Bible Study Feb. 3

Pharoah continues to harden his heart toward the God of the children of Israel as we read today from chapters 10 to 12. More plagues come upon the Egyptians because of Pharoah.

Chapter 10 –

God could have easily led His children out of Egypt without all the plagues being palce d up the Egyptians but He wanted true repentance from them. All he wanted was obedience but over and over we see rejection

Locusts cover the land and even eat and destroy the grain left from the plague of hail. All vegetation is once again destroyed. There was nothing green left. God shifted the wind and the locusts were gone as quickly as they came in when Pharoah repented. Even Pharoah’s servants were asking him how long will this man be a snare to us?

Pharoah refuses to allow them to leave and darkness comes over Egypt as promised by Moses and Aaron. Note verse 23 but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings. Again Pharoah says he will allow them to go and worship but refuses (again) and now threatens Moses that if he ever saw him again he would kill him.

Chapter 11 –

This is a rather short chapter but leads us into the last plague and by far the most severe. Moses was thought of very highly in the land of Egypt both to people and the servants of Pharaoh. This plague would kill the first born of all the children and the cattle as well.

Chapter 12 –

Chapter 12 describes the greatest of Israel’s annual festival: Passover. By faithfully putting into practice this ritual the Israelites would be protected by God from the plague of the first born. Then every year after this one they were to celebrate the Passover to remember how God saved them. The month in which Passover was to be celebrated would be the first month of the Jewish calendar (12;2). It includes portions of the moths of March and April.

Each family was to select a twelve-year-old male lamb, unblemished on the fourteenth. The Israelites wee to take some blood and place it on the both doorposts as well as the lintel of the door. They were also dressed for travel and to hurriedly eat the meat roasted along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

This Passover foreshadowed the coming of Jesus. Once Moses received the instructions of the Lord, he passed them along to the elders of Israel. When the Israelites heard what was about to happen, they bowed and worshipped God.

At midnight the firstborn of the those without the blood on their doorposts and lintels were struck dead and loud wailing was heard throughout Egypt. When this occurred the Israelites were free and the Egyptians gave them silver…gold…and clothing.

Six hundred thousand able bodied men left Egyptian soil that night in the exodus. With women and children the number of people were two million God had certainly blessed the people from the seventy descendants of Jacob who had come to Egypt, they were in Egypt a total of four hundred and thirty years. This is just as the Lord had promised Abraham.

Verses 43 – 51 describe how and who may partake in the Passover. Note one thing here they were not to break any bones regarding the sacrifice. When Jesus was crucified the soldiers did not break His legs – which was hastened to bring death quicker, He was already dead when they broke the legs of those beside Him.

Bible Study Feb. 1

Today we begin in the book of Exodus. No particular writer of Exodus has been identified but it was most likely Moses. Exodus opens up where the Book of Genesis ends with the death of Joseph. But by 1:8 the narrative has surpassed three hundred years.

The first half of the book describes to exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt through the miraculous deliverance of God in the plan. The second half explains how God entered into covenant relationship with Israel (in spite of their sins), gave them His law, and established the tabernacle.

Chapter 1 –

The word of God had come to pass as the descendants of Joseph did in deed multiply and after the death of Joseph and his brothers the new king came into power and did not know Joseph.  He decides to exploit the Israelites to make bricks and get economic results out of them.

Pharoah in his concern for the growing population decides to implement a program to kill all male babies but the midwives said they arrived too late to kill the babies who were born. When his plan did not work, he commanded all his people to throw every son born to the Hebrews into the Nile.

Chapter 2 –

A woman from the family of Levi had a very beautiful son and she hid him for three months trusting God over the Pharoah. At some point she could hide him no longer, she prepares a basket and places him in the Nile River. Pharoah’s daughter arrives to bathe and finds the basket. Moses is now saved from death.

He ultimately became the son of Pharoah’s daughter who names him Moses. He grows but is alarmed at the oppression of his people and rises against an Egyptian and kills him for assaulting and fighting with a Hebrew. Once he kills the Egyptian in fear he flees.

Chapter 3 –

Moses was an eighty-year-old man working for his father-law when things dramatically changed for him on Mount Horeb. Moses is about to have afresh encounter with God. The burning bush story now comes into play with Moses. Moses hid his face from God – in other words he took God seriously.

