Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday, January 20th: Genesis 49-50, Romans 16 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 49-50; Romans 16

In chapter 49 we learn about each of Jacob's sons, in the blessings he gives to each. Some of them he has kind words for (Jacob and Judah), and others he doesn't (Reuben,  Simeon and Levi).  The rest he compliments briefly. Jacob goes on to make a command,   that he is buried with his ancestors in Canaan. This command Jacob honours later in chapter 50. He does this with the blessings of Pharaoh. 

In chapter 50 we see how Joseph and the Egyptian have grown close, we see  this by the respect the Egyptians show to Joseph at the passing of his father (verse 9). We also see how Joseph has adopted some new customs, from the Egyptians, in how the body of Jacob was prepared after death in the "special way of the Egyptians" (verse 3-4). The people of Canaan that were living near by the cave where Jacob was laid to rest,  recognized the huge importance placed on Jacob's death by the Egyptians.

Even though Joseph and the Egyptians had great respect for each other at this time,  we read later in chapter 50 that Joseph remembers that Egypt is not his home and that his people will one day leave and go to the land God promised them. Just as his father did,  Joseph asks that his bones be taken with when God leads his people out of Egypt. 

In Romans 16 Paul starts off by vouching for Phoebe,  and asking for acceptance of her. He goes on to bless many believers he's come across,  and mentions the good they've done for the church and the message of salvation that is being spread.

What a time of excitement this was in church history. It sounds  to me that many believers are on fire for God and can't wait to spread the Gospel. We look at this and think that it must have been awesome to be part of this, but then we also read about all the persecution that the church faced in those days and what heartache their must have been as well.

Overall though, the excitement shown by Paul and other followers of Christ at that time for spreading the Word,  trumps all the headache. It shows that living for Christ is more important than anything else,  and "pays off in the end" . What a great reminder for us.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Isaiah 1-2, Mark 1:1-22


Pamela said...

A few things that struck me today:

Again we see that Judah is blessed but he is not the oldest son and yet it is through him that Jesus traces his family tree. What an awesome thing to realize that our birth order does not dictate what God can do in our lives.

I found it was interesting that Jacob was laid to rest with Leah even though Rachel was his favourite. Was it because Leah was whom he should have married all along?

What would it have been like for Joseph to return to a land he had not seen in so many years? Did he recognize anything? What would the conversation had been like when travelling that distance with the people that caused you to take that road as a slave? Did Joseph tell stories of his journey to Egypt? Did the stories that came out cause the brothers to send that false message to Joseph about making sure they were forgiven?

Many of the greetings to from Paul include greetings to men and women. In a society that would not have placed as high a value on women, what an interesting letter that would have been to call out these women by name.

Beware of false doctrine. It was a warning then and it is a warning for now. We need to be on guard to know what is true so that we are not swayed away from God.

Conrad said...

Thanks for the posting Nathan. Definitely a great reminder of the future pay off.

Tammy said...

A few things stood out to me in our OT passage.

One is that sin does not pay. Reuben had his inheritance revoked due to his sin with his father's concubines. Others were rebuked by their father for their sins. And, even if nothing happens in this life, God always sees justice served if we do not repent.

Another is, once again, the doctrine of election. Joseph is by far the most holy of all of the Jacob's children, and yet God chose Judah's line to be the Messianic line, and He chose Levi's line to be the priestly line - despite their sin and less than stellar pasts and reputations. This should be encouraging to us - God can and will use us, despite our less than stellar selves, for His glory.

Tammy said...

Forgot to mention.... what I love about the long list of names in Romans 16 is that it shows that Paul loved these people and cared for them by name - they were his family.