Thursday, July 27, 2017

Genesis 30

Rachel envied her sister and asked Jacob to give her children or she'll die. Jacob replied that only God can give children, and He is responsible for her barrenness. This is also true in the ministry, that unless the Lord builds a house or a ministry, our works are useless. Only God can provide and satisfy our needs. Remember that this is a story of ancient period, a time when the master can do anything to their slaves. At the persuasion of Rachel and Leah, Jacob became father of their nurses' children. According to the usage of those time, these children might be owned by the real wives. Though there is jealousy and rivalry in this story, in God's sovereign power and plan, He used all things to work together for good according to His purpose; the twelve tribes of Israel. After many years, Jacob had planned to depart and return to Canaan, but his father in law was concern about it because, as he had said, 'the Lord has blessed me for your sake.' Laban was a selfish man, but everything are open and naked in the eyes of God. Let us continue to do good works, for in God's perfect time, He will reward us physically and spiritually. God bless.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Genesis 29

After his communion with God at Bethel, Jacob proceeded to Padan Aram, at the same place where Abraham's servant met Rebecca many years ago (Gen. 24:15). Divine providence brought him there, for the steps of the righteous are ordained by God. He met Rachel and her family, and Jacob declared that he was ready to serve her, be her husband, and promised seven years of service. But Laban deceived him, by giving Leah at the night of his marriage for a valid reason. As some people said, "the deceiver had been deceived." But he was determined to take Rachel even at the cost of another seven years of service, which he fulfilled. Jacob loved Rachel but she was barren, and when the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb and bore his first born Rueben, then Simeon, Levi and Judah. Truly, only God is our comforter, and can satisfy our needs. This chapter encourages us to value the happiness of heaven, that the suffering of this present time will be as nothing to us. If we are truly in love with Christ, it will make long and hard services short and easy. God bless.

Genesis 28

Finally, Isaac blessed Jacob with Abraham's blessing (v4), and sent his son to the Padan Aram, with two goals; to escape the wrath of Esau and to find a wife. While resting at Bethel, he took one of the stones and put it at his head. Then he had a dream of a ladder with its top reached to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. He saw the Lord on top of it, and spoke to him that he will be blessed and will become a blessing to all families of the earth. When Jacob had awakened, he was afraid to know that God is here. Then he made a vow that He will serve God and give god Him the tithes of his increase. When we receive more than common mercy from God, we should abound in gratitude to Him. God bless.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Genesis 27

Isaac had forgotten the divine prophecy that 'the older shall serve the younger' (Gen. 25:23), and now he wanted to put the honor and power to Esau. Rebekah knew that the blessing should be to Jacob, so she reversed Isaac's plan by putting a deceit on him. "Let your curse be upon me my son," Rebekah said to Jacob. Centuries later, Christ, a descendant of Rebekah, has bore the curses, fulfilling all the yokes written in the law. With all fears and difficulties, Jacob got the blessing. Yet, as he pronounced the blessing to Jacob, it was Esau who was in his mind. When Esau learned that Jacob had taken the blessing, he cried with a great cry. This shows that those who make light of their birthright, and sell their Divine will for material things of no value, shall reap the consequence of their covetousness. Jacob declared, "I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed." Indeed, a common blessing was bestowed upon Esau and to all people like him, but the covenant blessings was given to Jacob and those who have followed the will of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. God bless.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Genesis 26

In time of famine, the Lord was with Isaac. It tells that if God is engaged with us, and we are where He would have us to be, nothing can prevent us to receive His blessings and comfort. The obedience of his father Abraham to God's divine command was the evidence of that relationship (v5). Same thing with all Christians, Jesus is the object of our relationship with God, for without Christ's perfect sacrifice at the cross, our works are unacceptable to God. "She is my sister," Isaac said to Abimelech. Is it not history repeat itself? But with the help of God, we can be redeemed from the curse of the past in Christ Jesus. And as a result of redemption, God prospered Isaac's labor, and continued prospering him, until he became very prosperous (13). This is the evidence that God's covenant with Abraham that had been renewed and confirmed to the next generation. Blessed to be a blessing! It is true that there are hindrances and struggles along the way, like what happened to Isaac's servant concerning the wells, but in God's sovereign will, still He is faithful and gracious, and His time to show Himself so is, when were are most disappointed by men. God bless.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Genesis 25