God had singled Moses to lead His people out of Israel but Moses found a series of excuses to try to avoid his calling and mission. Upon arguing with God we hear a familiar phrase from God “I am who I am.” By describing himself this way He is affirming His self-existence and self-sufficiency. Moses tells the people he is sent by the one true God.

God made it clear to Moses that Pharoah would not consent to freeing the people. As a result God would respond in ways of miraculous power. The Israelites and Moses were to act in faith trusting God for the outcome.

Chapter 4 –

Moses was still nervous asking what if they did not believe him. God instructs him to throw his staff on the grown then pick it up. This still wasn’t good enough. He says he has never been eloquent and his mouth is sluggish. God knew of the weaknesses of Moses and He is aware of ours but that should not be a deterrent to not follow the leading of God. Moses excuses wee to no avail.

Chapter 5 –

The moment of confrontation has arrived and Moses is standing before Pharoah telling Pharoah he is to let the people go. Pharoah could have avoided a great deal of grief had he listened to God speaking through Moses. Pharaoh refused to obey.

The Israelites had been in captivity and forced to make bricks so in order to punish them he took away the straw for making bricks but did not reduce the demand for bricks although now they had to obtain their own straw. The Israelites scattered throughout the land to collect stubble for the bricks.

Now comes the blame game – the people blamed Moses so he shifted the blame to God. He accused God of making matters worse since He had not yet delivered them.

Keep in mind God told Moses Pharoah would not listen what did he expect?

Bible Study Feb. 2

Exodus chapters 6 through 9 we see Aaron’ s staff become a snake and plagues one through seven are placed on the Egyptians because of one man – Pharoah.

Chapter 6 –

God did not rebuke Moses because He saw the strain Moses was under Now God said you will see what I will do to Pharoah. God reminded Moses of the covenant He made with the patriarchs and He was going to fulfill His promise in the covenant made with them.

God’s plan was to set Israel free for fellowship not that they do their own thing but the worship and fellowship with Him. But the people refused to listen because of their broken spirit.

The story is interrupted by listing the genealogy of the of the heads of the family.

God identified who He wanted to lead the people out of Egypt.

Chapter 7 –

Moses and Aaron had the right credentials to do the work. Pharoah’s heart was hardened and he refused to listen to Moses as he spoke through Aaron. Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded them to do., they go to Pharoah and to try to persuade him to release the Israelites and let them go by signs from God with the staff of Aaron. He magicians copy the same acts of God but their staffs are swallowed by the staffs of Aaron.

The first plague is brought to the Egyptians by turning the water into blood in the River Nile. The magicians did likewise but probably on a smaller scale (7:22). Even if they could mimic the actions they could not reverse it.

Chapter 8 –

Moses and Aaron return with these words “Let my people go, so that they may worship me” (8:1). This time with Pharoah’s refusal a plague of frogs come upon the Egypt and frogs are everywhere. Pharaoh relinquishes and the frogs are gone but he does not follow through and then gnats came upon the land. Pharoah was given many opportunities to repent yet he failed to do so. The next plague is swarms of flies and insects but look closely at verse 22, what does that tell you about the area where the Israelites were?

The next plague is one brought to livestock in the field. The livestock of the Hebrews would not die only those of the Egyptians. Although Pharoah saw none of the livestock of the Hebrews dead he refused to relent.

Chapter 9 –

Then came the plague of boils covering the nation to where even the magicians could not stand face to face with Moses. Before unleashing the seventh plague on Egypt God warned Pharoah to release the Israelites. God was giving him a chance to repent realize God was God and he was not.

In verse 16 we see “I have let you live for this purpose, God continued, to show you My power end to make my name know on the whole earth.  Because of the unwillingness of Pharoah plague number seven was to come this time hail ws to rain down as the worst hail in Egypt. Everyone not under some type of cover would die both man and animal. Guess what it hailed everywhere but in Goshen where the Israelites were.

Pharoah ultimately confesses his guilt and begs Moses to pray for him. Moses however said to him I know that you still do not fear the Lord God. (9:30).

This is an interesting note in verse 31 to 35. Even in the midst of the plagues God was still merciful to Egypt. The flax and barley were destroyed, but the wheat and the spelt were not damaged because they ripen late.

