Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 12

Joseph had died, and he made the children of Israel sware to bring his bones to Canaan and bury him in his families burial place.
Exodus 1:6-7- And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
The Hebrew children became a very large family.
And Pharaoh was a very wealthy, powerful man. But, when someone becomes powerful there is always someone else who wants to take that power from him.
Exodus 1:8- Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
How could a new king not know Joseph? Joseph made Pharaoh the mighty man he was! Joseph saved the known world from a 7 year famine! How could this king not know Joseph?
Because he wasn't an Egyptian king.
Isaiah 52:4- For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
This new king was from a far away country called Assyria. It was farther North East than even Canaan!
Exodus 1:9-11- And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
The Assyrians saw that the Hebrews outnumbered them. They were afraid that if someone came to attack them that the Hebrews would help their enemies fight against them.
The Assyrians forced the Hebrew children to become slaves. The put taskmasters over them- those are people who make them do the work. These task masters would beat them if they didn't do what the Assyrians asked of them.
Exodus 1:12-14-  But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
Even though the Assyrians made them work long, hard days. The Hebrews kept having children. The more children they had, the larger their numbers; the larger their numbers, the more the Assyrians feared what they could do.
So, the Assyrians came up with a very wicked plan.
Exodus 1:15-16- And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.
Midwives are doctors that only deliver babies. These poor midwives were told to kill all the Hebrew baby boys.
This new king was a very terrible man! What do you think the midwives did?
Exodus 1:17-21- But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.
These midwives feared God. They knew about Joseph. They knew the God of Joseph. They told the Assyrian king that the Hebrew women didn't need the midwives because they could deliver their own babies.
Because they obeyed God rather than a wicked king, God protected the Egyptian midwives.
But, this didn't stop the Assyrian king!
Exodus 1:22- And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
The Assyrian called his army to go throughout the Hebrew cities and to take the baby boys and throw them into the Nile River. What a terrible, wicked man!
When wicked men rule, God always sends His Words to those in need. He sent them through prophets in the Old Testament. He sent them through Apostles and Evangelists in the New Testament. And He gave us His Word- the King James Bible- for us to give His Words to those in need today!
Exodus 2:1-2- And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
There was a certain man who got married and they had a baby boy. Now, a newborn doesn't really do much besides eat and sleep. But as a baby grows, they start to talk, and move, and get rather noisy!
Exodus 2:3-4- And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.
This mama took her precious baby and put him into a little basket boat and put him in the Nile River. She had his older sister watch over him while she went back to do her slave work.
Exodus 2:5-6- And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children.
While the sister watched, the Assyrian princess came down to the river for her bath. Oh, how frightening! Her father had ordered all the Hebrew baby boys to be killed!
But this princess took one look at this cute little baby and decided to take care of him.
Exodus 2:7-9- Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.
The princess was not a mother. There were no bottles, or even baby formula back then. The baby's sister knew that the princess would need someone to take care of the baby for her until he was old enough to eat table food.
The princess hired the baby's own mother to take care of him! She would pay the mother to care for the baby, and the soldiers wouldn't harm him.
When he was old enough, the mother brought the boy to the princess to raise as her own son.
Exodus 2:10- And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

The princess named him Moses.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 11

