Week Two Reading Assignment:
Genesis 24 - Genesis 46
"We must make a great difference between God's Word and the word of man. A man's word is a little sound, that flies into the air, and soon vanishes; but the Word of God is greater than heaven and earth, yea, greater than death and hell, for it forms part of the power of God, and endures everlastingly; we should, therefore, diligently study God's Word, and know and assuredly believe that God himself speaks unto us."
(quote from "The Table Talk of Martin Luther")
(quote from "The Table Talk of Martin Luther")
This Week's Video: Alphabetizing Old Testament History Part 1
Character Profile: Israel's Favorite Son
He was his father’s favorite son, which made him a target for his ten half-brothers. The conspicuous favoritism of their father combined with Joseph’s own self-important dreams to make his very presence intolerable for the other sons of Jacob, and so they sought a way to rid themselves of him. They stopped short of murder, opting instead to sell him into slavery.
There in Egypt, as a slave, the young man who had been his father’s favorite son soon became his master’s favorite servant. Potiphar elevated Joseph to the highest position in his house-hold, although ultimately Joseph’s own integrity cost him that post, and he landed in jail.
In jail, Joseph became the jailer’s favorite prisoner, and he was given responsibility for other prisoners. Eventually, one of those fellow inmates brought Joseph to the attention of the Pharaoh of Egypt. And, in the end, Joseph became Pharaoh’s favorite, enjoying great privilege, responsibility, and authority throughout all Egypt and the surrounding region.
The story of Joseph was treasured through the ages. Indeed, except for King David himself, no other character in the Old Testament has more chapters devoted to his story. Clearly Israel looked back on Joseph’s life, his story, and his example as precious, familiar, and encouraging.
Joseph, the man who was treated unjustly, but whom God blessed wherever he was. Joseph, who was brought low by men, but who was exalted by God. Joseph, who suffered, but who remained faithful. Joseph, who was persecuted, and yet was never out of God’s providence.
Joseph: the man who was, and who became, Israel’s favorite son.
a quote from william sangster
"Our reading of any book is affected by the state of mind in which we undertake it. If a man comes to the Bible believing that the Old Testament is largely unimportant Jewish history and Jewish law, and the New Testament a story (largely legendary) about Jesus Christ and the early Church, he will not profit much by his reading. His mind is barricaded against the deeper wisdom the Bible has to give. But if he comes to it impressed by the fact that it has fed the souls of millions of people of all types through many hundreds of years, he will treat it reverently, and with a sense of honest quest. If, moreover, he has the humble desire in his heart for any supernatural aid which may be available in his study, it will soon begin to show him hidden treasure."
LEAGUE OF NATIONS: FOUNDING FATHERS -- PART 1
The title "Genesis" means "beginning," and it comes from the book's opening phrase: "In the beginning."
Inasmuch as it records the story of Creation, of course, you could say that the book of Genesis tells about the beginning of all things. But it is also more specific than that. For in addition to that big-picture beginning, Genesis also shows us how some smaller things began.
One of the particular concerns of the biblical author is the origins of nations. We observe this as a recurring theme in Genesis: the different nations and peoples that fill the earth, and whence each one came. We should not be surprised by this emphasis, given God's sovereign choice of one particular nation to be His people and His instrument. And so we will pause here to consider that theme of nations.
When we come to the end of the story of the flood, we are presented with lists of the descendants of Noah's sons. Those three sons -- Shem, Ham, and Japheth -- become the ancestors of all the earth's peoples. And the names that fill those lists would have resonated with an ancient Israelite audience, for they were the names of neighboring peoples.
Ham is perhaps the most important case. He is identified, you recall, as the cursed son of Noah. It is worth noting, therefore, that Ham is the ancestor of such people as the Egyptians, the Canaanites, and the Philistines.
Somewhat later, as part of the larger Abraham narrative, we discover the origin of two other nearby nations. Through the unhappy conspiracy of Lot's unmarried daughters, Lot becomes the ancestor of the Moabites and Ammonites. These were, for generations, among Israel's neighbors to the east and southeast.
Then, two generations later, we meet the grandsons of Abraham: Jacob and Esau. Jacob is renamed Israel, and thus he becomes the ancestor of the nation of Israel. The descendants of Jacob are, literally, the children of Israel. His brother Esau, meanwhile, becomes the ancestor of the nation of Edom.
All of these nations appear as important actors on the stage of biblical history. It is important to the author and to us, therefore, that we know about their origins.