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The end of Genesis

Hello, today I read Genesis 48-50 and Psalm 16.

In Genesis I read how the sons of Joseph that were born to him in Egypt were considered the sons of Jacob. Jacob blesses them but he blesses Ephraim as the first born even though he is the second born. When he calls all of his sons to him to bless them. He says in 49:1, “Come here to me, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the future.” And he tells each of them some things, some good things and some not-so-good things. It is pretty cool because he says of Judah’s family that someone will always be on the throne and the nations will obey him. We know that Jesus comes from Judah’s line, so awesome!

Then Jacob dies at the age of 147. He had asked to have his body moved out of Egypt to the cave near Mamre in the land of Canaan so everyone takes his body there. After they bury him they go back to Egypt.

After Jacob’s death the brothers were afraid Joseph would take revenge on them so they told Joseph their dad gave the command to forgive them. This made Joseph cry and he told his brothers it was all God’s plan so that people’s lives could be saved.

Joseph lived to the age of 110, before he died he also asked that his body be taken out of Eygpt. He said to take it when everyone heads to the land God has promised them. So for the time being they put his body in a coffin in Egypt. Amd that ends Genesis. They do end up keeping this promise and take his body with them in Exodus 13 on the way to the promised land, which is really cool. 🙂

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You gotta read Psalm 15!

Hello, today I read Genesis 46, 47, and Psalm 15.

In Genesis I read about all of the family of Jacob (66 descendants, the wives were not counted in this number) moving to Egypt. God tells Jacob not to be afraid to go to Egypt because he is with him and will make his descendants great. God will also bring them out of Egypt again. They settled in a place called Goshen.

Psalm 15 is really cool. It is a Psalm of David and in verse 1 he asks who may enter God’s holy tent? Who can live on God’s holy mountain? The rest of the short chapter, verses 2-5, give the answer! You should go read it!

🙂

I’m Joseph!

Good morning! Today I read Genesis 43-45 and Psalm 14.

In Genesis all of Joseph’s brothers are going before him to get grain.  He doesn’t tell them who he is and they don’t recognize him so he decides to mess with them a little bit. Well actually a lot a bit. He accuses them of being spies and says that they need to prove that they have a little brother by bringing him to Egypt. He says he will keep captive one of the brothers while they go. So they head back to Canaan and on the way they discover that all of the money that they paid for their food has been put back into their bags. This scares them but they continue on home. When they get home their dad, Jacob, is upset that Simeon is not with them and they tell him that they can’t go back unless Benjamin goes too.

I’m not sure how long this was but it says when all of their food supply ran out again they discussed going back to Egypt. At first Jacob says they cannot take Benjamin but then he says to take him. He says in 43:14, ” I pray that God Almighty will cause the governor to be merciful to you and that he will allow Simeon and Benjamin to come back to with you. If I am robbed of my children, then I am robbed of them!”

So they go again with Benjamin. When Joseph sees Benjamin he has to leave the room so he can cry. He washes up and goes out to see them again and has a big meal with them all. Then he tricks them again by putting his silver cup in Benjamin’s bag when he sends them home.  He has his servant go after them and recover the “stolen” cup. And when they return they say that they didn’t steal anything and finally Joseph tells them he is the brother whom they sold.

When the king hears that Joseph found his family he says they need to move to Egypt where they will be given everything they need to live. He even says they don’t need to bring anything back with them because he will supply it all.

Chapter 45 ends with the brothers going home and telling their father, Jacob, that Joseph is alive and is ruler over all the land of Egypt.

It’s Saturday! Today I read Genesis 41-42 and Psalm 13.

I love psalm 13:5, it says, ” I trust in your love. My heart is happy because you saved me.” 🙂

In Genesis, Joseph is still in jail (from yesterday’s reading.) The king of Egypt has a dream and the wine bearer remembers that Joseph interpreted his dream (again, part of yesterday’s reading) and it happened just as he said. So Joseph is called in to see the king and he listens to the dream and he tells king what it means. But first Joseph tells him in 41:16, it says ” Joseph answered the king. “I am not able to explain the meaning of dreams, but God will do this for the king.” 

I’ve been listening to a sermon series and it’s really cool because the series is talking about the book of Daniel and this very same thing happened with Daniel! He said the same thing! He said he couldn’t interpret the dream but God could! 

Okay back to Joseph. The king makes him second in charge over everything. He tells Joseph to do what Joseph had suggested to do, which is save grain for the next seven years because after that there will come seven years of famine.  