Genesis 47:7-10- And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou? And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh.
Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was. Jacob's answer is that of a man who cheated and lied his way through life. He said, "I'm 130 years old. And my life seems short and full of evil." What a sad way to see your life. But any life that is lived just to get what you want, to fulfill your won desires, and ignores the will of God for your life will seem just like that!
Genesis 46:27-28- And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly. And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.
Jacob lived for 17 more years after he moved to Egypt. He not only got to see Joseph and his two sons, but he got to see his grandsons grow up!
Genesis 46:29-31- And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said. And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.
Jacob wanted to be buried in his family's tomb. He made Joseph swear that they would carry his body back to Canaan and bury him there.
Genesis 49:1-2- And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
Jacob knew he was going to die soon. So, he called all of his sons together. He told them that he knew what would be their future. He called on some of them to pay the consequences for their sins. He told some of them that they would be blessed. Then he commanded them to bury him in Canaan.
Genesis 49:29-33-  And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth. And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.
Jacob knew what God's will for is life was. It had always been Leah. He thought that Laban was being sneaky, but God always wanted him to marry Leah. Now, Jacob knew that he should be buried with God's will.
Leah had been buried in the family buryingplace, and Jacob wanted buried beside her.
Genesis 50:1-3-  And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.
Joseph had the Egyptians bury his father in their custom- like a mummy. They wrapped him up and embalmed him with spices.
Jacob must have had a good testimony with the Egyptians, because even they mourned for him for 70 days.
Genesis 50:4-14-  And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again. And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear. And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days. And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan. And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
Many Egyptians went with the Hebrews to bury Jacob. It was such a ceremony that the Canaanites were amazed.
But, now that Jacob was dead, Joseph's brothers feared that he would be mean to them. They thought that maybe Joseph would kill them because they had sold him into slavery.
Genesis 50:15-18-  And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.  And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,  So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.  And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
They thought if they offered themselves as servants, that Joseph wouldn't kill them. What they didn't understand was that Joseph was trusting God. Joseph knew why God had him in Egypt, and he had forgiven his brothers a long time ago.
Genesis 50:19-21-  And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.  Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
Joseph lived a life that pleased God, and God richly blessed Joseph.
Genesis 50:22-26-  And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph's knees. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.  And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.  So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
Joseph lived to be 110 years old. He got to see his great grandchildren.
He knew God and what God's promise to Jacob was. He made the Hebrews promise to take him back to Canaan and bury him with his father, Jacob.
The Egyptians embalmed him- like a mummy. And then put him in a coffin, instead of a tomb, so that when the Hebrews returned to Canaan, they could carry his body back and bury it there.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 10

Jacob's family had just made the long move from Canaan to Egypt. And Joseph had told them what to say and where to ask to live.
Genesis 47:1-6- Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen. And he took some of his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers. They said moreover unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen. And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee: The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.
Not only did Pharaoh give the Hebrews the land of Goshen, like Joseph wanted, but he also offered them jobs. He said that they could be rulers over his cattle. That's a pretty nice job offer!
Joseph took his family to Goshen.
Genesis 46:11-12- And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families.
Joseph took care of his family, just like he promised. But he was a very wise man. He knew that just giving food to people would make them dependant. He knew they needed to pay for their needs. And he also saw the opportunity to make Pharaoh a very mighty man.
Genesis 46:13-14- And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house.
It was three years into the famine, and the Egyptians had bought their food with money. Joseph gathered all the money and brought it into Pharaoh's house.
Genesis 46:15-17-  And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth. And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail. And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.
When the Egyptians ran out of money, Joseph suggested that they sell their cattle to Pharaoh.
Genesis 46:18-22- When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands: Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.  And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's. And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof. Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands.
Once their cattle was gone, Joseph bought their land. He made cities for the people to live in, and turned the land into farming.
Genesis 46:23-26-Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.  And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants. And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh's.
The last thing that the people had to sell for food was themselves. They sold themselves into slavery.
Because of Joseph, Pharaoh became the sole owner of Egypt. He owned everything but the false priests land and Goshen.
Exodus 1:7-  And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
The Hebrews were doing very well. They were growing fast. They had children grandchildren, so that they became a good number in the land of Egypt.

Egypt became a very powerful nation, and everything in it belonged to Pharaoh. But, the problem with a powerful nation is that someone is going to want to take it over for themselves.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 9

Joseph has just revealed himself to his brothers. He told them that he knew why God had him in Egypt.

