Old Testament: Genesis 46:1-47:31
Genesis 46:1-47:31 It’s Crying Time Again
God told Jacob it was OK to go to Egypt (vv. 2-3). He had told him before not to go (Gen. 26:2) but that now it was alright. God promised the nation of Israel would return but that Jacob, himself, would die in Egypt (v. 4). Jacob could be comforted that Joseph, his heir, was alive and God would keep His promise to make Jacob’s descendants into a great nation (v. 3).
Joseph wept when he saw his father again. All seventy that were in Jacob’s family at the time were together in Egypt. Joseph told his relatives not to mention that they were shepherds, they were just to say they were keepers of livestock. Egyptians didn’t like shepherds.
All of Jacob’s relatives were able to survive the famine in the land because of the blessing of God through Pharaoh and Joseph.
In Chapter 46, God told Jacob it was OK to go to Egypt (vv. 2-3). He had told him before not to go (Gen. 26:2) but that now it was alright. God promised the nation of Israel would return but that Jacob, himself, would die in Egypt (v. 4). Jacob could be comforted that Joseph, his heir, was alive and God would keep His promise to make Jacob’s descendants into a great nation (v. 3).
The names of all of Jacob’s family, except for Joseph and his sons, are listed in verses 8-25. There were 70 in all, 66 (v. 26) including Jacob, Joseph and his two sons, Manasseh, and Ephraim (v. 27, cf. Exod. 1:5; Deut. 10:22). All seventy that were in Jacob’s family at the time were together in Egypt (v. 8).
Joseph wept when he saw his father again (v. 29). Joseph told his relatives to play the fact that they were shepherds, they were just to say they were to emphasize that they were keepers of livestock. Egyptians don’t care much for shepherds (v. 4)
In Chapter 47, Pharaoh asked Jacob and the boys what they did for a living (v. 3a). They answered that they were shepherds like their ancestors before them (v. 3b). They told Pharaoh that they didn’t want to live forever in Egypt, they just wanted to hang out there for a while while the blight was taking over the land (v. 4). Pharaoh said, “Cool,” (lit. “The land of Egypt is at your disposal,” v. 6).
Pharaoh asked Jacob how long he had lived (v. 8). Jacob said the “years of [his] sojourning” were 130 but that wasn’t as long as his predecessors (v. 9). Jacob was 147 when he died (v. 28) but Abraham was 175 and Isaac was 180. Have you ever wondered how long you would sojourn? Someone, an actual stud, C.T. Studd, once said “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Not many of us will have 130 years to live for the Lord!
Joseph made sure his bro’s got fed (v. 12) the whole time he governed in Egypt. The famine was so severe in all the land that Joseph took livestock and seed in exchange for food (vv. 15-19).
The net result of the famine and Joseph’s rulership was that Pharaoh owned everyone and all the land except for the priests’ land (v. 22). Pharaoh gave them seed to sow and let them keep 4/5 of the proceeds for themselves to live off (vv. 20-26).
Jacob aka Israel lived in Egypt for 17 years and their numbers grew as well as their wealth (v. 27). Jacob asked Joseph, “Please don’t let me be buried in Egypt” (v. 29, 30a). He wanted to be buried with his ancestors (v. 30b). Joe said, “No worries” (v. 30c). Jacob said, “Swear it?” And Joe said, “Sure” (v. 31). Then Jacob worshipped there, leaning on his staff (cf. NIV and Heb. 11:21).
New Testament: Matthew 15:1-28
The religious leaders made fun of the disciples for not washing their hands properly. Jesus pointed out that while they weren’t keeping a tradition, the leaders were breaking the law by superseding it with one of their traditions.
Jesus quoted Isaiah (29:13) to indicate that the leaders were only yielding “lip service” to God rather than true worship.
The disciples told Jesus He was being politically incorrect. He told them that the religious leaders were “the pits.”
Peter still needed the poop on the politically incorrect stuff so Jesus gave it to him.
A Gentile mother approached Jesus to ask Him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. Jesus ignored her at first but then made her an example of how He was later going to open the kingdom to the Gentiles.
Matthew 15:1-28 The Poop On The Gentiles
The religious leaders were back hassling Jesus asking Him why His disciples didn’t wash their hands like the “tradition” said they should (vv. 1-2). It wasn’t the law, however (cf. Lev. 22:1-16) which only applied to priests, it was the religious rite of washing that the disciples ignored. Jesus countered by asking why they said it was OK to give money to the Temple when their family was lacking what they needed (vv. 3-5). Oh, burn! The religious leaders were actually breaking the law by their tradition. The disciples weren’t breaking the law, only ignoring the traditions of men. Have you ever known anyone who puts their rituals ahead of the Word of God?