Chapter 41 ends with the hunger years starting. And it also tells us that Joseph’s name was changed to Zaphenath-Paneah. He was given a wife name Asenath. And he had two sons named Manasseh and Ephraim.

🙂

Judah, one of the 12.

Hello, today I read Genesis 38-40 and Psalm 12.

Genesis 38 starts off by talking about Judah one of the sons of Jacob. It says he leaves his brothers and moves to a place called Adullam. He marries a Canaanite woman and they have three boys. Right away I am alerted because I know that they weren’t supposed to marry people from other nations. Anyway, the oldest son marries a woman named Tamar, but he is evil and he dies. Oh and I have to point out that it says that Judah chose Tamar to marry him, but I dont think that is significant. So his little brother marries Tamar to carry on and have children for his brother but he does evil and he dies too. So Judah tells her that when his youngest son grows up he’ll have him marry her but he doesn’t follow through on that. So she takes off her widow clothes and puts on a veil and sits in a city where she knows Judah will see her. He doesn’t recognize her so he propositions her to have sex with him. (I have to mention that his wife has died, but this still doesn’t make this okay) He gives her his walking stick and seal until he can get a goat to her which is the payment. They do the deed and she gets pregnant and later he sends his friend to give her the goat and retrieve his stuff. The friend can’t find her and returns to Judah. He tells him the town says there’s no prostitutes there. So Judah forgets about it. Then 3 months later he hears that his daughter-in-law is pregnant and he calls for her because he is going to put her to death. When she comes to him she brings his seal and walking stick. 38:26 says, ” Judah recognized them and said, “She is more in the right than I. She did this because I did not give her to my son Shelah as I promised.” And Judah did not have sexual relations with her again.”

What is very interesting to me is how he was going to put her to death but when he found out he was the culprit then it was all okay? There were no repercussions for Judah? Or maybe there were and we just don’t know all of the story. 

It says she had twins. One twin put his hand out while being born and the nurse tied a string around his wrist and then he pulled this hand back in. So then the other twin was born first, he was named Perez. The second one born, the one with the string, was named Zerah. 

This is a very odd story and I think that it is written in here because Jesus was from the line of Perez. To me it is another example of how God can use the most horrible of circumstances and make a good thing happen. Something we usually can’t see or imgine. This is where having faith in God is so key while living this difficult human life. All of our messups can be turned around.

Thank you God!!!

Wrestles with God

Hello, today I read Genesis 32-37 and Psalms 10 and 11.

In Genesis I read about how Jacob returns back to Canaan. First he sends a message out to Esau and that night he wrestles with God. The wrestling story is confusing to me, but this is when God changes his name from Jacob to Israel, which means wrestles with God. The next day he starts out toward Canaan. Esau comes to meet him and Jacob is afraid because he left on bad terms with his brother. But Esau welcomes him with open arms. Then another confusing thing. Esau wants to escort Jacob back but Jacob says he doesn’t want to travel too fast and that he will meet Esau in Edom. But then he goes to a place called Succoth. Then it says he went to Shechem. He never goes to Edom? Why did he tell Esau that he would? But then later it says that Esau moved to Edom so maybe Esau wasn’t in Edom just yet????

Here is a map that shows these areas.

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Then I read about how one of the daughters of Jacob, Dinah, was violated sexually (by a man named Shechem) and the guy wants to marry her. So the sons of Jacob make a deal with the people of Shechem, telling them they will marry each other’s people only if they agree to be circumcised. So they are all circumcised and while they are healing the brothers of Dinah come and slaughter all the men. This scares Jacob because now he says all the people around them will hate them and destroy them. God tells Jacob to move to Bethel so he does.

While in Bethel Rachel dies while giving birth to a son named Benjamin. And apparently they didn’t stay in Bethel long because it says that they continued their journey and camped south of Migdal Eder. I am not sure what journey he is on, but it does say that he went to where his father had lived near Hebron where Isaac breathed his last breath at 180 years old. It says both Jacob and Esau buried him.

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Here is another map showing where Hebron is so it makes sense that he was on a journey to see his dad.

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Then I read about Esau’s family and the family of Sier. Sier lived in the land of Edom along with Esau.

Then I read about the sons of Jacob and how the brothers sold Joseph to some Ishmaelites who sold him to Potiphar, an officer to the king of Egypt and captain of the palace guard.

The story is continuing to move along quickly!

The story moves quickly!

Today I read Genesis 25-28 and Psalm 8.

In Genesis I read about Abraham marrying again. Whoa! He is over 137 years old at this point! He has some more children, whoa again, and they become nations that are familiar like Sheba, Assyria, and Median. It says he lived to the age of 175.