Genesis 44:5-11- Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.
Joseph is inviting his brothers and their families to come live with him in Egypt. It had been two years of famine already, and Joseph knew there were 5 more years to go. He wanted to take care of his family.
Genesis 45:12-15- And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.
Joseph's brothers didn't know what to do. They didn't talk with him until after he cried and assured them it was truly him.
But what would the Egyptians think?
Genesis 45:16-20- And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.
Pharaoh was pleased to see that Joseph's family had been found. He invited them to come live in Egypt. Not only did he invite them, but he was willing to send what was needed to help them move. He also said that he would give them all new stuff if they needed to leave anything behind. What a deal!
Genesis 45:21-24- And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment. And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way. So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.
Jospeh sent them away with everything they would need to make the move. Then he tells them to be careful not to "fall out by the way". Was Jospeh afraid they would take the gifts and not come back? Perhaps, there were bandits that he was worried would rob them. Or maybe, it was a very difficult trip to make and he didn't want anyone getting sick or hurt on the journey.
The brothers hurried home to tell Jacob the good news.
Genesis 45:25-28- And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not. And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.
Jacob thought the story was too good to be true. He just couldn't believe that Joseph was still alive! But, Jacob always looked at things with his fleshly eyes. He wasn't very good at having faith. Once he saw all the goodies that Jospeh sent back with the brothers, then he believed them.
So Jacob and all his children packed up and moved to Egypt. Now, moving is never easy, but Jacob was over 100 years old when he moved his entire family to a different country.
Genesis 46:1-7-  And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. And Jacob rose up from Beersheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him: His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.
Even though Jacob didn't ask God what to do, God was still looking out for him. He came to Jacob in a dream and told him that it really was Joseph and not to fear moving to Egypt.
Genesis 46:28-30-  And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.
Judah came to get Joseph and told him that their father was almost there. Joseph just couldn't wait! He got his chariot and raced out to see his father. They hugged and cried for a long time. And Jacob said that now he was ready to die because now he would die a happy man.
Genesis 46:31-44- And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father's house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me; And the men [are] shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have. And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation? That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.
Jacob knew all the customs of both the Hebrews and the Egyptians. He knew exactly how to work it so that both would be happy. He told his family that when Pharaoh asks what you do, tell him you are shepherd. He also let them know where would be the best place for them to live.
The Bible then says a very interesting thing- For every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians. If you know anything about the Bible, then you know that Egypt is a type of the world, and Christ is a shepherd. The world doesn't like to be around Christ or anything to do with Him. There has to be a separation.
Jacob was trying to separate his family from the Egyptians. Perhaps, he didn't want his family to pick up bad habits from the Egyptians. Maybe, he knew that the Egyptians worshipped false gods, and his family worshipped the true God, and he didn't want them to become idolaters.
James 4:4- Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

We have to live in this world, but we don't have to act like the world. We shouldn't dress like the world, or talk like the world, or anything else.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 8

Jacob has let Benjamin go with a promise from Judah to keep him safe. Jacob also packed a present for the strange man of Egypt.

Genesis 43:15 - And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
When Joseph saw Benjamin, he wanted to spend time with him. But, being the second in command of Egypt was a very demanding job.
Genesis 43:16-18- And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon. And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house. And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.
Joseph wanted to have lunch with his brothers when it was time for his break. But the brothers thought that Joseph was doing this to make them his slaves.
Genesis 43:19-25- And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house, And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food: And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand. And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks. And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them. And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender. And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.
Joseph's servant may have learned about the true God from Joseph. He reassured the men that they weren't in any trouble, and then he brought Simeon to them.
The men still couldn't believe that they weren't in trouble, so they got their present ready to give to Joseph when he got there.
Genesis 43:26-29- And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth. And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive? And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
It had been some time since his brothers were last in Egypt, and Joseph wanted to know that his father was still alive and well. But, when he saw Benjamin, he had trouble keeping his feelings hidden.
Genesis 43:30-31-  And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there. And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.
Dinner was brought out and set before the men. But the sons of Jacob noticed something very interesting.
Genesis 43:32-34- And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians. And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another. And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.
This strange man who was in charge of Egypt knew their birth order and their customs! He fed them according to their birthright!
Next, they noticed that the Egyptians ate by themselves. You see, Egypt is a type of the world, and Christians aren't suppose to fellowship (eat and have friendships) with the world.
Ephesians 5:11- And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Everything seemed to be going well. But, Joseph had one more test for his brothers.
Genesis 44:1-6- And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth. And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses. And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing. And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words.
The men didn't know what was going on. They were certain they were not guilty!
Genesis 44:7-13- And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing: Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold? With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen. And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless. Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack. And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.
Things couldn't get any worse! They knew that their father couldn't survive if Benjamin didn't return.
Genesis 44:14-15- And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground. And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?
Joseph was wondering how his brothers would react. Would they give Benjamin over? Benjamin was a grown man with a wife and children. They all knew that Benjamin was now their father's favorite. Would they do to Benjamin as they had done to Joseph all those years ago?
Genesis 44:16-18: 25-34- And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found. And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father. Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food. And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us. And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons:  And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since: And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever. Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.
Joseph saw the his brothers were sorry. He realized that they wouldn't repeat their sin. They would protect Benjamin!
Genesis 45:1-5- Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Joseph told his brothers who he was. And he told them that God had sent him to Egypt so that he could save their lives.

When we realize that sometimes our problems aren't a punishment, but they can be a blessing to those around us, we can become a person who can save the lives of those around us also.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 7

Joseph had bound Simeon and put him into prison, and then sent the rest of his brethren home with corn and told them if they came back for more, they had to bring Benjamin with them.