Abraham married another woman, Keturah, and bore his children. He lived 175 years, one hundred years after he first came to Canaan. Abraham is dead but his faithfulness to God continued as triumph of faith. The Bible didn't neglect to mention the 12 sons of Ishmael, as it had been prophesied by the Lord (17:20). Isaac was 40 when he took Rebecca as wife, and was 60 when Esau and Jacob were born. Though spent many days of waiting, the fulfillment of God's promise is always sure. When she was pregnant, she asked the Lord about the strange feeling inside her. God told her that twin shall be born, and the older shall serve the younger. As the boys grew up, one was father's pet, and one was mother's darling. And at the time of testing, Esau failed the test by selling his birthright to his younger brother. He ate, drank, and satisfied his appetite, but carelessly rose up and went his way, without any serious thought on the bargain Jacob made for giving up his birthright. Birthright is grace of God, and when we neglect the grace that God gave us, we are despising Him as bestower of all that we have. God bless.


 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Genesis 24

This chapter told the story of the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca. It tells that the wife of Isaac was from the same family of Abraham, not a Canaanite woman. Rebecca was a daughter of Bethuel, a relative from Nahor, Mesopotamia, where Abraham had been called by God (Gen. 12). Abraham remembers that God had brought him out of the land of his birth, and prospered him in his new hometown, and therefore should not bring Isaac back there again. It shows that God will cause our lives to end with comfort, in which we sincerely aim at His glory. The servant sincerely prayed to God for right direction and success. He asked for signs, and the Lord granted his requests. Truly, our lives are in God's hand, Rebecca answered the character that he sought for in the woman that would be the wife of Isaac. This story was told very particularly, showing that God's providence is in the common events of human life. At the end, the servant thankfully acknowledges God for the good success he had met with. When a person enters into a new life condition, God's people should commend them by prayer to the blessing and grace of our Lord. God bless.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Genesis 23

Sarah was 127 years old when she died in Hebron in the land of Canaan, and Abraham mourned and wept for her. Abraham purchased a piece of land in Machpelah for 400 shekels of silver, and buried his death, in the field deeded to him by the men of Heth as a burial plot. The Bible is the Deed of Sale, a legal document proving that the land was bought for a price. Abraham rendered respect to the princes of Heth, although of the ungodly Canaanites. Though all the land of Canaan was given by God to Abraham, yet the time of possessing them is not being come. At this time, this burying place was the only piece of land which Abraham possessed in Canaan. His family was a nomad, a pastoral tribe, moving from one place to another. Abraham was contented to be a pilgrim and foreigner in this world while he lives, after all, his main concern was his eternity with God, a heavenly city whose builder is God. God bless.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Genesis 22

God tested Abraham, and testing in man's life tends to show the disposition of the hearts, whether true or untrue. This time, God told him to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering in the land of Moriah. It means Abraham shall kill Isaac as a sacrifice, kill him with solemn ceremony, the way his neighbors offered their firstborn sons to their gods. Abraham obeyed the Lord without question, and traveled three days. Then he said to his servants, "We will come back to you" (v5). This shows that Abraham expected that Isaac shall rise again and would return with them. As they went, Isaac asked: "Where is the Lamb?" After the trial, God did not provide a lamb, but a ram instead, because the Lamb of God shall be provided in God's perfect time. Abraham obeyed the Lord fully, and as a result, God renewed the covenant of blessing and the Seed that will blessed all the nations of the earth. Obedience is the result of faith. Abraham was not justified by his readiness to obey, but by his faith to the promised Seed that will blessed the whole world. The focus is to the Seed, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. God bless.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Genesis 21