Bible Study Jan. 31

Today we conclude our journey through the Book of Genesis. It is a wonderful journey to look at the creation story, the life of Abraham and his family. In Genesis we see deceit, lying, faith, and ultimately deliverance.

Chapter 48

Jacob’s life was coming to an end he brought his two sons to receive a special blessing from Jacob. Joseph places the sones in front of Jacob in order for them the receive their blessing with Manasseh on right as the first born and Ephraim on the left. But Jacob crosses his hands much to the shock of Joseph. Interesting that Joseph would be upset after all his father and grandfather were younger brothers as he was.

Jacob as he reflects on his life sees how God had led him as he tended sheep and now sees God leading and protecting as he cared for the sheep under his watch.

Jacob bestows on the two boys, two blessings. The lesser blessing that they grow (48:16) a blessing we would want for our grandchildren. to be numerous within the land. The second was they be called by (his) name and the names of (his) fathers Abraham and Isaac (48:16).

Even though the family would grow numerous in Egypt God would deliver them back to the land of their fathers.

Chapter 49

He then called all the other brothers of Joseph to his bedside for their final blessing of their father. Joseph offers prophetic words to his sons beginning with the three oldest: Rueben, Simeon, and Levi. He dismisses them for leadership: Rueben had slept with his father’s concubine, Simeon and Levi were men of violence because of the attack on Shechem because of the sin against their sister Dinah.

One might think that Joseph would be the obvious choice to continue the messianic line but it would be Judah. He was full of power and majesty like a lion. The milk and wine imagery was meant to communicate richness and plenty.

He follows with the remainder of the sons:

  • Zebulun would be given land by the sea and become fishermen,
  • Issachar would become a laborer and ultimately his life would lead to slavery,
  • Dan would prove to be treacherous like a snake by the road. He leases the land to the Philistines and ends up in idolatry.
  • Gad, Asher, and Naphtali (all sons by a concubine as was Dan) Gad would be attacked by raiders living in conflict, Asher would live a life worthy of his name which meant “blessed” and Naphtali would be a free people living in the mountains to the north.

Joseph (his favorite) spends a great amount of time on Joseph and Benjamin, the sons by Rachel.

  • Joseph would be a fruitful vine beside a spring (48:22). He would succeed not only for his sake but for the sake of others.
  • Benjamin was characterized like a wolf that tears his prey and divides the plunder (49:27).

Jacob dies and asks to be buried with Leah who finally gets the honor that eluded her in her lifetime.

Chapter 50

Jacob is embalmed after the style and custom of the Egyptians showing royal honor, he is embalmed and mourning continues for seventy days a phenomenal showing of respect that reflects how the Egyptians loved Joseph.

The brothers all accept the gifts and blessings of their father yet they were uneasy knowing dad had died and possible Joseph still held some contempt for them. The were fearful and in doing so they lied (again) as many people would. They sent a message saying it was from their father saying they were slave.

Joseph’s response was once often quoted “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good.”

Joseph showed kindness to his brothers allowing vengeance to be had by God. The longer we hang onto an unforgiving spirit the more we harm ourselves.

Joseph ended his days living in peace.

Bible Study Jan. 30

You will find some longer reading today chapters 43 to 47 but it is interesting reading when you look at it from a perspective of deliverance.

Chapter 43

The famine continues and Jacob’s family soon runs out of food so Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy food.  Restoration is about to take place in the household of Jacob. Joseph inquires if there are any additional brothers in the house and they reply there is one who Joseph sends for his younger brother Benjamin. Jacob reluctantly sends Benjamin to Egypt. In addition to Benjamin he sends several valuable gifts.

When they return, they are taken to Joseph’s house where a feast is prepared for them. When they arrive, they meet with Joseph’s chief steward and try to make amends for what had happened. Simeon is reunited with his brothers. When Joseph sees Benjamin, he cannot control himself and excuses himself to weep over his brother.

Here is something interesting they were seated s to their birth order and no Egyptians would have known that.

Chapter 44

As Joseph’s brothers prepare to leave Egypt there is one final test as the silver cup of Josephs is placed in the sack of Benjamin therefore framing Benjamin with theft. The penalty for such an act would have been for the guilty party to become the slave of Joseph. The brothers of Joseph have changed at this point in their lives when Benjamin is found with the cup they all tore their clothes.