Jesus quoted Isaiah (29: 13) to say that many of the Jews technically did things right but their hearts were corrupt (vv. 7-9). He was saying that the Pharisees were offering “lip service” to God but not true heart worship (vv. 8-9). In fact, He went on to say that unclean food was not the problem but unclean mouths were a problem (vv. 10 – 11).
The disciples told Jesus He wasn’t being politically correct and He was being a little more than a little offensive (vv. 12). Then, so He wouldn’t be misunderstood, He became even more offensive by saying that the blind leaders were leading blind people and they were all going to fall into a pit (v. 14)!
Peter said he still didn’t get the part about eating the blessed food (vv. 15). So Jesus became a little more explicit saying it’s not what you poop out that makes someone dirty, it was the poop that comes out of their mouths that makes them dirty (vv. 18, cf. v. 11). It’s stuff like evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, lying, and slander (v. 19). Washing hands has like nothing to do with anything (v. 20)!
A mother approached Jesus who had a demon-possessed daughter (v. 21). She was from Canaan and wasn’t a Jew (v. 22a). She pleaded for Jesus to heal her daughter (v. 22b). Jesus completely ignored her like “talk to the hand.” Jesus told her that if he honored her request, it would take him off mission of reaching the Jews for the kingdom (v. 24). He said he couldn’t take the “children’s food” and feed it to the “dogs” (v. 26). He meant that it wasn’t right to take blessing meant for Israel and give it to outsiders. She persisted by picking up on His metaphor, admitting she was an outsider but begged an exception in that even “dogs” get table scraps (v. 27). It worked. Her daughter was healed right at same moment (v. 28).
It can be seen that God was beginning to open the door for Gentiles to enter the kingdom since the Jews were rejecting Him. Once again Jesus is impressed by the faith of a Gentile as He was with the faith of the centurion (cf. Matt. 8:10).
Psalm 19:1-14 Oh, Heavens! A Hymn Of Praise By David
Psalm 19:1-14 Oh, Heavens!
Psalm 19, basically, is divided into two parts. The first part (vv. 1-16) is a hymn in celebration of nature. The second part (vv. 7-15) is a celebration of the guiding principles God gave to mankind, the law.
Part One: The Heavens
Romans 1:20 says, ” . . . since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature. . . .” Psalm 19 is an ode to that creation.
I once had lunch with a couple lawyers (mistake no. 1). One of them, an atheist, decided to debate me on the existence of God. I used the nature argument, “Look out the window. Can’t you see that there’s a God?” He said he couldn’t. He lied. (He was a lawyer, did I mention that?)
Despite my lawyer friend, the heavens do tell the glory of God (v. 1). Whether you look at them during the day or at night, they are telling you there’s a God (v. 2). It’s fun to check the times that the space station is going to pass and then go out and try to find it. It’s a wonderful work of man floating in the sky and contrasts our best achievements to God’s “handiwork.”
You can’t really hear anything when you go out and look for the space station. The heavens are quiet (v. 3). But they still speak. Their silent “voice” (NIV, NASB is “line,” v. 4a) says God is awesome!
David portrays the sun as going into a tent at night (v. 4) when it disappears behind the sightline. When you see it again, it comes out bright and shining (on sunny days) like a happy bridegroom on his honeymoon (v. 5). The sun heats the whole earth as it transverses one end of the horizon to the other (v. 6).
Part Two: God’s Word
Psalm 19 is a good place to start learning Bible Study Methods, i.e., how to study the Bible. The first thing to do when studying the Bible is to make observations. What can you observe about the Word from these verses?
- The Word of the Lord has no flaws (v. 7a)
- You can always trust it (v. 7b)
- They are always right (v. 8a)
- The Word can make you pure (v. 8b)
- The Word engenders the fear of the Lord which leads to cleanliness (v. 9a)
- The statements in God’s Word are always true (v. 9b)
People may be out to grab all the gusto they can get and pursue happiness but the Word of the Lord brings contentment (v. 10a, cf. Phil. 4:11-12; 1Tim. 6:8; Heb. 13:5). It’s better than money or truffles (v. 10b).