Joseph then secretly put their money that they paid for the corn with back into their sacks and sent them away.
Genesis 42:27-28- And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack's mouth. And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?
Isn't it funny how they blame God when stuff started to go wrong. They didn't say, "Yes, we deserve this because of what we did to Joseph." Nope, they start saying that God was treating them unfairly. They went home to tell their dad the bad news.
Genesis 42:29-34- And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying, The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies: We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan. And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone: And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the land.
They boys told Jacob how the ruler was mean and thought they were spies. They said that Simeon was in prison and that he wouldn't let him go unless they brought Benjamin back with them.
Genesis 42:34-36- And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.
Jacob was so upset. First, he lost Joseph. Now, he's lost Simeon. And there's a chance that he could lose Benjamin!
Genesis 42:37- And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.
Reuben thought he would offer his own sons lives in the place of Benjamin. But, he knew that his dad wouldn't kill his own grandchildren. Jacob couldn't trust that Reuben would bring Benjamin back.
Genesis 42:38 -And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
Jacob said "no" and they lived for a little bit off the corn that the boys brought back from Egypt. But then, the corn ran out.
Genesis 43:1-5- And the famine was sore in the land. And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food. And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food: But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
Jacob wanted the boys to go buy more corn in Egypt. But, Judah reminded him that Benjamin would have to go with them.
Genesis 43:8-10- And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever: For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.
Judah promised his father that he would accept responsibility for Benjamin. This set Judah apart from his brethren because he didn't pass the blame or the consequences on to other people. Jacob knew that Judah would do as he promised.
Genesis 43:11-14- And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds: And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.
Jacob knew that if he didn't send Benjamin, his entire family would starve. The cattle would starve. And no one would be able to survive.

Jacob, in his typical scheming fashion, told the boys to bring a present and also take double the money. He was hoping that his scheming would help keep his sons safe. It's surprising that after all this time, Jacob still couldn't just trust that God would keep him safe.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 6

There was a bad famine in all the country round about Egypt. God had told Pharaoh that a famine was coming, and God allowed Joseph to translate the dream and become second in the kingdom. Joseph made sure to prepare food storage for when the bad times came.

Genesis 42:1-4-  Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die. And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him.
Jacob sent his ten oldest sons to Egypt to buy corn, but he kept Jospeh's brother at home because he was afraid something would happen to him.
Genesis 42:5-8-  And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan.  And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth. And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food. And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.
Why do you think Joseph did this? Perhaps it was because he was still upset with them and seeing his brothers brought back the awful feelings he went through. Maybe it was because he wanted to see if they had changed. We don't know. What we do know is that Joseph knew who they were, but the didn't know who Joseph was.
Genesis 42:9-13- And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come.  We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies. And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.
Joseph listened to their story. I'm sure he was happy to hear that his father was still alive. But he really wanted to see his brother, Benjamin.
Genesis 42:14-17- And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies: Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies. And he put them all together into ward three days.
Joseph placed the boys in prison for three days, probably so they would know he was serious. But, he knew that the famine was bad and that people needed the corn- he knew his father and brother needed the corn.
Genesis 42:18-20- And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God: If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses: But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.
Joseph told them that he would keep one of them in prison until they returned with Benjamin. The brothers started to talk among themselves in front of Jospeh.
Genesis 42:21-23- And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
They started saying that all this bad stuff was happening because of what they did to Joseph. They didn't know that Joseph could understand them.
Genesis 42:24-26- And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes. Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them. And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence.
Was Jospeh crying because they seemed sorry for their plot? Or was he crying because they knew what they had done to him was wrong?
I don't know. But, Joseph wasn't ready to let them know that he knew who they were.

He tied Simeon up in front of them and sent him to prison. Then he gave them corn and sent them on their way.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 5

Joseph had been made second in command of Egypt. He knew that there was going to be 7 years of good farming followed by seven years of famine where nothing would grow. So, Joseph was preparing to save food for the bad times.
Genesis 41:47-49- And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.
The good years were going very well. Joseph quickly built places that could hold all the grain. He was gathering so much that he decided it would take too much time to count it and weigh it.
Genesis 41:50-52- And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
While this gathering of food was going on, Joseph also started a family. He had two boys, and they brought him such joy that he was able to forget all the hard times that he went thru to get to this point.
But, the Lord had told them that the good years would only be for seven years, then it would get bad!
Genesis 41:53-54- And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
Things got real bad in Egypt! And not just in Egypt, but also in Caanan. People were running out of food.
Genesis 41:55-57- And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.
Corn was needed for the people to make bread, and also for them to feed their animals to keep them alive. It was a very important crop!