God is always reliable, and faithful to His promises. Sarah became pregnant, and gave birth to a son,  Isaac. Abraham was 100 years old, and he circumcised his son eight days after he was born. When God gives us the mercies we began to despair of, we should remember our sinful distrust of His power and promise. Answered prayers might be delayed, but God never forgets His promises to His people. As to Ishmael, he began to oppress and mock the son of the covenant, and for that reason, he was removed from the presence of Isaac, the son of the covenant, lest he corrupt the manners or take the rights from Isaac. If Hagar and Ishmael had behaved well in Abraham's family, they might have continued there; but they were justly punished. Nevertheless, God made a promise to bless Ishmael being a child of Abraham. And the two went and lived in the wilderness of Paran, part of Egypt. It is wise to connect ourselves with those who are blessed by God, as Abimelech did with Abraham. But we must show kindness who had been kind to us. God bless.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Genesis 20

God spoke to Abimelech and told him the danger of death for his sin. But Abimelech pleads ignorance, because he knew that he had been cheated into a snare by Abraham. A sinner will always commit sin, and every sinner is a deadman, but an honest person will always be honest, and God knows their honesty and will acknowledge it. If we had done wrong ignorantly, that will excuse us, but if we persist to commit sin, we shall certainly receive the consequence for the wrong which we had done. Abraham knew the crooked ways and policies of Abimelech, and for that reason, he told him that Sarah was his sister, daughter of his father to other woman, which was also true. This story tells that in time of temptations and troubles, God is here with us. But we need to use our wisdom too and the word of God, in order to escape the effect when we yield to commit sin. Though our Lord will rebuke us if we commit sin, yet He will pardon and deliver us, and give us favor in the sight of men when we humble ourselves. God bless

Friday, July 14, 2017

Genesis 19

All the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were very wicked. When they heard about Lots' visitors, they went to his house and asked him to bring his visitors out that they may 'know them carnally.' But the angels of the Lord struck them with blindness, and told Lot to get out of this place. The stench of this city had reached to heaven, and God has intended to destroy this wicked place. “Scape for your life, and don't look back." Symbolically, it means don't return to sin and Satan, but move forward and look unto Jesus. Indeed, this destruction is a revelation of God's wrath against sin. Lot, his wife and two daughters were able to scape, but his wife looked back and she became pillar of salt. In the gospel Jesus told His followers to always remember Lot's wife (Luke 17:32). Then the Bible tells the origin of Moabites and Ammonites. It shows that the peril of drunkenness, not only a great sin itself, but may bring a lasting wounds and dishonor to many people. Let us walk with Christ, and don't return to our old ways. God bless.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Genesis 18

Washing the feet, helping the weary travelers, entertaining and doing kindness to them is customary in those hot climates, where only sandals are worn. While Abraham was sitting, he saw three men coming, heavenly beings in human forms, and one of them was the Angel of the Lord. For this reason, the Bible encourages God's people not to be forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares ( Heb. 13:2 ). Then the Lord spoke to Abraham and promised that next year, He will give him and Sarah a son. Sarah laughed thinking that this news is too good to be true, and beside she was long past the age of having children. God questioned their faith and said, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Nothing is too difficult for Him, but God requires faith and obedience. The conversation between Abraham and the Lord concerning the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah is a sample of prayer intercession. We see here the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man concerning the salvation of sinners. Let us pray without ceasing for our love ones specially those with the heart of unbelief. God bless.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Genesis 17

The covenant was to be accomplished in due time. Abram's name became Abraham, meaning father of many nations, while Sarah means mother of nations. The Lord confirmed again the promised Seed and the land that He shall give to Abraham and his descendants as an everlasting covenant (v7). The token of the covenant was circumcision, which Abraham and his seeds must keep. Foreigners and slaves that will accept the Lord as their God must also be circumcised. Here shows that God's grace began to work from Abraham to many families of the earth. This religious observance was required under the severe penalty, and it is dangerous to make light of Divine institution, and to live in the neglect of it. "That persons shall be cut off from his people, he has broken My covenant" (16). Abraham was ninety years old when circumcised, Ishmael was thirteen, and all eight days old among God's people shall be circumcised. The covenant blessing was reserved for Isaac, and appropriated to him. Christians are no longer strangers and outsiders in God's covenant when they accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. God bless.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Genesis 16

