Week 4

Genesis 44:1-Exodus 7:25

Gen 45:5 “But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.” What a beautiful picture of forgiveness and seeing God’s hand at work! Do I truly believe “all things work together..”? Do I truly believe God is in control and has a plan for my life? Even if/when I go through dark times or circumstances that may not make sense at the time…GOD IS IN CONTROL!! He has a plan and is working it for my good and His glory!

Vs 8: “So it was God who sent me here, not you!” Living by revelation rather than reason!

Vs 27: “…their father’s spirits revived.” Jacob’s mourning turned to joy! How amazing…he spent years mourning his son but God turned it to joy!!

Gen 46:5 Jacob takes ALL of his family (eleven sons, their wives and children, all possessions, livestock…). What an undertaking that must have been!

Vs 30: Closure for Jacob! Wow…so touching! But I have to wonder about this whole situation and how it played out…how would Jacob ever get over what his sons had done to Joseph?! Did they tell him the details?! I can’t even imagine that conversation…Jacob: “wait, how did Joseph end up in Egypt?” The brothers: *crickets* lol

Gen 47:6 “…choose any place in the entire land of Egypt for them to live. Give them the best land of Egypt.”  I find this interesting. Pharaoh was so welcoming that he said give them the best land…but we know where this is headed and what becomes of Jacob’s descendants in Egypt. This is a great lesson to me of how the world works…it is fickle! They can be welcoming but turn on you when they don’t like what you have to say/do anymore!

Vs 9: Jacob was 130 when he came to Egypt!!

Vs 21: “As for the people, he made them all slaves, from one end of Egypt to the other.” Wow! So now Pharaoh has all the money in Egypt, all the livestock, all the land, and every citizen is a slave!

Gen 48:11 “Then Jacob said to Joseph, ‘I never thought I would see your face again, but now God has let me see your children, too!'” Oh how good God is to us!! The gifts that He gives that go beyond what we could even imagine or dream!

Vs 14: Joseph places Jacob’s right hand on Manasseh (the older son) but Jacob switches his hands! Once again we see the younger brother placed above the older (Jacob & Esau, Joseph & his brothers).

Vs 15-16: The Blessing “…the God who has been my shepherd…the Angel who has redeemed me.”

Vs 19: Jacob knew his right hand was on the younger son Ephraim…it was through his line that the descendants would “become a multitude of nations”.

Gen 49:1-27 Jacob’s pronouncement of the brothers (12 Tribes of Israel)

Vs 31: Jacob tells them to bury him in the cave with Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebekah, and Leah!! This surprised me…he was buried alongside Leah rather than Rachel.

Genesis 50:3 “The embalming process took the usual forty days. And the Egyptians mourned his death for seventy days.”  I find it interesting that the Egyptians mourned Jacob for seventy days…what an impact Joseph made on his community that they mourned with him!

Vs 15: Joseph’s brothers are now afraid…because Jacob is dead, they fear Joseph will want to get revenge. As if his father was the only reason he forgave them! NO! It was through His Heavenly Father!!!

Vs 16-17: the brothers lie! They send a message to Joseph that their father said, “hey, forgive your brothers”.

Vs 19: “But Joseph replied, ‘Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that can punish you?'” Oh yes!! Lord, help me remember in all things that You alone are judge! Never me!!!

Exodus 1:12 “But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread,…”  When God has a plan it doesn’t matter what the world throws at us…His plan will be done! He is faithful to complete that good work in us regardless of oppressive circumstances!

Ex 2:1 Moses!! Oh the pain…I can’t even imagine how his mother must have felt as she lowered that basket into the river to say goodbye and save his life! BUT THEN…. Vs 9: she was paid to take Moses home and nurse him for Pharaoh’s daughter! God still allowed her to mother Moses!

Vs 10: “Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses, for she explained, ‘I lifted him out of the water.'” Oh my mother heart aches reading this!! BUT GOD HAD A PLAN!!

Vs 12: Moses was a murderer but still becomes a great man of God!

Vs 17: “So Moses jumped up and rescued the girls.” Moses seemed to have a personality that made him a rescuer (killing the Egyptian to stop a beating, rescuing the daughters from the shepherds…)…oh my, did God take that personality trait and use it?! I also love what we tend to overlook…Moses was a MURDERER!! BUT GOD! God uses him regardless…He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called! It’s so easy to get caught up in the “I did this” mentality…thinking if people knew I did this, or such and such, or they’ve seen me at my worst so I can’t be useful…BUT GOD!!!! He has a plan for me , I just have to trust Him!

Vs 24: “God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” God ALWAYS keeps His promises! Even if we feel alone or forgotten…He NEVER forgets!

Ex 3:11 “But Moses protested to God, ‘Who am I…'”  Isn’t this so like me?! To question God based on my own ability rather than trust Him based on HIS ability! Vs 12: “God answered, ‘I will be with you…'”  GOD IS WITH ME!!! Whatever He calls me to, He will equip me for!

Ex 4:1 “What if….?” God is still God, even in my what if’s! He takes my what if’s and makes them into WHAT IS! He is in control. He has a plan. I can let my what if’s get in the way and hold me back or I can say, “God I don’t know but I TRUST THAT YOU DO!! I can’t do this but I know that YOU CAN!” I choose to give God my what if’s!