We are told a little bit about Ishmael. He had 12 sons that lived from Havilah (East of Egypt) to Shur (near Assyria). It says they often attacked the descendants of his brothers.

Chapter 25 verse 19 begins the family history of Isaac.  A little summary of his life so far is given and this is where I read that he was 40 years old when he married Rebekah. I was wondering that before. We are told there was another time of hunger so Isaac heads off to Gerar. When he gets there God tells him not to go to Egypt. So Isaac stays in Gerar for awhile and does the same thing his dad did in telling the people that his wife was his sister. They figure out they are actually married and he stays in the land and gets wealthy. Finally, Abimelech, who is the leader in Gerar and king of the Philistines, tells Isaac he has to move because he is more powerful than they all are. So he moves to the Valley of Gerar and then to Beersheba.

His wife, Rebekah, couldn’t have kids so Isaac prayed about it. It says God heard his prayer and she became pregnant. This was some time later because we are told Isaac was 60 when the twins were born. They named them Esau and Jacob. Isaac favors Esau and Rebekah favors Jacob. The boys grow up and when Isaac is getting old he wants to bless Esau, his first born. Rebekah hears him tell Esau to make him a meal and he will bless him. So Rebekah tells Jacob to pretend to be Esau, she makes the meal and Jacob goes in and gets Esau’s blessing. Esau is so mad he wants to kill Jacob. Rebekah hears this and tells Jacob to move to her old stomping ground, Northwest Mesopotamia. But before he goes she pulls another trick, but this time it is on her husband, by making Isaac believe he is the one sending him to Northwest Mesopotamia. She tells Isaac she doesn’t want Jacob to marry any local girls so Isaac says in 28:2, “Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, in Northwest Mesopotamia. Laban, your mother’s brother, lives there. Marry one of his daughters.” Rebekah did the controlling the head by turning the neck thing like in that movie, Big Fat Greek Wedding. 🙂

On his way to Northwest Mesopotamia it says he stopped for the night. It is his first night so he must still be in the “promised land.” He has a dream of a ladder and the angels of God going up and down the ladder. He sees God standing above the ladder saying to him, 28:13-15, ““I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your grandfather, and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are now sleeping.14 Your descendants will be as many as the dust of the earth. They will spread west and east, north and south, and all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 I am with you and will protect you everywhere you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”” So the promise is handed down to Jacob.

I want to ask the same thing Esau asked Isaac in 27:28, and that is “Don’t you have more than one blessing?” But apparently this was a special blessing and maybe this was the handoff of the promise of God that was first given to Abraham, then Isaac, and now to….Jacob.

So odd that Jacob could receive the blessing when it was all done in deception.

Abraham’s faith is tested! He passes with a very high score!

Hello, today I read Genesis 22-24 and Psalm 7.

In Genesis, chapter 22 starts off by saying “After these things God tested Abraham’s faith.” So interesting. I bet it was because of the blips he had of his faith! So God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham does what he says and when Isaac asks him where the sheep is for the sacrifice his dad answers, 22:8, “Abraham answered, “God will give us the lamb for the sacrifice, my son.”” I would say that was a statement of faith right there! It doesn’t say how old Isaac was at this time so he could have been anywhere from 2 (or whenever he began to talk) to 36. I’m thinking he was in his teens, but that is just a guess. Anyway, Abraham goes all the way to holding the knife up to plunge into Isaac when the angel of the LORD tells him to stop. Then God gives him the promise again. The promise that his descendants will be as many as the stars in the sky, that they will capture their enemies, and that the whole earth will be blessed because Abraham obeyed God.

Then Sarah dies at the age of 127 years, we are told she died in Hebron in the land of Canaan. So this means Isaac was 37. Abraham buys a field in Machpelah to bury her.

Chapter 24 starts by saying that Abraham is now very old. He would have been 137 when Sarah died, so was that considered old? It is to me but I know some of these people lived a long time. Anyway, he sends a servant to find a wife for Isaac. Abraham doesn’t want any women from Canaan, he wants someone from his original homeland in Northwest Mesopotamia. Here is a map to help me see the relationship to these places. I like this map because it shows the mileage, Haran, and Canaan. Pretty cool. I imagine it took quite some time to go from Canaan to Haran. Looks like they are approximately 450-500 miles apart. So at 20 miles a day, it would take roughly 25 days to go one way. Whoa.

