September 30 – Genesis

Let talk about what it was like to read through the book of Genesis!

We are having a Zoom Conference this evening, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Atlantic Time. Call Pastor Rick at area code nine zero two – six three four – eight three nine five to get registered for this conversation.

Tomorrow we begin a new book, as we spend a year reading the Bible!

September 29 – Genesis

We discover that the Joseph story has many twists and turns (as does ours!), and has impacts far beyond what might have been expected (as does ours!). Here is part of chapter 41.

Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went through all the land of Egypt.  During the seven plenteous years the earth produced abundantly.  He gathered up all the food of the seven years when there was plenty in the land of Egypt, and stored up food in the cities; he stored up in every city the food from the fields around it.  So Joseph stored up grain in such abundance—like the sand of the sea—that he stopped measuring it; it was beyond measure.

The seven years of plenty that prevailed in the land of Egypt came to an end; and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in every country, but throughout the land of Egypt there was bread.  When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.’  And since the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt.  Moreover, all the world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine became severe throughout the world.

Reflection – Joseph fulfills his responsibilities, and the world is saved.  How challenging is it to see ourselves making a difference in the world?  Why is it difficult to see beyond ourselves?

September 28 – Genesis

The longest story in the book of Genesis is the story of Joseph. This continues in chapter 39.

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favour in the sight of the chief jailer.  The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s care all the prisoners who were in the prison, and whatever was done there, he was the one who did it.  The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.

Reflection – Even in his oppressive situation, Joseph seems to thrive.  What enables some people to see possibilities, and others to see barriers? What goes into your outlook on your life?

September 27 – Genesis

We are working our way through the Joseph stories of Genesis. This one is found in chapter 39.

When [Joseph’s] master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, [falsely] saying, ‘This is the way your servant treated me’, he became enraged.  And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; he remained there in prison.

Reflection – Joseph is imprisoned unjustly.  How do you feel when you hear of people who are imprisoned for a crime they did not commit?  Why is it so hard to change, let alone challenge, an unjust system?

September 26 – Genesis

We are beginning to approach the end of the book of Genesis, but there are still stories to be told! Including today’s, from chapter 37.

Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. This is the story of the family of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father.  Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.

Reflection – Jacob plays favourites with his children, just as his parents did, and again the result is strife and division.  Why is it so hard to break out of familiar patterns, even if we know they are destructive?

September 25 – Genesis

The Genesis (or Beginnings) stories continue, and today we read part of chapter 33.

Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother.

But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.

Reflection – After many years, Jacob is reunited with his brother Esau.  How have you experienced reconciliation?  Was it easy or hard?  If it was easy, what made it easy?  If it was hard, is that relationship still a struggle today?