Vs 3-4 the throwing down of the staff and it becoming a snake…now that would’ve been hard for me!! lol I mean, I trust You, God, but You want me to do what with that snake??!! God calling us to the uncomfortable.

Vs 10: “But Moses pleaded with the Lord, ‘O Lord, I’m not very good with words…I get tongue-tied and my words get tangled.'” So me!! I was about to get all, “geez! God is speaking to you and showing you signs and you’re still arguing?!” BUT IT’S ME!! Pray to close out a get together (public)? It’s not even really public…just with my “God girls”…but I still say, “oh not me, I don’t speak eloquently…it doesn’t flow and I get stuck in my words sometimes.” BUT Vs 11 “I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” Rom 8:26 (ESV) says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

Ex 5:22-23 Moses is questioning why God sent him because now it’s even harder on the Hebrews than before. Lesson for me? 1. God can handle my questions, doubts, fears, even anger if that’s what I’m feeling. 2. Sometimes things can look even worse to our human minds/eyes than when we started praying/ministering/doing/obeying BUT God always has a plan. He sees the big picture…the beautiful tapestry…when I can only see the “knots” of the here and now.

Ex 6:3 God revealed Himself as Yahweh “the LORD” to Moses first.

Vs 9: “So Moses told the people of Israel what the LORD had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.”  Lord, help me not to be this way! It is so easy as we’re going through hard times (pain, sickness, rejection, loss…) to get so discouraged that we stop listening to God. We don’t want to hear what He says because we got so focused on our own pain.

Vs 12: “But Lord!”  Moses again questions God’s plan.

Ex 7:3 “But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.”  As hard as it is to understand, sometimes God allows very hard circumstances to get even worse to show His power! To make it clear that He is God and that the answer is truly a miracle!

Vs 5: “When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” He does this to give a testimony! His power WILL be evident!! Even the world will know HE IS GOD!!

Vs 10: the “signs” (staff turned into snake) I always struggled with “well how did the Pharaoh’s magicians turn their staffs into snakes?” But there is power in this world other than God…there is evil…but God allows this to show His power over even that! Aaron’s staff swallowed the others…He will not be mocked! God will prevail over evil. They can attempt to imitate but it’s not the Real Thing!! And through all of this, in regards to Pharaoh, we see “he refused to listen”. LISTEN!! Help me, Lord, to always listen to Your voice! How much trouble and heartache can be avoided if we just listen!

 

Matthew 14:13-19:12

Matt 14:23 “After sending them home, he went up in the hills to pray.” Even Jesus knew the importance of getting alone with God for one on one time. Even with His ministry, all of the people following Him and all of the things He needed to do, He still set aside alone time to pray! This is such a lesson to me…no matter what happens in a day or what’s going on, I need to always get alone with my Father!!

Vs 25-26 “About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear they cried out, ‘It’s a ghost!'”  To see this!! Isn’t that the way, though? God shows up and does something miraculous and we just attribute it to something else? Or we’re afraid? Or both?! Help me, Lord, to have faith…to see when You move and are at work and recognize the miracle as You!!

Vs 27: “But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘ Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage. I AM HERE!'” LOVE!!

Vs 36: “They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.” ONE TOUCH!!

Matt 15:6-9 “And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, fo they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.”  This is such a clear instance of religion vs relationship to me! But also so where I was! I said the right things with my lips but I was so far from God it was almost as if I didn’t even know Him! My “worship” was false and pointless because I was so focused on man-made things…do a & b because that’s how you please God…but I didn’t have a relationship with Him! So thankful He can rescue us from all the false and draw us to His truth!

Vs 12: “Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?'”  I’m sorry but his made me laugh…we talk as a family about how it seems that everyone is offended by something these days… apparently that’s nothing new!!! lol

Vs 26: Referring to the Gentle woman as a dog…one study Bible said, “Jews frequently insulted Gentiles by calling them dogs, which in ancient Palestine were wild,homeless scavengers. But the form Jesus uses here (Greek Kynarion: ‘little dog’) suggests a more affectionate term for domestic pets. Jesus is not insulting the woman but testing her faith.”

Vs 30: “A vast crowd brought to him people…”  People were bringing others to Jesus. Lord, help me to carry others to You in prayer and physically! Help me to show others Your love, forgiveness, mercy and miracles! “…HE HEALED THEM ALL”

Matt 16:20 “Then he [Jesus] sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone he was the Messiah.”   Was this because He wanted it to be revealed to individuals by God as it was for Simon Peter??

Vs 24-26: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?'”   Nothing is worth losing my soul!!!

Psalms 18:37-23:6

Ps 18:46 “The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted!”  Praise song: “The Lord liveth and blessed be my Rock, and let the God of my salvation be exalted”

Ps 22:3 “Yet you are holy…” YET…even if I don’t see what You are doing…YET…even if I can’t feel You…YET…even if I’m hurting…YET YOU ARE HOLY!!

Proverbs 4:11-5:23

Prov 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Prov 5:22 “An evil man is held by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him.”  I see this as my own sin nature being my greatest enemy at times! We so often want to scream, “the devil made me do it!!!”…while he may serve up a custom temptation, it’s my own sinful desires that gives in and leads to my captivity. I tie the “ropes that catch” with my own hands…with my own choices!!!!