The End and The Beginning 

The End and The Beginning 

Genesis 50 

Final Lesson 39 

Folks, this is the last chapter of Genesis and the last lesson of Jacob, Joseph and Judah. In one sense, I have a little “Joseph fatigue” after nearly 40 lessons and 35,000 words written about Genesis 37-50. On the other hand, I have found new and encouraging insights every time I dig into a new section. 

There is a lot here in chapter 50 but I’m going to focus on the section that I believe has the most devotional impact on me and you.

The Sting of Death

The patriarch Jacob, requests his body be buried in the land of Canaan, the land promised by God, and then he breathes his last breath. Then Joseph fell on his father’s face, and wept over him and kissed him, vs 1.  Read more

No Boasting Allowed

No Boasting Allowed 

Genesis 49 

Joseph, lesson 38 

This chapter contains the final words of Jacob before he breathes his last breath. Under the inspiration of God, he prophecies the future of each son. Examining each son’s prophecy is well beyond the scope of my devotional writing. So, let’s focus on the most important son, Judah. 

Judah, your brothers shall praise you; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down to you. Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse him up. 

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh (Messiah) comes. And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. Read more

There’s More 

There’s More 

Genesis 48 

Joseph, lesson 37 

Jacob said to JosephNow, your two sons who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. 48.5 

He (Jacob) blessed Joseph, and said, ‘The God before whom my father's Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads, (Ephraim and Manasseh); And may my name live on in them, and the names of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac; and may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. 48.15,16 

By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. Hebrews 11.21 

I’m starting to sense that if I don’t move on from the story of Joseph and Jacob soon, I’m going to start losing followers, lol. Last post I started with ‘I got nothing in Genesis 48.’ Now I’m giving my readers ANOTHER post from Genesis 48. I have persevered through this chapter several times and each time, I see more good stuff. Read more

Real Adoption

I have a happy grandson on his last day of kindergarten!

Real Adoption 

Genesis 48 

Joseph, lesson 36 

Here’s the true picture of our devotional study this morning...I just read Genesis 48 and I really have no idea of the main point of the passage. This is a little embarrassing. This is a like having a bad dream that I’m standing up to preach and I realize I’m only wearing my underwear. 

There are so many smarter Bible teachers than me. I trust you know that. My goal of writing this blog is to share with you my journey of going through the Bible chapter by chapter and NOT giving into the temptation to skip over chapters that aren’t initially motivating, interesting or devotional. 

My process is to follow the pattern of the three R’s. Read, Reflect and wRite. Part of reflecting is praying for enlightenment, reviewing the notes of my study Bible and maybe a few other Bible Study sources. Then I just start writing and prayerfully ask for clarity. Sometimes I write for a while and look back and realize, ‘I got nothing.’ It’s just not good at all. So I’ll scrape it and start again. It sounds frustrating and it kind of is. But I remind myself that the experience of wrestling with the Word is actually the source of my greatest spiritual growth. It is the great adventure of discovering the richness of God’s Word and therefore, the depth and breadth of God Himself. I encourage all of you to do the same. 

Okay, I have been avoiding this chapter, so, let’s get to it: Read more

The Fairness Doctrine 

This is Leigh's brother Jim and his beautiful family.

The Fairness Doctrine 

Genesis 47 

Joseph, lesson 35 

Pharaoh said to Jacob, ‘How many years have you lived?’ So, Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life.’ 47.8 

In my older age, I have found myself to be more and more reflective. Jacob, in his old age becomes reflective in front of Pharaoh and says, ‘few (compared to Abraham and Isaac) and unpleasant have been the years of my life.’ 

The Bible is filled with stories of victory and joy. But this morning I’m reminded that many of the Bible characters lived difficult and painful lives. These weren’t the villains of the stories; they were servants of God and part of His plan and workIn Jacob’s case, part of what contributed toward his unpleasant life was his own sowing and reaping. But at the same time, God allowed Jacob to suffer, mostly emotionally and relationally, in order to accomplish His purposes. Read more

Glorious Reunion

My dear friend from Malawi, Pastor Charles Tsukuluza, with his wife Ella, graduated with a doctorate in Theology.

Glorious Reunion 

Genesis 46 

Joseph, lesson 34 

Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time. Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive. 

Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, ‘I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me; and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ 46:29-31. 

Allow me to mention a boring detail for a moment. I haven’t fully researched this yet, (I guess because it’s kind of boring), but for some reason, the Egyptians did not mingle with keepers of livestock. When Pharaoh set up Jacob and his clan in the land of Goshen, they were isolated from the rest of Egypt. Providentially, it seems God had all this planned out so that the Israelites would flourish and grow without Egyptian intermingling. 

As to the devotional part of the text and in an effort to be transparent with you in my journey through this section of Genesis, all I can say is ‘I got nothing.’ You recall that Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord and he would not let go until he received a blessing. Well, I feel like I’ve been wrestling with Genesis 46 and 47 the last couple of days and I don’t have any rich and inspiring insights of devotional application. Read more

To Contend

This is me and Leigh recently attending the HS graduation of our goddaughter, Ally Bennett, in Danville, CA

To Contend 

Genesis 46 & Hosea 12 

Joseph, lesson 33 

Last time, we read that Jacob stopped to worship and hear from God on his trek to Egypt to see Joseph. Jacob had many faults but we can learn from his passion to interact with God. You can read about Jacob’s night of wrestling with the angel of God, the pre-incarnate Son of God, in Genesis 32:24-32. However, most people don’t realize that the prophet Hosea wrote a God-inspired commentary about Jacob’s experience. 

In the womb he took his brother by the heel, and in his maturity, he contended with God. Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed; He wept and sought His favor. 

He found Him at Bethel and there He spoke with us, even the Lord, the God of hosts, The Lord is His name.  

Therefore, return to your God, observe kindness and justice, and wait for your God continually. Hosea 12.3-6 Read more

Voice of God

This is Buster Mikesell carrying a fellow recruit during training. He is the son of Michelle, one of my work associates and follower of my blog. On the 75th anniversary of D-Day last week, Buster completed Marine-Recruit training and became a Marine! We are forever grateful for his service and for all our military who serve to protect our freedom!

Voice of God 

Genesis 46 

Joseph, lesson 32 

Then Israel said, ‘It is enough; my son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.’ 

So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, ‘Jacob, Jacob.’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes. 46:1-4 

God Speaks 

Sometimes we need to be reminded of the voice of God. He speaks and He affirms that ‘I am God; do not be afraid; I am in control; you can trust Me; I will keep My promises.’ Read more

A Big God

A Big God 

Genesis 45  

Joseph, lesson 31 

Now when the news was heard in Pharaoh’s house that Joseph’s brothers had come, it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Say to your brothers, 'do this: load your beasts and go to the land of Canaan, and take your father and your households and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you will eat the fat of the land.’ Now you are ordered, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father and come.’ 

‘Do not concern yourselves with your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’ Genesis 45:16-20 

When reading Bible narratives, such as this, I try to keep in my mind that there is a ‘big picture’ plan that God is unfolding within the story. In addition, He is giving particular attention to the individual lives that He is affecting while accomplishing His large-scale purposes. It’s the same thing in our lives. We are not the center of the world. Jesus is the center of the universe. God is accomplishing His large-scale plan around us and we are His subjects in His massive production. Read more