Sarai was barren, and after living ten years in Canaan, she's no longer expecting to have a child.  She proposed to Abram to take her slave Hagar saying, “you may sleep with my servant girl, and her children shall be mine” (v2). Abram heeded her voice, and this was done without asking counsel of the Lord, as if they had forgotten the power of the Almighty. In every situation in life, there is some cross and hardship to bear, and if we will not exercise our faith to wait upon God's perfect will, that will put us out of God's way. Hagar conceived and became arrogant toward Sarah. As a result, Sarah dealt with her harshly. Hagar herself had given first the provocation to make the whole situation even worse. As part of the lesson, those who suffer for their faults, ought to bear it. Hagar fled from their presence, but the Angel of the Lord found her, blessed her and son Ishmael, and told her to return to them, which she did. Her encounter with God changed her to have a better temper, and that softened Sarai's behavior too. Indeed, our experience of God will change us to be a brand new person. God bless.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Genesis 15

After the war of nations, God assured Abram of safety and happiness, "I am your shield." It tells that those who believe in His name shall be protected by God Himself from enemies and disasters. Then Abram told his complaint to God, that he had no child and it took away all his comfort. Immediately, God gave Abram a promise of a son, and his descendants shall be as many as the stars in heaven. Abram believed in God's words, and He accounted it to him for righteousness (v6). Then the Lord told him to bring animal sacrifices and cut them into two. But the vulture came to eat those animals, and he drove them away. In our lives, we must drive away those evil vultures, and concentrate on God without any distraction. As the sun went down and became dark, a deed sleep fell upon Abram, and a smoking oven and flaming torch had passed between halves of the dead animals. So that day, the Lord made the covenant with Abram (while sleeping). It shows that it is God who would take care and fulfill this covenant to Abram's descendant for all generation. Today, God remains faithful to His promises and our faith to His Son Jesus Christ made us righteous in God's eye. God bless.

 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Chapter 14

The war of nations was recorded in this chapter, only because Abram and Lot were involved. Out of covetousness, Lot had settled in the fruitful land of Sodom, and its inhabitants, the descendants of Ham and Canaan were ripe for vengeance. The invaders came from the East took the people including Lot and their goods. Abraham took the opportunity to give a real proof of being truly good to his relative Lot, to rescue from the enemies. The Bible tells that as we have opportunity, we must do good to all. While celebrating the victory, Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High brought bread and wine and blessed Abram. It is remarkable that Jesus Christ appointed the same elements as the memorials of His body and blood, the food for our souls. Melchizedek blessed Abram from God, and in return, Abram expressed his thankfulness by giving the tithe of all the blessings he received from the king of Sodom. Like Abraham, the people of God must be faithful not just to their friends, but to God always, who is the Possessors of all that we have. God bless.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Chapter 13

Abraham and Lot were close relatives, and in order to avoid more quarrels and misunderstanding among their servants, they had decided to go their separate ways. Abraham told Lot to take choice of any section of the land he wants, so that Abraham will take the other part. And it happened that Lot took the fertile plains of Jordan Valley near the wicked city of Sodom, while Abraham took the land of Canaan. Here shows that Abram himself was a man of cool spirit, a man of peace, and knew how to turn away wrath by a gentle move and action. Then the Lord spoke to Abraham and told him that He is going to give this land to him and his descendants forever (v15). Later on, the land of Canaan became the land of Israel, and could not be separated from Judaism. The Lord promised him so many descendants as the dust on the earth that can not be counted. As he moved to Hebron, he built an altar unto the Lord, and Hebron became the resting place of Abraham till today. Abraham is the father of both Jews and Christians according to biblical prophecy. God bless.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Genesis 12

