , ,

Unequally yoked!

Scripture Reading for January 11–Genesis 27-31

“Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women.  If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.”  Genesis 27:46

Abraham sent his servant to find a bride for Isaac from believing family to insure the godly line would be continued.  Isaac and Rebekah had the twins Jacob and Esau.  But Esau had a taste for these Hittite women,  not just one, but two wives at the same time!  It seems that Esau was oblivious to the grief he caused his godly parents.  He went right ahead in spite of their personal marriage story and probably their godly training and advice.  

God asks us to walk by faith and in obedience to His Word.  He has placed those in authority over us to help us learn how to live and please the Lord.  Choosing a mate is one of the most important choices we make in life.  Parents know their children and should give godly instruction to marry only believers.  We should help them by setting an example of a godly marriage and home. We should be praying for God’s helpmate for our children and instructing them to wait on God. (2nd Corinthians 6:14-15.) God desires godly offspring and parents work and pray to see faith passed on!  

Are you married and praying for your children? Have you taught your children to pick godly mates who are believers? Take time to pray for our nation and the need for returning to godly marriage principles.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what have righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?  What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”  2nd Corinthians 6:14-15

Tags : , , , ,