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Genesis 47




By Jeremy Witt

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 47

At the end of chapter 46, Joshua tells his family to tell Pharaoh that they are shepherds.  This is important because Egyptians viewed shepherds as a one of the lowest occupations a person could have.  Because of Joshua and Pharaoh trusted him and gave Jacob and his family the land of Goshen, the best grasslands in all of Egypt.  God provided and took care of Jacob in the midst of famine.  Imagine how Joshua felt when he realized that God had brought him through all of those difficult situations in order to save his entire family!  When we look back at our own lives, we can see how God is faithful as well.  Those spiritual markers help us to look back and remember what the LORD has done!

At the beginning of chapter 47, we find Joshua taking care of his family just as God had showed him many years prior through his dreams.  Joshua had gone from favorite son to being sold as a slave.  He went from the pit to the prison.  Ultimately, Joshua moved from prison to being 2nd in command of all of Egypt because Joshua remained faithful to the LORD.  Even in the midst lows of his life (yes, in our lives as well), God shows His sovereignty and used difficult circumstances to prepare Joshua (and even us) for what God had planned all along.  So many times we find ourselves asking why.  Through the life of Joshua we can learn that the answer may just lie in our future for a specific purpose that will help us and those close to us.  We just need to have the right perspective that God has a plan and a purpose even if we don’t see it at the time.

Verse 10 stands out to me for one reason.  Jacob blessed Pharaoh.  This blessing was unlike any other Pharaoh had ever received outside of Joshua himself.  Why would that be?  First, a simple shepherd blessed Pharaoh, the most powerful man on the planet at that time.  That would only happen because of God.  It’s a little ironic that such a simple man would impact the world like this.  When we look back at Jacob and his own life, we see the importance of the blessing and through whom the blessing came!   All blessings come from the LORD God. 

In verses 13-26, what stands out to me is the organized leadership of Joshua.  A wise person pays attention to the details and keeping things in order.  Some might call this logistics, which is in my wheelhouse, or you might use some other term, but Joshua helped the nation, helped the people, and made Pharaoh even wealthier in the midst of famine.  

In verse 27, we see that family prospered in Goshen.  The herds grew as did the family.  We see that Jacob and his family were in Egypt 17 years once they arrived.  The chapter concludes with Jacob making Joshua promise to bury him back in the Promised Land with his father and grandfather.  We do not know whether Jacob knew that he was about to die or if God had told him.  Regardless, Jacob never lost sight of the  promise that God had given His grandfather, Abraham, and to his father Isaac, even in the midst of the famine.  

Remember this, God is faithful and can use the lows of our life for good down the road.  Be faithful to the LORD God.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

Genesis 18




SCRIPTURE: Genesis 18

By: Jeremy Witt

There are two big moments in chapter 18 that we will focus upon.  The first moment deals with fulfilling the promise of God to Abram in Genesis 12.  Abram and Sarai have already taken matters into their own hands with Ishmael as we discussed in earlier chapters, but the intended fulfillment is soon to come.  The second moment is a story of grace of Abram interceding for any those are holy and righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah. Both moments show us some key elements of the character of God.

Verse 1 begins with the LORD appearing to Abram.  Abram saw the LORD.  But this causes us to wonder, because John 1:18 tells us that “No man has seen God at any time.”  This is what theologians call a “theophany.”  This is the appearance of Jesus Christ in bodily form in the Old Testament.  His appearance is key as it supersedes the fulfilled promise of God to Abram in Genesis 12.  

Go to verse 14 and read, “is anything too difficult for the LORD?  At the appointed time . . .” As Christ followers, we are a people of faith.  Our faith is in Him and in His will, but life has a way of turning our eyes off of Him.  This verse is a great reminder for us.  What we can learn from this moment in time is that God is true to His word.  It may not be in our time, but we can trust Him for the perfect timing in His will.  What is it that you are waiting on from the LORD?  Continue seeking and trusting Him.  Remember the many moments in Scripture when people waited on the LORD.  Do not lose heart.  Keep the faith.  You may want to read a list of some of the people who lived by faith in Hebrews 11 for a reminder.  

In verses 18-19, we see a reminder of God’s promise to Abram and the LORD sharing with Abram what is about to come for Sodom and Gomorrah.  Abram’s guests are there to investigate what they have heard that the city is “exceedingly grave” (NASB) or “their sin is so flagrant” (NLT) in verse 20.  Once hearing this, Abram begins the process of asking some difficult questions of “what if.”  Was it Abram changing God’s mind or was it the LORD showing Abram His grace and mercy?  Abram knew God was just and that sin must be punished, but in this passage Abram discovered more of the heart of God.  2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

God is faithful.  He is true to His Word.  We can trust Him and trust in His timing.  Even if things do not make sense in our understanding, we can remind ourselves of Abram and Sarai’s example that nothing is too difficult for God.

We need to be like Abram when he asked the LORD to save the holy and righteous even if there are only 50, 45, 40, 30 or so on.  We need to be interceding on other’s behalf.  We need to be praying for them, and we need to be seeking the LORD.  

Posted by Jeremy Witt with