Upon returning back to Joseph after the cup is found Judah steps up once again and asks to stay in behalf of Benjamin.

Chapter 45

Joseph, unable to contain himself any longer, sends everyone away and the reunion occurs. Joseph who could have been bitter says this “God sent me ahead of you to preserve life” (45:5). Sometimes we do not understand God’s plans but think about this if anything had changed in Joseph’s life the plans of God could have been thwarted.

Pharoah was moved and gave the best of the land of Egypt and the richness of the land to his family. Restoration is taking place. Joseph as they leave tell them not to argue on the way home since it had taken years to bring unity. Jacob is stunned to know his son is alive and his spirit is revived. Hold on God is about to reveal a new plan to His followers.

Chapter 46

Even though Jacob was excited about leaving to see Joseph he must have thought about the promised land God had told him about. God appears to Jacob in a dream and he sees this journey is part of the promised land promise.

Twenty-two years had passed since Jacob had seen Joseph. It must have been quite a reunion and Jacob is ready to die now that he has seen his son. Joseph counsels them in Egyptian culture by explain to them how they should tell Pharoah of their occupation.

Chapter 47

Joseph’s family meets Pharaoh, they asked to settle in Goshen and Pharoah consents. The promise to Abraham had three parts:

  • Multiplying his offspring,
  • Giving them the promised land,
  • Blessing all the families of the earth through them.

The famine drags on in the land. Under Joseph’s leadership the land avoids starvation, the Pharoah’s treasury is full of silver. Eventually the people of the land rum out of money and begin to barter with their livestock for food until all the horses, the flocks of sheep, the herds of cattle, and the donkeys in the region belonged to Joseph. Ultimately Joseph acquired all the land in Egypt for Pharoah requiring a tax of one fifth.

Bible Study Jan. 27th

Today we see a familiar story concerning Joseph, famine, and meeting his brothers as we read from chapters 41 and 42 of Genesis.

Chapter 41

Thirty-year-old Joseph was still in prison when the Pharoah had a dream. There had been a seventeen-year gap since Joseph’s first dream and where he was at this time in his life. He was sitting in prison waiting for the knock on the door to be released. Remember Joseph asked the cup bearer to tell Pharoah what happened in the dream he interpreted for him and the chief baker. The cupbearer forgot to mention this to Pharoah.

Pharoah has a dream that neither he nor the magicians could interpret but God was at work in the bedroom of Pharoah. Seven scrawny cows eating seven healthy cows, seven scrawny ears of corn devouring seven healthy ears. Wise men had no interpretation but the cupbearer is reminded of what happened to him. Pharoah calls for Joseph to come to interpret his dream.

It is God who will give Pharoah a favorable answer was Joseph’s response taking no credit for himself. Joseph interprets the two dreams for the king. He not only interpreted the dream but he told him how to handle it. Pharoah immediately saw that Joseph not only interpreted the dream but showed him a solution he elevated him to second in command over his kingdom.

Famine struck the land as Joseph interpreted the dreams and Joseph instituted his plan from the pit to the palace. Joseph was given fine clothing, a gold chain, and a wife who gives him two sons. Pharoah pulled Joseph out of prison but it was God’s hand guiding him.

Famine came all over the land and Joseph was charged with selling grain to people from every land (41:57). Famine was also in the land of Canaan where Joseph was from.

Chapter 42

As it would go Jacob sends ten of his sons to buy food, keeping the youngest Benjamin at home with him. He had lost one son of his beloved wife Rachel he did not want to lose the other (Benjamin) since Joseph was missing under mysterious circumstances.

The brothers meet Joseph who did not recognize him but he recognized them amazing how God deals in our lives. He accuses them of being spies. He has them thrown into prison, we do not know the real reason behind this but it would ultimately lead to repentance and restoration, God’s goal in our life.

Three days they are imprisoned and while Simeon remains imprisoned the others return to get Benjamin as Joseph has instructed them. He gives them grain and places their silver back in their grain bags unknown to them at the time. When they find it, they immediately believe he will accuse them of spying once again. Fear comes over them.

Jacob refuses to allow Benjamin to leave and even with Rueben swearing that he could kill his two sons if the did not return with Simeon Jacob dug his heels in and did not waiver.  