People were now travelling from different countries to Egypt because they needed food and the only place to find it was in Egypt. Joseph was put in charge of selling the corn.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 4

Joseph was sitting, forgotten, in an Egyptian prison. He was forgotten by the butler. Perhaps, he was even forgotten by Potipher. Maybe, he was even forgotten by his brethren. But, he was not forgotten by God!
Nope! God had a plan for Joseph's life. And now, He was going to let Joseph know what it was.
Genesis 41:1-7- And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
Pharaoh had a dream. It was a weird, and sort of scary dream.
Genesis 41:8-  And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
Pharaoh called in a bunch of specialists and asked them to tell him what his dream meant, but none of them knew.
Genesis 41:9-13- Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker: And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.
The butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh that he thought Joseph was the man who could interpret the dream.
Genesis 41:14- Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
Pharaoh called for Joseph. Now, remember, Joseph had been in a nasty prison. He had to clean himself up, change, and then quickly come to Pharaoh's house.
Genesis 41:15-16- And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, andthere is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
Joseph told Pharaoh that God was the one who interpreted dreams. Pharaoh was willing to try anything! He told Joseph all about his strange dreams.
Genesis 41:25- And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
Again, Joseph had such a good relationship with God that he didn't even have to pray and ask God to tell him what the dream meant. He knew that God was with him and that God wouldn't let him down.
Genesis 41:26-32- The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good earsare seven years: the dream is one. And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Joseph told Pharaoh that there were 2 things that were going to happen. For 7 years, they would have wonderful farming. They would get lots of crops and have plenty of food. But 7 years after that they would have terrible farming. Nothing was going to grow. People would starve.
Joseph then took it upon himself to tell Pharaoh what he should do.
Genesis 41:33-36- Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.
Genesis 41:37-40- And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as thisis, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
Pharaoh thought Joseph's idea was a very good one. And he saw that Joseph did something that none of his specialists could do- he could hear and understand God. So, Pharaoh made Joseph in charge of everything!
Genesis 41:41-45- And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
Joseph became the second in charge, kind of like the vice president of Egypt. He got to make all the rules. And Pharaoh gave him a new name and a wife.
Joseph went through such hardships. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. He was falsely accused by his master's wife. He was thrown into prison and forgotten about. But, God had made everything better.
You see, Joseph needed to be in Egypt. His father wasn't going to send him there. The only way was for his brothers to sell him.
Joseph needed to learn how to organize people and jobs so that he could build cities to store the grain and then later give it out when the people needed food. He learned that in Potipher's house.
But, Joseph also needed to learn how to deal with angry, grumpy, and even violent men. Because people who are hungry and starving are angry, grumpy, and sometimes violent. And he learned how to do that in an Egyptian prison.
It may have seemed that everything was going wrong in Joseph's life, but God had a plan and God had a reason.
Genesis 41:46- And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
Joseph was 17 years old when his brothers sold him, and now he was 30. It took 13 years for God to prepare Joseph for the task that he had planned for him.
Romans 8:28- And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

It may take a while, but God has something planned for your life. And he's putting things in your life to prepare you to fulfill that plan.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 3

Joseph had been falsely accused and thrown into an Egyptian prison, but God was still with him. God had something for Joseph to learn. And God took care of him while he was there.

Genesis 39:21-23- But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.
Joseph was learning how to make the undesirable seem favorable, and he could do that with God's help.
Now, God was going to show him something.

Genesis 40:1-4- And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.
And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.
The chief butler and chief baker upset Pharaoh, and so he threw them into prison. Joseph was taking care of them for the few months that they were there. Then, the prisoners had a dream.
Genesis 40:5-6- And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison. And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.
Now, these men were in prison. I don't think that this was a normal kind of sad. Perhaps, they were sad and very troubled. They had these crazy dreams and they didn't know what they meant!
Joseph noticed that they were more upset than usual.
Genesis 40:7-8- And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?
And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.
Joseph must have been very close to God! He didn't even have to pray and ask God to give him the interpretation. It's almost as if he and God became such good friends that Joseph just knew that God would help him!
Genesis 40:9-13- And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand. And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.
Joseph was right. God let him know exactly what the dream meant. And now, Joseph had a favor to ask of the butler.
Genesis 40:14-15- But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
Joseph wanted someone to plead his case to Pharaoh. He wanted to get out of prison, and possibly go home to see his family.
The baker was sitting, quietly listening to this conversation. Then, he decided it was his turn to have his dream interpreted.
Genesis 40:16-19- When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head: And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head. And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three basketsare three days: Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.
I'm sure the baker wasn't too happy that his dream had a bad meaning. Perhaps he was hoping that Joseph was wrong.
But, God sees things we don't. He knows things we don't. And he has the answers, even when we don't like them.
Genesis 40:20-22- And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand: But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.
You see, God knew that Pharaoh's birthday was in three days. He knew what would happen to those two prisoners. And he had a plan for Joseph's life. In order for God's plan to be carried out, the chief butler had to be able to tell Pharaoh about a man in prison who could interpret dreams!
Genesis 40:23- Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.
Poor Joseph! Forgotten by the chief butler. But, just because man forgets, does that mean God forgets? Nope! God's plan would still happen just like God wanted it to. You know why? Because, God is God!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Jews In Egypt- Part 2