The Word keeps us from trouble (v. 11) and brings rewards in this life (cf. Matt. 6:33) and in the life to come (cf. 1 Cor. 3:11).
If you don’t memorize this entire psalm, you should at least consider memorizing verses 12 through 14.
A-C-T-S is a good pattern for your prayer.
A – Adoration, start with Praise
C – Confession, confess your sins
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication, ask for stuff
Notice asking for stuff comes last after you’ve praised your way into the throne room (cf. Heb. 4:16), confessed your sins, and given thanks (cf. Phil. 4:6).
Of course, verses 12-14 are good to use in your confession time.
Jer. 17:9 says we even lie to ourselves about our sin. Verse 12 asks God to forgive the sins we don’t even know about. 1 John 1: 9 promises that when we confess our sins, God forgives us of all our sins, cleanse us “from all unrighteousness.” That includes even the sins we aren’t aware of.
“Presumptuous” sins are the ones we commit on purpose. They presume upon God’s grace. Num. 15:30-31 speaks of sinning “presumptuously” (KJV “defiantly” NASB HCSB NIV). In the Lord’s Prayer we ask that God guard us from temptation and from evil (cf. Matt. 6:13).
Verse 14 is a wonderful prayer: Let my words honor you as well as the thoughts that produce them.
He ends with the theme of the previous prayer, an affirmation that God saves him and is his Rock, his foundation (v. 14).
Proverbs 4:14-19 Punch With A Kick
Is it just me or is it funny that they made a movie called, “Sleepless in Seattle”? Isn’t Seattle the coffee capital of the country? Of course, they’re sleepless! In today’s reading in Proverbs it’s the wicked who are sleepless. They’re so hyped on trying to hurt other people that they can’t sleep (v. 16). After they’ve tripped someone up, they can finally get some “shut-eye.”
I don’t understand how people hang out with low life and then wonder why their lives go awry. Doesn’t it just make sense that’ll happen if their friends are getting into trouble all the time? 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” I always told my kids, nothing good happens after midnight on weekends. Just stay in! ” . . .. One rotten apple can spoil a barrelful” (Eccles. 9:18 LB).
The morale: Stay away from lowlife! (v. 14). Cross the street if you see them coming (v. 15). They even eat rotten bread and wash it down with punch with a kick (v. 17).
I had a “friend” who ended up under house arrest. He said that verse 18 applied to me. I hope he was right. I wish it was true of him. I ended up getting punched and kicked by him. He may have been more like verse 19, he seemed to walk in the dark but didn’t know when he had stumbled.
Choose Life: Scripture: Matthew 15:8 NASB “Godpleaser”
“THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.” Matthew 15:8
This verse is in all caps, not because Jesus is shouting, but because it’s a quote from Isaiah (29:13). I guess He could have been shouting.
Back when I was a disc johnny on the radio, there was a hard rock song by the band Petra. It was called “Godpleaser.” Here are some of the lyrics:
“Some make a sacrifice and never let it show
Some make a point of letting everybody know
Some will live their lives as unto men and they have their reward
I just wanna do everything I do, with my heart unto the Lord”
In other words, some Christians are fakes. Jesus was exposing the religious leaders as fakes. He said they’d be like an “uprooted plant” (v. 13) and would eventually fall into a “pit” (v. 14).
Don’t be like an uprooted plant.
Don’t be a fake.
Don’t fall into a pit.
Be sincere in your relationship with the Lord and be a “Godpleaser” (Ps. 119:2; Jer. 29:13).
And if you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
In the course of the year, I will mention the bema seat judgment for Christians several times. Is it because I don’t have enough important things to write about? No. It’s because it’s not mentioned often in churches and Christians should know that there is an accounting for their lives even though there is no judgment (cf. Rom. 8:1).
Here are the major portions of Scripture on the bema:
Rom. 14:10 “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”
1 Cor. 3:10-14 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
2 Cor. 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
Now you don’t have to freak out. It is not a judgment to see if you should go to Hell or not. If you’ve trusted Christ, you’re home free on that. However, the bema is a judgment to determine rewards. Charles Ryrie has likened it to graduation when some people graduate with honors and rewards and others don’t. But everyone graduates that is at the ceremony.
So you don’t need to worry about it . . . if you are following Christ and doing to do what He wants you to do.
So do something!
And on that day, if you do, you will thank me . . .
And you’ll be immensely blessed for eternity!
The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Crying Time Is Again