Browsing articles tagged with " Genesis"
Jul 10, 2011

Forgiveness?

Imagine this emotional roller-coaster:
– Being mad at your brother
– Thinking you killed him
– Depending on a foreign official to save your family’s life
– Finding out he is your brother
– Being scared of his retaliation

And then Joseph does the unthinkable, saying:
“Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me ahead of you to save people’s lives.”

Imagine yourself in the place of Benjamin. What would you have felt upon learning Joseph’s identity? Imagine yourself in the place of Jacob. What would you have felt upon hearing that Joseph was indeed alive?

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Jul 9, 2011

I pledged my life to my father for the boy

In today’s reading Genesis 44:1-34, Judah offers to take his brother’s place as a slave in order to fulfill the promise to his father to return Benjamin safely home. What must it have been like for Judah to make this offer? What would you have done in his situation? What factors would have influenced your decision?

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Jul 8, 2011

Blood is thicker than water

Sometimes family members drift apart. Sometimes for a very long time.

Joseph had not seen his baby brother Benjamin for years and years. Finally when his half-brothers came to look for food in Egypt he saw a chance to reunite with Benjamin. But that first time he saw him again did not go over so well:
“Then Joseph left suddenly, because his heart was full of tender feelings for his brother. He was about to break down, so he went to his room and cried. After he had washed his face, he came out, and controlling himself, he ordered the meal to be served.”

What is one supposed to feel after such a long time?
What is one supposed to say or do?
Being overwhelmed like Joseph is okay!

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Jul 7, 2011

Sibling rivalry

Ever had any trouble with your siblings?
Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. When they later have to come and ask him for food they don’t recognize him. How does he deal with them?
– He vents, speaking to them harshly.
– He makes them confront their dad by demanding his youngest brother be brought to him.
– He gives them the hardest time he can without revealing himself.

Ultimately he doesn’t let them down though:
– He saves his family by letting them return with food.
– He does not accept their money but returns it.

Dealing with family you kinda have to use a carrot and a stick.

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Jul 6, 2011

Food Prices

NPR asked: Why Are Food Prices Going Crazy? – The reasons are manifold: The rise of biofuels, More demand from the developing world, Disappearing stockpiles and Speculation.
In biblical times you are pretty much looking at the developing world with an ever-increasing demand. And according to Genesis 41:37-57 Joseph was one of the greatest speculators in the ancient food market: “People came to Egypt from all over the world to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.”

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Jul 5, 2011

The History of Recessions


Joseph is an expert in macroeconomics: “The seven fat cows are seven years, and the seven full heads of grain are also seven years; they have the same meaning. The seven thin cows which came up later and the seven thin heads of grain scorched by the desert wind are seven years of famine. It is just as I told you—God has shown you what he is going to do.” (Interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams Genesis 41:1-36)
Business cycles are not really cycles and seven is only a rough average for US economic history. But it is still impressive that this ancient piece of literature brings up issues of the bigger economy that shake the world to this very day.

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Apr 27, 2011

Hebrews 4:14-5:14

Today’s Reading is Hebrews 4:14-5:14.
Here Jesus is described as being in the priestly order of Melchizedek. That is a thing the Bible has hardly anything about:

Genesis 14:17-19 knows:
“When Abram came back from his victory over Chedorlaomer and the other kings, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in Shaveh Valley (also called King’s Valley). And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, blessed him, and said, “May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram!”
– So the sacrifice that is brought by a priest of the Melchizedek order does not have animals in it but merely bread and wine. This can be understand as to relating to Christ’s last supper.

Psalm 110:4 knows:
The LORD made a solemn promise and will not take it back: “You will be a priest forever in the priestly order of Melchizedek.”
– Of Melchizedek we don’t know anything as far as ancestors or descendants goes. Same for the priesthood of Christ not being handed down to him or by him but eternal in itself.

What all of this does is that it gives Christ a unique position of unquestionable stability and power as an intermediator between God and us. Enter the Bible has a wonderful summary of the Epistle’s intention:
“The book of Hebrews brings a word of encouragement to discouraged Christians. The intended readers once had a vivid sense of God’s presence and later showed bold support for others during an outburst of persecution. Yet as time dragged on, some began drifting away. The author emboldens them by telling of the way Jesus the pioneer went through suffering into glory, making a way for others to follow. As high priest, Christ offered himself as the atoning sacrifice, bringing others into a new covenant relationship with God. People are therefore called to persevere in faith, knowing that God will be faithful.”

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Apr 8, 2011

Daniel 6:1-28

Today’s Reading is Daniel 6:1-28.
The faithful Jew Daniel is made head of state affairs of the Persian empire after interpreting the king’s dreams. Sound familiar?
The same story is told about Joseph become vizier of Egypt after interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams! So during the persecutions by the Greek Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes authors retold the story of old how God not only saved “Daniel” during the days of the Babylonian Exile but even Joseph in Egypt. Remember how good our God has always been!

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Jan 29, 2011

Acts 27:13-38

Today’s Reading is Acts 27:13-38. It is one of those great stories of men of God managing a voyage on the water.

Paul stands in the tradition of even greater people:
Noah and his Ark and Jesus calming the storm come to mind.

They all make a point: You are not alone – God has your back!

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Jan 11, 2011

Matthew 8:18-34

There will be two posts today, because I missed yesterday’s reading Matthew 8:18-34.
Matthew is still working on making sure his audience gets the message that with the coming of Jesus, the kingdom of God has come: “What kind of man is this?” they said. “Even the winds and the waves obey him!” It’s pretty much like in the beginning.
Matthew is also still working on making sure his audience gets the message that Jesus is faithful to the Jewish tradition: Gadara is in the Decapolis still – where the gentiles live. That’s why there is pigs in this story. Not only does Jesus cast out demons but he also disposes of a non-kosher herd of pigs, killing two birds with one stone.

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