Joseph had been sold as a slave in Egypt. He was now a servant to an Egyptian military man.

Genesis 39:1- And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither
Do you think Joseph missed his family? Do you think he felt lonely? Do you think he was really alone?
Well, he wasn't! God was watching over Joseph. He had something very important planned for Joseph, but Joseph had to learn a few things first.
Genesis 39:2- And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
Did you know that when you live for the Lord, other people around you can see it? They can. They may not be saved, or even know the Lord, but they know that something is different with you.
Genesis 39:3- And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
When someone sees that you serve the Lord, that you work hard, and that you can be trusted, they will treat you well.
Genesis 39:4-5- And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
Potipher knew that Joseph would work hard and do right.
Genesis 39:6- And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
Joseph was learning some very valuable things as a servant. He could manage a large house with servants. He could make sure that everything was accounted for and that everything ran the way it should.
This was very important for Joseph to learn! He needed this ability for the special purpose that God had for his future.
When God is with you, not only do the good people see that, but the bad people see that as well. The devil likes to use these bad people to try and make us sin, fall, falter, quit, or whatever he can to mess us up.
Genesis 39:7- And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
Potipher's wife was not a good person. She wanted to pretend like she was married with Joseph. Do you think Joseph would do wrong?
Genesis 39:8-9- But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
Joseph wasn't going to do wrong because he realized one very important thing- all sin is against God. The God that was protecting him, the God that was watching over him, this sin would not only hurt Potipher, but God!
Do you think that was it? Do you think his troubles were over? Nope. The devil never stops trying to make us sin.
Genesis 39:10- And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
She kept bugging Joseph every day! Then she decided to go one step further!
Genesis 39:11-12- And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
She decided she was going to make him. She grabbed him and tried to force him. But Joseph was determined to do right! He slipped out of his coat and ran!
Mrs. Potipher was angry! So angry that she wanted to get rid of Joseph.
Genesis 39:13-15- And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.
She lied and said that Joseph was trying to hurt her. She told all the servants of the house that he was evil! And then, she told the same lie to Potipher.
Genesis 39:16-18- And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
What a terrible woman! Do you know what Potipher did?
Genesis 39:19-20- And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
Potipher threw Joseph into prison.
Poor Joseph! He must've been very upset. But, where was God? Wasn't God watching over him?
Yes, God was there.
Genesis 39:21- But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

There was just one more thing that Joseph needed to learn to be able to do the important job that God had for him, but he couldn't learn that in Potipher's house. He could only learn that in the Egyptian prison.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Jews in Egypt- Part 1

Joseph was sent by his father to check on his brothers. But his brothers hated him and weren't happy to see him! They ripped his pretty coat of many colors off him and threw him into a pit.
Genesis 37:25- And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
They just sat down to eat like everything was normal. When they saw some men going to sell stuff in Egypt, and this gave them an idea!
Genesis 37:26-27- And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
They  decided to sell their brother into slavery instead of killing him.
Genesis 37:28- Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
 So, they sold their brother to the next set of slave-drivers that passed, and sat back down to finish their dinner.
Genesis 37:29-30- And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
Reuben went back to get Joseph out of the pit and saw that he wasn't there anymore. He ran back to his brothers and told them that Joseph was gone.
You see, Reuben realized something that the other brother's didn't- What would their dad say when Joseph didn't come home? Now they had to figure out a plan.
Genesis 37:31-34- And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no. And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
The brother's killed one of their flock and then took the coat they ripped off of Joseph and got it all bloody. Then they sent the coat home to their father with someone else and told him that they found the bloody coat and asked if it was Joseph's.
They not only lied, but they didn't even go home to see how their father would react to this lie. Poor Jacob! He was so sad!
Genesis 37:35- And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
His son's must have realized what they did to their father when they got home, because he was still sad. They tried and tried to comfort him, but they couldn't get him to stop crying.
Now, they were stuck. They couldn't tell him the truth because then he'd know how horrible they were. So, they just sat there and watched him cry.
But, what about Joseph?
Genesis 37:36- And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.
 He was sold as a slave to a man in Egypt.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Praline Cake recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups almond flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugars together until well blended. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating them into the mixture. Now, add the vanilla and mix in.
Slowly combine the mixtures in your two bowls until mixed together well.
Bake in a greased 9 X 13 pan at 350* for 25 to 30 minutes, or until done in the center. This mixture will fluff up, so you may want to put a baking sheet underneath.

