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Current study: Spiritual Warfare

14 January 2012

Week 2 in Review

January 08 Genesis 12-13
January 09 Genesis 14-16
January 10 Genesis 17-19
January 11 Genesis 20-23
January 12 Genesis 24-26
January 13 Genesis 27-29

What did you notice in this week’s readings?

Genesis 24:26 stuck out most for me: The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord.
He didn’t wait for “devotional time”. He wasn’t embarrassed. He just bowed and worshiped God for answering his prayer. How many times does God answer a prayer, give us safety, or show us something wonderful, and our response is to go on with our lives? We’ll put the “thank you” into our next prayer time, maybe, or we might share it in a small group, but do we, unashamedly, stop, bow our heads, and worship God? 

(You’ve seen my standout verse for this week. What’s yours?)

I also noticed the familial line of deceit. Abram lied and told the ruler that Sarai was his sister – twice. Sarai’s name is changed to Sarah, and she gives birth to Isaac. He follows in Dad’s footsteps and tells a ruler that Rebekah is his sister. Each time, God keeps the people from taking the women to be wives and thus defiling the line. Each time God supernaturally saves them from themselves.

Did you see the prophecy which led to Israel’s ultimate enslavement in Israel? Even before God covenanted with Abram, He knew that the people would be slaves for 400 years.  I know that the prophecy is written, but I wonder what Abram felt when God told him. Did he pretty much ignore it, other than making it a part of history, because it was so far in the future? Did he even understand?

Sodom and Gomorrah:  Lot would have sent his daughters to be killed and raped in place of the visitors… women had no value in the culture! Lot and his daughters were the only people saved. Daughters take matters into their own hands and become pregnant through Lot (to keep the family line going, of course). Their kids become the fathers of the Moabites and the Ammonites.

This week we meet most of the “big guys” in Israel’s formation:

Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah. God promises to make Abram’s offspring as great as the stars. Sarai wants to “help” God because she’s old and gives her servant, Hagar, to Abram. Although Abram has faith, his libido gets in the way of his good sense and he impregnates Hagar. 

Ishmael. Abraham and Hagar’s son. God says that everyone will be against him, and he will father 12 tribal leaders. This is not the seed that God had in mind when he made the promise to Abram. 

Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac is the heir to the covenant; God’s promised seed, and we see him as a type of Christ. He is Isaac’s only son, set up to be sacrificed on Mount Moriah. Abram believes that “God Himself will provide the lamb”, and He did – not only then, but near that same area, the spotless Lamb that took away the sins of the world – Jesus Christ.

                                Esau and Jacob. Jacob purchases Easu’s birthright, then plots with Rebekah to receive Abraham’s dying blessing. As a result of Jacob’s treachery (and because God planned to make the covenant people from Jacob’s seed, of course),  Jacob is given the first son’s blessing. Esau holds a grudge (ya think?) and plots to kill Jacob. Rebekah, who loves Jacob most,  helps in Jacob’s escape. Esau marries a Cannanite woman to spite Abraham – Jacob vows to serve God.

                                                Jacob, Leah and Rachel. Jacob finds a woman to love in Rachel. He makes a deal with Laban to work for seven years to pay her dowry. At the end of those years, Laban says that he can’t have Rachel until he marries the older sister, Leah. Jacob does so, then marries Rachel as soon as he can. He works another seven years for Rachel. Can you imagine loving someone so much that you work, basically as a slave, for 14 years just to be married to them? Because Leah is unloved, God opens her womb first, and she bears the first sons of the 12 tribes of Israel: Reuben (the Lord has seen my affliction); Simeon (the Lord heard that I am unloved); Levi (my husband will be attracted to me); Judah (I will praise the Lord). I love the progression – crying to God for the pain of being unloved, hoping to get Jacob’s attention, and then finally accepting what God has given to her – I will praise the Lord.

We’ve come a long way in these first two weeks – from the creation of the world, through the flood, to scattering of the people and formation of languages, to the creation of the nation of chosen people. We’ve seen a couple prophecies, some of which are in the beginning of the fulfillment stages, some to come to pass in the future. We’ve seen that even those who habitually lie can be used of God. We’ve seen incest, offers of rape of daughters instead of guests, men willing to work to marry a beautiful woman, God opening and closing wombs at will… and there’s still more to come!

May God richly bless you as you continue to delve into His Word next week!

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