This chapter begins a new era of God's dealing with humanity. He called one man named Abram and instructed him to go to the land that God will show him. The Lord told him that He will cause him to become the father of a great nation. God will bless him and make his name famous, and he will be a blessing to many nations. God's formula of blessing is important: "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (v3). So Abraham obeyed God and went to Canaan, together with Sarai, Lot, and all his servants with their possessions. They saw that the Canaanites were living in the promised land. Abram built an altar unto the Lord to worship and celebrate His goodness to his family (v7). Then famine struck the entire land, so that Abram and Sarai went to Egypt, the most powerful and prosperous kingdom at the time. But the Lord protected them from possible threat and malicious spirit. It shows that God's people are secured in His Hand wherever we go. He is our Help and Protector in time of troubles and harassments. God bless.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Genesis 11

In the beginning, all people spoke a single language. As they journey to the east and populated the earth, they began to build great city with high tower reaching to the skies. They were proud to have an eternal monument to themselves, and not for the glory of God (v4). They thought that the high tower will unite them, protect them in case another flood happens, and keep them from scattering all over the world. And the Lord came down to see the city and saw their evil motive and destructive goal for the whole humanity. God believes that in one language, humans can accomplish all things and nothing will be unattainable for them. So He confused their tongues and gave them different languages so that they would not understand each other’s words. So they left off to build the city, called Babel, and saw that the Hand of God was against their desires. Since then, people were scattered and never come all together again. But on the second coming of Christ, He will gather all believers in all generations before His presence to reward them for their faithfulness unto His kingdom. God bless.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Genesis 10

This chapter shows the descendants of the sons of Noah, that from them was the whole earth overspread. No other nation was able to preserve their family tree, except the Jews, because of the Seed that is to come. The Seed or Messiah will crush the head of the serpent, and shall give victory to all mankind. Nimrod was a great and mighty hunter in his day before the Lord (v9). He was a ruler and built cities, and began to rule and forced others to submit unto him. He had several cities under his command, and could not be content till he had more. His spirit is similar to modern days that more kings and emperors were not satisfied on the power that they had, but want to conquer for more. While Japeth's children were moving westward (Europe); the southern part were possessed by Ham and his son Canaan including Egypt and the lower part (Africa); Shem and his descendant moved eastward (Asia and far east). From Shem, the most prominent persons in ancient time came, Abraham the father of both Jews and Christians. God bless and happy 4th of July.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Genesis 9

God blessed Noah and his family after the flood, and told them to eat clean animals as their food in addition to grain and vegetables; but never eat animal unless the life-blood has been drained off. God forbid murder, for to kill a man is to kill someone who had been created in God's image. Willful killing ought always to be punished with death (v6). Then the Lord made a covenant between Him and Noah's descendants; never again to send another flood to destroy the earth. The seal of this covenant was the rainbow, to be placed in the clouds as a sign of His promise in all generations. The drunkenness of Noah is recorded in the Bible and his sons Ham appears to be an unruly man. When Noah became uncovered in his tent, Ham told this to his two brothers. But Japeth and Shem took a robe, walked backward, and covered the nakedness of their father, as they look the other way. As a result, Noah declares a curse on Canaan, the son of Ham, and blessed both Japeth and Shem. The lesson is that, we should protect our brethren and avoid exposing their nakedness in front of others. God bless.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Genesis 8

The whole race were now dead, except the family of Noah, and God remembered them. This shows the return of God's mercy to humanity, of whom He would not make a full end. Then God send wind to dry the earth, and at the end of 150 days, the waters subsided. Noah then sent forth a raven but did not return, then he sent a dove, but found no resting place and so returned. This story is a symbol of men's relationship with God; others returned to God while others are not willing to return. After few days, he again sent the dove and brought an olive leaf plucked off, showing that the trees began to appear above water. Then the ark rested on a dry ground, and Noah went out of the ark and brought with them all the animals so that they may multiply on the earth. The first thing that they did in the new but desolate world was to worship God, by offering clean animals. God was pleased with what was done, and He declared that He would never drown the world again. We see God's promise to all living things made good, and it may conclude that His promise of salvation to all believers shall be true and faithful. God bless.