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 large eggs yolks
1 large can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups walnuts, chopped

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Remove from heat and stir in the sugars.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and evaporated milk. Then mix that in with the butter sugar in the sauce pan.
Cook this mixture over medium heat, stirring continually, until thickened like caramel- 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the sauce pan from heat and stir in the vanilla and walnuts.

This cake is amazing warm or cooled!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

What God Hath Promised poem

God hath not promised
  Skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways
  All our lives through;
God hath not promised
  Sun without rain
Joy without sorrow,
  Peace without pain.

But God hath promised
  Strength for the day,
Rest for the labor,
  Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
  Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
  Undying love.

  —Annie Johnson Flint

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Great Escape

“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Mat. 22:30) “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (I John 3:2)
Listen, if you are saved, the rapture will solve every problem you have! The Bible says that you’re going to get a brand new glorified body like that of Jesus Christ and the angels!
Are you too fat? No problem. There isn’t a fat angel anywhere in the Bible, Jesus wasn’t fat, and you won’t be fat when you head up to glory in your brand new body.
Maybe you have health problems. You won’t have them much longer. The Great Physician will take care of you “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”
Maybe you think you’re just too ugly and you would like a whole new make-over. Coming right up!
Maybe you wish you could travel and see exciting new things. Prepare for take-off! No seat belts required!
Are you in debt, looking for a way out? You just found it!
Maybe you’re worried about war, terrorism, or a crumbling economy. You won’t have to worry much longer.
Maybe you’re just tried of fighting the world, the flesh, and the devil. The battle will be over when the trumpet sounds! I’ve been trapped in this stinking body of mine for 54 years, having to wash it, shave it, feed it, cloth it, doctor it, exercise it, keep it warm, keep it cool, keep it quiet, keep it out of trouble, keep it under submission. I’m tried of keeping it, and I'll not have to keep it anymore after the Rapture.
Friend, cheer up! The rapture will fix every problem you have! Your greatest triumph, your great escape, is just around the corner!

-James L Melton

Thursday, August 31, 2017

God's Chosen People- Part 14

Just because your parents are doing right, doesn't mean you will. And just because you know about God doesn't mean you'll act like a Christian. Each of us need to have our own walk with the Lord!
Jacob worshipped God and tried to do right, but his sons were some pretty rotten boys!
His oldest son, Reuben was horrible! He was acting like he was married to the servants when he wasn't!
Remember Dinah, Jacob's daughter? Well, she wanted to hang out with the other young girls in Caanan. She went into the city and got into trouble! She got with this guy whom she shouldn't be with and then he wanted to marry her.
Jacob's sons said that if they followed all their traditions that he could marry their sister. Do you think that was a good suggestion? But, these boys were just as deceitful as Jacob was when he was young!
Genesis 34:25- And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
Jacob's 2 sons were murderers! They killed all the men! And they weren't sorry for it!
Judah got into a lot of trouble and ended up with twins!
But their wickedness wasn't just on those around them!
Genesis 37:1-2- And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.  These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
These wicked brothers didn't like being told on. And Jacob made it even worse because he treated Joseph differently than the others.
Genesis 37:3-4- Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
Oh, that's not good! Jacob knew how bad his sons could be! I wonder if he ever thought they'd be evil to their own family?
Joseph was different from the other boys. Not just because of how Jacob treated him, but because God had something very special in mind for him.
Genesis 37:5-7- And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:  For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
We may wonder what this means, but his brothers knew what it meant!
Genesis 37:8- And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
They knew it meant that Joseph would rule over them. Perhaps they thought because he was their father's favorite that he would become leader of the house of Israel. Whatever they thought, they hated him even more because of it!
Genesis 37:9-10- And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.  And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
Jacob didn't understand the dreams either. Fathers don't normally bow to their sons. Jacob thought he had to rebuke Joseph for wrong. But the brother....
Genesis 37:11- And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
They hated him and envied him! And they were about to do something so wicked!
Genesis 37:12-14- And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.  And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.  And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
Jacob's sons were out with the flocks. When you have sheep and goats you have to move them to where the food is because they eat up all the grass! So, Jacob sent Joseph to find his brothers and make sure everything was okay.
Genesis 37:15-17- And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.  And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
Joseph had to search to find them, but he finally saw where they were and went to meet them. But they weren't happy about it!
Genesis 37:18-20- And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.  And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.  Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
Woah! They hated him so much that they wanted to kill him!
Genesis 37:21-22- And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
Reuben knew that his father knew about his sin! Perhaps he was hoping that saving Joseph would keep his father from punishing him?
Genesis 37:23-24- And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
God's chosen people were not starting out too well- lies, deception, mass murder, sibling rivalry. It seems that all Abraham had tried to teach had been forgotten in just a few generations.
Fortunately for them, God doesn't forget.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