Jan. 25th Bible Study

Reading today from Genesis chapters 35 to 37 we see a revival in the life of Jacob. You might wander what I mean by ‘revival” but after abdicating his leadership role in the Dinah debacle he takes three steps to made his turn around.

Chapter 35

First, he gets rid of all the foreign gods in his servants have. The same holds true for us we need to rid ourselves of anything standing between us and God. Second, they purify themselves, this is the removing of sin in their lives and thirdly, they change their clothes. This simply means they reoriented their lives.

Jacob goes off the Bethel but during his trip he fears his enemies but God again delivers him by placing a terror from God around the cities. Jacob has stepped up to be the leader God has called him to be.

God again appears to Jacob and again reiterates His blessing upon Jacob. Rachel gives birth to a second son who Jacob names Benjamin but she dies. She is buried and Rueben went in and slept with the concubine of Jacob her name is Bilhah. As a result of this action Rueben will no longer inherit the covenant, sin will find us out.

Isaac dies and reunion between Esau and Jacob takes place at his burial.

Chapter 36

The narrative shifts with chapter 26 as the genealogy of Esau is laid out before us.

Chapter 37

Jacob’s family dysfunction continues into the next generation because of the reason of favoritism. Jacob loved Joseph more than his other sons and even made him a special coat of various colors.

Joseph, being young and unwise has two dreams and tells his jealous brothers of the dreams who become angry after the first and more angry after the second. Should Joseph have been wiser in relating these to his brothers? God had given Joseph these dreams as a prophecy and they would come to pass.

As a result of the dreams and the brothers’ feeling they were secondary and especially jealous of Joseph devise a plan to get rid of Joseph, it can be read in verses 12 – 24. Sometimes God has to strip us of what we love most before He can work things out in our lives.

He is now sold for twenty pieces of silver going from living like royalty to a slave so to speak. Be sure to read the account of the plot to kill Joseph if you have not.

Just as it seems God was absent from Jacob and Joseph He is about to do something amazing (as He does). What seemed like a family disaster is about to change. God’s whole plan was to bring the family to Egypt to avoid the famine. God was in the picture of setting the destiny of Joseph even when it seemed He was out of the picture.

Jan. 26th Bible Study

Reading today from Genesis 38 to 40 is a story of Joseph who went from rags to riches back to rags a second time but for a short time.

Chapter 38

Much of the remaining book of Genesis focuses on Joseph. Judah, his son would ultimately become the son to inherit the blessing of Abraham but at this point he was another conniving son of Jacob. Reading verses in the remainder of the chapter give you insight into the flawed character of Judah. All the things you might read in a novel are found here, but that is life outside a true relationship with Jesus.

Chapter 39

Although a slave Joseph found favor in the sight of God. He was now a successful man in the house of Potiphar and God’s presence was with him.Potiphar did see the good work of Joseph and his work ethic. You could surmise from our reading that Joseph told Potiphar about his God. Potiphar made Joseph rule over his entire house, giving him authority to carry out his duties. We should look at the life of Joseph and give all we have to those we work for doing our very best.

Potiphar’s wife comes into the picture and sees how handsome Joseph is and decides she wants to seduce him which he wanted no part of Joseph had been given the keys of the estate so he had full roam of the property he had everything. Joseph reacts to her advances just the way we should everything but the one thing did not want was the wife of his master.First, he saw the consequences of sin and how it would damage Potiphar. He knew it was not only sin against Potiphar but also sin against God. Potiphar’s wife was relentless in her pursuit of Joseph. Finally setting him up and relaying a lie to her husband. He became furious and had Joseph imprisoned. Joseph’s situation now was even worse than when he arrived in Egypt, he is now imprisoned for something he did not do. But he found favor with the chief jailer.

Chapter 40

In prison Joseph meets two members of the king’s household, his baker, and his chief cup bearer. Both have dreams that need interpretation and Joseph is ready to help these fellows out. He interprets both dreams telling the cupbearer in three days you will be restored to his position but the news is not good to the baker who Joseph tells him in three days he will be hanged. Joseph was a wise man and asked the cupbearer to show him kindness and relay his interpretation to the king. It looked like Joseph was about to get out of jail “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph.” (40:23). Victory was missed this time but Joseph continued to trust God.