Genesis – Chapter 50

Jacob dies

Verse 1 – Jacob died at the age of 147.  Joseph wept and mourned for months.  When someone is mourning the death of someone we are to allow them to work through their grief by being compassionate and helpful.  Everyone is different in the amount of time it takes to go through this grief.  Be patient and watch what you say.

Verses 2, 3 – Jacob’s family allowed them to embalm as a sign of courtesy and respect to Egyptians.  The Egyptians embalmed because they believed it prepared the body for the next life in the world to come.

Verse 5 – Joseph had proven his trustworthiness to Pharaoh.  Privilege and freedom often result when we have demonstrated trustworthiness.  Trust is built over time.  It usually starts in small areas.

Verses 12, 13 – Abraham had purchased the cave in Machpelah as the burial-place for Sarah (23:1-9).  Their desire to be buried in this cave expressed their faith in God’s promise to give their descendants the land of Canaan.

Verses 15-21 – Joseph forgives his brothers completely.  Just as God forgives us when we don’t deserve it, we need to forgive others.  God brought good from Joseph’s brother’s evil.  This experience taught Joseph that God brings good from evil for those who trust Him.  God can and does overrule people’s intentions to bring about His intended results!

 

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Genesis – Chapter 49

Jacob blesses all his sons

Verses 1-3 – Jacob begins blessing each of his sons according to how they had lived their lives.  Our past affects our future.  Make sure your actions today will have good results for tomorrow.

Verse 4 – The oldest son was supposed to receive a double portion of the inheritance, but Reuben had lain with Bilhah, Leah’s handmaid, Jacob’s concubine.  He had defiled the marriage bed.  He was untrustworthy.

Verses 5-7 – Simeon and Levi were the two that went after Shechem in revenge after he had raped their sister, Dinah.   They were cursed by Jacob for their life of violence.

Verses 8-12 – Wasn’t Judah the one that sold Joseph into slavery and tried to defraud his daughter-in-law?  But God had chosen Judah to be the ancestor of Israel’s line of kings.  This is what “the scepter will not depart from Judah” means.  This may have been to Judah’s dramatic change of character (44:33, 34).  Judah’s line would produce the Messiah, Jesus.

Verse 18 – Right in the middle of this blessing to Dan, Jacob declares God’s deliverance.  He was telling Dan that he would be a strong leader if he put his trust in God.  Let’s not forget who gave us that talent or strength to accomplish these things in our life.

Verses 22-26 – Now its Joseph’s turn.  What a blessing Jacob gave him!  Joseph has some pretty heroic descendants:  Joshua who would lead the Israelite’s into the promise land (Joshua 1:10, 11), Deborah, Gideon, and Jephthah, judges of Israel (Judges 4:4; 6:11, 12; 11:11).

These verses celebrate the times God rescued Joseph when his enemies attacked him.  To trust God to rescue you from persecution or injury shows great faith.  It will take courage, trust, perseverance and commitment.

Genesis – Chapter 48

Jacob gives Ephram the bigger blessing

Verses 8-20 – Jacob gave Ephraim the greater blessing.  Ephraim was the second son.  When Joseph objected, Jacob refused to listen because God had already told him Ephraim would be greater.  God’s plans are always deeper than appearance, tradition or position.  He sometimes surprises us by choosing the least likely person we think is qualified.  God uses whom He chooses.  When we come to realize that every good thing comes from God, we can wait on that position of honor.

Verses 21, 22 – Jacob gave these boys the land that was occupied by the Philistines and Canaanites.  His gift became reality when the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh occupied the east and west sides of the Jordan River (Joshua 16).

Genesis – Chapter 47

Jacob living prosperous

Verses 1-6 – We are starting to see the rewards of Joseph’s faithfulness.  There was no complaining or grumbling throughout all that Joseph went through.  God honors faithfulness.

Verses 9-21 – Jacob blesses Pharaoh and the famine starts to become severe.  When the people started running out of money to buy grain, they started giving Pharaoh their land.  Joseph brought it all into Pharaoh’s house.

Verse 22 – Pharaoh gave the priest what they needed and did not take their land.  Joseph would give the people seed to grow their crops, but they had to give Pharaoh One-fifth.  They were grateful because Joseph had saved their lives.

Verses 27, 28 – The Israelite’s lived in the land of Goshen and started to greatly multiply.  (Don’t forget that God had changed Jacob’s name to Israel.)  Jacob was there seventeen years but was 147 years old when he died.

Verses 29-31 – Jacob did not want to be buried in Egypt.  So he made his son’s promise.  This placing the hand under the thigh was a sign of a binding contract.  Christians today are to let their words always speak the truth and let them be binding.  Too often we hear, “I didn’t really mean that.”

Genesis – Chapter 46

Jacob and family living in Goshen

Jacob’s family is now safe in Egypt

Verses 1-4 – The Israelite’s did become a great nation.  (The book of Exodus recounts the story of their slavery.)  After that, they return to the land of Canaan.  God told Jacob to take his family and go to this strange land and He would take care of him.  It’s okay to have a little anxiety when you’re in a new or strange situation, but don’t let fear paralyze you.  That shows you don’t really trust God in the choice He has made for you.  Jacob never returned to Canaan.  This promise was for his descendants.

Verses 31-34 – The Egyptians could not tolerate shepherds living among them.  So, Joseph told them to be sure and let Pharaoh know what their occupation was.  This also kept them separate to worship God freely.  Pharaoh blessed them and gave them Goshen to dwell in.

Genesis – Chapter 45

Jacob finds out Joseph is alive

Verses 1-8 – Even though what Joseph’s brothers did was evil and hurtful, God used it to fulfill His plan.  God had used Joseph to go before them to preserve lives, save Egypt, and begin the nation of Israel.  When others do evil against you, remember they are God’s tools in accomplishing God’s purpose.  They intended it to harm, but God used it for the good and bigger purpose.

Verses 17-20 – All the things Joseph’s brothers had done to him did not cause him not to forgive them.  Even though we sin against God, He still forgives us and showers us with blessings.

Verses 26-28 – Jacob had a hard time believing that Joseph was not only alive but in charge second only to Pharaoh in all of Egypt.  Good news can be hard to believe, but don’t ever give up hope that God has a wonderful future in store for you.

Genesis – Chapter 44

Joseph's brothers accused of stealing cup

Verse 2 – The silver cup was a sign of Joseph’s authority.  To steal it was a serious crime.  These goblets were used for predicting the future.  Joseph didn’t need this cup because God told him everything he needed to know about the future.

Verse 13 – This tearing of the clothes showed deep sorrow.  The brothers were terrified that Benjamin might be harmed.

Verse 15 – Joseph did not practice divination.  He just wanted to emphasize how important this cup was.

Verses 16-32 – Something had happened within Judah to have changed from being mean and ill spirited toward Joseph to wanting to die for the sake of protection of his father and Benjamin.  Always remember, God can do a work to change even the most selfish person you know.  Judah stepped forward and pleaded for mercy.  Yes, there are times when we should keep silent, but there are also times when you need to speak up even if there are serious repercussions.

Verses 32, 33 – Accepting a responsibility means carrying it out with determination and courage, regardless of the personal sacrifice.  Joseph wanted to see if his brothers had changed from the way he once knew them.