God's Chosen People- Part 13

Genesis 35:1- And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
God tells Jacob exactly where he wants him to be. And Jacob has learned to listen to God.
Genesis 35:2- -3- Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
Somewhere along the way, Jacob found out that there were some in his family that didn't worship God. He was going o obey God. He made an altar and promised that God would be the only one he would worship, and he was expecting that from his family!
Genesis 35:4-And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
Jacob's family obeyed his command, and Jacob buried the idols to make sure that no one would worship them.
Genesis 35:5-7- And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.  So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him. So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.  And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.
Bethel was where Jacob saw the ladder with the angels going up and down. Do you remember that? Jacob has now come full circle! He left with just his staff, and he came back with so much more. God had kept the promise that was made to Jacob so long ago!
Genesis 35:9-13- And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.  And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.  And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;  And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.  And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.
God told Jacob again that his name was now Israel. And He gave Jacob the same promise that He had given to Abraham and to Isaac.
Genesis 35:14-15- And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.
Jacob knew what to do. He gave God thanks!
But now, something was going to happen that wouldn't be so nice!
Perhaps it was because God knew that Rachel wouldn't really stop serving idols. Or perhaps it was because now that Jacob was doing God's will he had to give up his will. I'm not sure why, but God knows!
Genesis 35:16-17- And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
You see, Rachel had a baby in her belly. And she was getting ready for that baby to be born. But something was wrong!
Genesis 35:18-19- And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.  And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.
We don't know for sure why God took Rachel from Jacob. But we do know that God loved Jacob. We know that God wasn't being mean to Jacob.
When trouble comes our way, we need to remember that God isn't being mean to us. He still loves us. And we can still do God's will even through the hard times.
Genesis 35:20- And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.
God wasn't finished with Jacob. He had a new name. He had a new son. And now, the 12 tribes of Israel were started.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

God's Chosen People- Part 12

Jacob got a new name- Israel, prince of God. Does that mean that Jacob was no longer afraid? Nope. Just because we get saved doesn't mean we never fear or never sin.
Remember, Esau said that he would kill Jacob, and now he's on his way with 400 men!
Genesis 33:1-3- And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.  And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost. And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
I bet Jacob was sweating! It was probably hard to breathe and his heart was pounding ever so loudly! What would Esau do?
Genesis 33:4- And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
By this response, Jacob knew that Esau had forgiven him. He knew that his family was safe and he could now come home without fear!
Genesis 33:5-7- And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant. Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
After Esau met everyone, he had a question for Jacob.
Genesis 33:8-11- And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.  And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.
Now that everything was settled, Esau wanted to help Jacob get home quickly!
Genesis 33:12-16- And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee. And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die. Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir. And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.  So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
Esau offered to help Jacob make the journey. He also offered to leave men to help Jacob on his way. But Jacob refused. Maybe he didn't trust Esau, or perhaps he had learned to trust God!
Genesis 33:17-20- And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.  And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.  And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money. And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.
Jacob finally was back where God wanted him to be. He bought some land to build an altar to God. First, we see that Jacob realized that worshipping God was going to cost him something. He bought the field before he offered the sacrifice. Next, we see that Jacob knew who he should thank for everything that went right in his life!
Elelohe-Israel means the God of Israel. Jacob is accepting his new name and is proclaiming that God is his God.