Saturday, 31 March 2012

Genesis 46-50

Here's how the study works: Read the chapters mentioned in the heading during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for several chapters creates the opportunity to revisit them and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people's insights.


Susan said...

“I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

God reassures Jacob/Israel that his promise stands. There will be a slight diversion (a mere 400 years!!) but they will come back to the land that God gave them.

Susan said...

The land became Pharaoh’s, and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other...when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh.

25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”

I find this rather curious Joseph reduces the people to servitude. Why would he do this when he had been a slave himself?

Commentators feel the slavery was a temporary state for these people during the famine. Also in these cultures and circumstances a third of the crops was required so Joseph was being generous by only asking for a fifth. And the people seem happy with the arrangement.

Still there are times for all of us when we get disillusioned with our leaders. At these times we are reminded to put our trust in God alone.

Susan said...

But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.

Like his father, Isaac, Jacob has blessed the younger over the elder. Issac was tricked but Jacob did it knowingly. Sometimes God chooses to reverse the normal ways of the world. Perhaps to teach us we cannot persume upon the blessing of God.

Perez is another who experienced God's reversals (Genesis 38:27-30).

Susan said...

The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

Judah's is the first "nice" blessing and prophetic of Jesus' coming. Interesting how the others are still called blessings even when they are not so pleasant. Perhaps the blessing is being honestly told the truth in an atmosphere of love and acceptance. Perhaps the blessing is being told how your attitudes affect the next generations.

"The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable." ~Attributed to James A. Garfield

Susan said...

So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

Joseph's brothers were having trouble accepting the fact tha Joseph forgave them. We often have the same problem believing that God has truly forgiven us and now intends to bless us. Receiving such grace is a blow to our self-sufficiency and therefore sometimes hard to accept. But if we don't we merely put ourselves into bondage for no reason.

Susan said...

So, with some difficulties and lapses, I've made it to the end of Genesis hope you did too!