Podcast – Genesis 39

Hello again, podcast fans.  This morning we’re back on track with Joseph as the main subject of our story after our brief interlude yesterday with Judah.  The events in this chapter are pretty famous, and you’ve probably heard them before at some point, so I’m not going to write a whole lot about them.  What I would like to point out, though, is that there are times in all our lives when we feel caught between a rock and a hard place, though not perhaps as dramatically as Joseph was, and yet we know that God is still taking care of us.

How can those two conditions coexist?  How can it be that we’re stuck somewhere that we feel we don’t belong, and at the same time it’s obvious that God is taking care of us in a big way?  Can it be that God wants us to be in bad circumstances?  I don’t think so.  I think that it’s easy to come to that conclusion, but it’s also easy to forget that God has a longer view than we do.  God doesn’t want us to languish in places where we don’t belong any more than He wanted Joseph to rot in prison.  However, God sometimes uses the circumstances to bring us to where we do belong in the end.  I think the reason we sometimes find ourselves taking the hard way to get to where we need to go is that if we had the choice, we’d never start the journey, but God knows that it’s something we would regret not doing, even though it is sometimes painful.  Joseph would never choose to go to prison, but I sure bet he would regret missing out on the opportunity to do what he will in the upcoming chapters, and he himself will explain that it’s all for the best in the end.

Podcast – Genesis 38

Happy Wednesday, Internet friends.  Today we’re studying a really weird chapter in Genesis, which talks about an absolutely scandalous relationship between Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar.  It’s a crazy story, and there isn’t really anyone in it that can be considered “good” or “right” in what they do.  So, what’s the deal with this story?

I think the deal is that God uses whomever He chooses to accomplish His goals.  God turns people with ugly hearts into His people and He uses people with bad intentions to accomplish great good.  This isn’t to say that God approves of what they do.  God gives people the freedom to be evil if they want to.  Rather, it is to say that God works things out in the end so that His will is done.

Yes, this is a mysterious and often counterintuitive process.  That’s why we’re not God.

Podcast – Genesis 37

Hello again an welcome back for the first episode this week in the life of Joseph, a very important Bible character.  His story is of course famous, so you probably know what’s going to happen already.  However, as we begin this part of the Bible, I want to point out that Joseph is used as a type character in order to foreshadow the life of Christ.  So, Joseph has a special role to fill in the narrative of the Bible that points forward to the coming of the Messiah in the first century.  As such, the Bible isn’t going to record any of the sins he committed, not because he was perfect as Christ was, but in order to not obscure the reference to Jesus.  Jesus was totally unique, and Joseph serves in the text just as an indicator of Jesus’ coming advent, rather than a perfect duplicate.

So, then, as we move forward in Genesis, try to look for parallels between Jesus and Joseph.  There are a bunch of them to find if you think about it, though of course obviously not everything about these two people will be the same.  I think this is a really interesting thing to do along with the reading, because it serves to show that Christ is all over the Bible.  Even the oldest parts of it in Genesis that record the early history of the Jews are pointing to the coming of Christ.

We’ll talk more about this later.  For now, have a great day, and post some comments to let me know what you’re thinking about these passages of scripture.

Podcast – Genesis 36

Hi, all.  This morning’s podcast is a short one, but I really wanted to save the introduction of Joseph for its own recording, because that’s a pretty big event.  So, what we have here today is a genealogical list of chiefs and kings descended from Jacob’s brother Esau.  This is a historical record of the beginning of the nation of Edom in ancient times, and I’m going to go out on a limb to say that sooner or later this historical record will prove to be supported by archaeological research.

This brings up something important to remember.  While it is true that most of what was written in the Bible wasn’t intended to be used as a history book, they are nonetheless historical accounts of past events and not on the same level as fairy tales.  The Bible professes to record real events, just like any other historical document, and it should be studied the same way we would treat any other historical record, and not lumped in with mythological texts.  Little by little, archaeological work is providing more and more support for the historicity of the Bible, and that’s something that doesn’t happen with myths and legends.

Podcast – Genesis 35

Welcome back for another episode!  Today we’re in Genesis 35, which goes by fairly quickly, but it is still pretty interesting to me.  What I can relate to in this chapter is the way that God shows that He doesn’t call people based on how good they are, but based on faith.  Jacob screwed stuff up, but God knew that would happen and deals with him anyway.  Jacob follows God by faith, just as Abraham did, and God counts that as righteousness.

Another thing that is relatable in this chapter is that sometimes God asks us as well to get rid of the things in our lives that are hurting our relationship with Him.  Jacob and his family had to get rid of the gods and talismans that they had collected while they lived with pagan peoples, and they were better for it.

This chapter also reminds me that the Bible doesn’t whitewash the faults of the people in it.  Rueben did a bad thing by sleeping with his father’s concubine, and Jacob shouldn’t have been keeping concubines at all!  But the Bible doesn’t try to hide these facts.  These people were sinners saved by grace, just like we are today.

No Podcast Today :(

Sorry, folks.  I think I’m getting sick. I’m not going to be able to do a recording today.  I should be alright by next Tuesday, so check back then.  Have a good weekend!

Here’s a link to a funny cat video so you don’t have to leave here empty handed 🙂

Podcast – Genesis 33 and 34

Good morning again!  Today is another two chapter day.  In Genesis 33 we talk about the meeting of Esau and Isaac after twenty years and how that goes nothing like what Jacob had imagined.  It turns out that 20 years had mellowed Esau’s personality as well, and he was willing to forget his grudges.  It’s a sad thing to me that after their meeting, Jacob never went to see him.

In Genesis 34, we read a pretty weird story.  There’s rape and murder and deception going on, and it really shows that Jacob’s family wasn’t all a bunch of saints.  They weren’t blessed by God because they were such good people, but because God wanted to do something through them that would change the world.  He picked them because he had made a promise that Abraham’s descendants would become a nation, and He was going to follow through on that no matter what.  At the time, they all thought it was about the bloodline going back to Abraham and the promise, but later it was revealed that the promise to Abraham was all about faith, and that’s the foundation for salvation by faith that all Christians enjoy today.

So, by faith God saves people, even when they have been bad people.  By faith God calls them and then He changes them, and He makes something new out of them.  Does that sound like you?  Remember, your relationship with God is a matter of faith.  When we do things that are wrong, that hurts us and it hurts others, but God doesn’t cut us loose.  Instead He changes us into something we could never have hoped to become apart from Him.

Podcast – Genesis 32

Hello again!  I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving holiday.  I certainly did, though it did use up my podcasting time.  I guess I’ll have to plan better next year.

So in today’s chapter, there is some thanksgiving happening with Jacob, but it’s mixed with some terror and apprehension.  Jacob is on his way back to his father’s house, but he has to deal with his murderous brother before he gets there.  So, Jacob is both thankful to God for all the ways he has been blessed, as well as terrified of what’s going to happen to him when he meets the brother that he cheated.  Unsurprisingly, Jacob wrestles with God about these issues, but in his case he literally wrestles with God.

What about you?  Do you wrestle with God?  It’s perfectly okay to have issues that you can’t understand and to go to God with honest worries.  Sometimes God meets our needs in unexpected ways, but God is the definition of faithful.  That’s something we can remember the next time something keeps us up all night.