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The servant goes, he finds Rebekah, who is the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother. The servant had prayed asking God to show him the one by having her do and say something specific. Rebekah does everything the servant had asked God, so he knew she was the one. So she goes with the servant back to Isaac to be his wife.

24:62 says that Isaac had left Beer Lahai Roi and was living in southern Canaan. I got confused here because when did we know he was in Beer Lahai Roi, and where is that anyway? So I found this map.

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It is like 45 miles southwest of Beersheba where Abraham had been. I guess it isn’t important why he was there. Anyway, it says he was now in southern Canaan, so I am guessing he went back to Beersheba? But I think he went further north, to Hebron. It had to be Hebron because it says when the servant brought Rebekah to him that he took her into his mother’s tent and she became his wife. (which is sort of odd to me, but that is another question altogether) We know that Sarah died in Hebron…sooo more questions… because we know Abraham was living in Beersheba. Sarah had to be living with him right? So I am thinking the closest hospital was in Hebron and that is why she died there.

I suppose every single detail is not included because it is not important to the meat of the story. And I have to remember that a lot of years go by in just a few paragraphs. Again, we are given the meat, not the fluff. Wow, this makes me think about other areas of scripture. There are so many times I think I am getting too much information, like in the Chronicles and Numbers. That stuff is there for us to read so it must be important. Whoa.

Abraham does it again…

Happy Saturday! Today I read Genesis 19-21 and Psalm 6.

In Genesis I read about how God destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, and the Jordan Valley. Abraham’s, whose name was changed from Abram in yesterday’s reading (sorry I didn’t blog yesterday) nephew, Lot, Lot’s wife, and two daughters were rescued out of Sodom before it was destroyed. It is a little strange because the destroying angel told him to run to the mountains but Lot said it was too far and he would die on the way so he asked if he could go to a little town “over there”. The angel said, okay, and said he wouldn’t destroy that town. So as they were running there Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. Yikes! I think some times passes because it says Lot was afraid to stay in the little town, Zoar (it sounds like the Hebrew word for little), so he takes his two daughters and they move to a cave in the mountains. His daughters are envious of the women getting married so they plan to get their dad drunk and have sex with him so they can have babies. They do this, the older daughter one night and the younger daughter the next night. Apparently, Lot had no idea what was going on. Gross. Anyway, the sons that are produced are Moab (father of the Moabites) and Ben-Ammi (father of the Ammonites).

The story switches to Abraham. It says he goes to an area between Kadesh and Shur. Then he moves to Gerar. I wasn’t sure where these were exactly so I found a map.

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I was wondering if he moved outside of the area of Canaan again and I really don’t know from the map. I also found another map that says Gerar was in between Shur and Kadesh, but I found more that say Gerar is where it is on the map above. So I found another map of the area of Canaan.

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It looks like Gerar is on the southern area of Canaan. Back to the story, so while Abraham is in Gerar he tells the king that his wife is his sister. What?? Again??? This time God tells the king in a dream that Sarah is Abraham’s wife, that Abraham is a prophet, and that he should ask Abraham to pray for him, so the king gives her back to Abraham and asks why he told him this. Abraham says in 20:11-13, “Then Abraham answered, “I thought no one in this place respected God and that someone would kill me to get Sarah. 12 And it is true that she is my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but she is not the daughter of my mother. 13 When God told me to leave my father’s house and wander in many different places, I told Sarah, ‘You must do a special favor for me. Everywhere we go tell people I am your brother.’”” Some new details to this crazy thinking of Abraham’s. Isn’t this another blip in his faith though? This king doesn’t kick him out of the area but instead gives him a bunch of riches and lets Abraham choose where he wants to live. Abraham prays for the king and heals the king’s wife and all the women in the king’s household so they can have children. 

In chapter 21 Sarah give birth to Isaac. Ishmael is now 14 and Abraham is 100. Ishmael makes fun of Isaac so Sarah tells Abraham to get rid of them. Abraham is sad because Ishmael is also his son and this part is pretty cool. God comforts Abraham. 21:12-13 says, “But God said to Abraham, “Don’t be troubled about the boy and the slave woman. Do whatever Sarah tells you. The descendants I promised you will be from Isaac. 13 I will also make the descendants of Ishmael into a great nation because he is your son, too.”” So Hagar and Ishmael are sent away and when their water supply is all gone Hagar begins to cry because she doesn’t want to see her son die. Ishmael was crying too because God heard him crying and it says, 21:17, “…God’s angel called to Hagar from heaven. He said, “What is wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid! God has heard the boy crying there. 18 Help him up and take him by the hand. I will make his descendants into a great nation.” It says he grew up in the desert of Paran. Here is a map showing where that is.

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Then Abraham makes an agreement with the king of Gerar. The king asks that Abraham be fair with him and all of his descendants just as they were kind to him. They make an agreement and then it says in 21:34, “And Abraham lived as a stranger in the land of the Philistines for a long time.”

The land of the Philistines? So he wasn’t in Canaan. Or am I missing some of the info. Hmmm.

Blips in faith???

Hello, today I read Genesis 12-15 and Psalm 4. I also watched the next video in the reading plan, Genesis 12-50 Read Scripture.

I read about God’s call to Abram. Now he is 75 years old. I am not sure how long he was in Haran. God tells him to leave and go to the land that God will show him. God also says that all the people on the earth will be blessed through Abram. So Abram goes to the land of Canaan and God tells him, 12:7, “I will give this land to your descendants.” So the land of the Canaanites is the land that Abram has been given. But then he goes to Egypt because there is a shortage of food in Canaan and he gets a little weird. He tells them his wife is his sister and causes a bunch of problems. I am thinking it is because he left the land of Canaan where God told him to go. A shortage of food is no issue for God to handle. Anyway, he gets kicked out of Egypt so he goes back to the land of Canaan, it says he went to the southern part of it. Then he moves back to Bethel, which must be out of the area that is considered southern Canaan, but still in Canaan. There he separates from his nephew, Lot, because their families and possessions have gotten too big and they are in each others space. Lot chooses to go to the Jordan Valley and Abram lived in the land of Canaan. The town Lot lived in was Sodom.

Again God promises Abram, 13:14-15, “After Lot left, the LORD said to Abram, “Look all around you—to the north and south and east and west. 15 All this land that you see I will give to you and your descendants forever.16 I will make your descendants as many as the dust of the earth. If anyone could count the dust on the earth, he could count your people. 17 Get up! Walk through all this land because I am now giving it to you.””

Then a bunch of the kings in the surrounding areas started fighting. This is so interesting because it said that they gathered in the Valley of Siddim, which is now the Dead Sea. Later it mentions that the Valley of Siddim had many tar pits. Isn’t that interesting about the history of the Dead Sea, it used to be a valley but had a bunch of tar pits???!!!! Anyway, Lot is captured and Abram goes to fight to get him back. Abram succeeds and recovers Lot and his personal property, everything that was stolen, and all the other folks that had been taken.

Then after the defeat, the king of Sodom comes out to meet him and the king of Salem too, who is named Melchizedek. Melchizedek blesses Abram and Abram gives him a tenth of everything he brought back from the battle. The king of Sodom pipes in and says Abram can keep all the stuff he took from Sodom but asks for the people who were captured to be given back. Abram tells the king of Sodom he can have everything that is his back because he doesn’t want the king of Sodom to be heard to say that he made Abram rich.

Then God talks to Abram and promises him again, 15:5, “Then God led Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky. There are so many stars you cannot count them. Your descendants also will be too many to count.”” Then Abram believes the LORD and it says that his faith made him right with God.

But then he asks how he can be sure that he will own the land. I wonder if this was a little blip in his faith…. Would things have been different if he hadn’t asked this?

God tells him to bring a bunch of animals to sacrifice and Abram falls into a deep sleep. It says a terrible darkness came and he heard God tell him that his descendants will be strangers and slaves for 400 years. Then the nation that made them slaves will be punished and Abram’s great- great- grandchildren will return to the land again. Then a smoking firepot (I am not sure what that is exactly) and a blazing torch passed between the dead animals. 15:18 says, “So on that day the LORD made an agreement with Abram and said, “I will give to your descendants the land between the river of Egypt and the great river Euphrates.”

So Abram went to the land of Canaan and then left it, made some stupid mistakes and was kicked out of Egypt so then went back to Canaan. Then when he and Lot were separating he has Lot choose which way he wanted to go, even saying he would go the opposite way that Lot chooses. So my question is, why didn’t Abram choose the land of Canaan instead of giving Lot the opportunity to choose it??? Weird. Then Abram’s faith made him right with God, but then he questioned how he could be sure he would own the land. So did his little blip in his faith result in the 400 years of slavery? Or was that nothing….????

It shows me that God continues to work with people even though we do stupid stuff. Thank you LORD for being faithful and true to your word always. Help me to stay on the path you have for me.

I also wanted to mention a few things I read in Psalm 4. Verse 4 tells us to be angry but do not sin. And verse 5 says, “Do what is right as a sacrifice to the LORD trust the LORD.” Very good words to live by.