As we near the end of Genesis, we continue to see more things come full circle. Abraham had been driven to Egypt because of a famine (Genesis 12). Now his grandson Jacob is doing the same.
Abraham’s journey started with a revelation from God and now, nearing the end of Jacob’s journey, we get one more revelation from God. Jacob started his journey at Beersheba (Genesis 28:10) where he met God and it is here at Beersheba that God speaks to him again to close everything up.
We then get another genealogy. Again, as we’re coming to the end of Genesis, the author wants you to notice how many enter Egypt. The number seventy often meant ‘the totality of’, so the main take away is that the whole family is now in Egypt. When they leave Egypt in Exodus, the family is going to be a bit bigger.
Next comes more evidence of the favour Joeseph has with Pharaoh. Even though Joseph’s family are shepherds and Egyptians despise shepherds, Pharaoh is still willing to bless Joseph’s family and give the best of his land.
Joseph’s favour with God is clearly demonstrated as God continues to bless him and make him fruitful. Joseph sells grain to all of Egypt, buying up livestock, and land for Pharaoh before ultimately introducing a new tax.
We should seek to have favour both with God and with men. God is the one from whom we get everything, but he’s also given us a mission to change the lives and the communities around us. To do that, we need to have good relationships with other people. God has called us all at some level to be influential, so as we grow in our relationship with him we should also be seeking to grow in relationship with others.
Finally, we have Jacob preparing to die. This is setting up tomorrow’s reading, where Jacob is going to give his last will and testament to his sons.
Attributed to King David, this psalm is considered a liturgical psalm, read out as part of a worship service. It was most likely used at the beginning of a service as God’s people entered his presence.
Psalm 15:1 - Questions concerning the Lord’s dwelling place
Psalm 15:2 - Positive requirements of dwelling with the Lord
Psalm 15:3 - Negative requirements of dwelling with the Lord
Psalm 15:4 - Positive requirements of dwelling with the Lord
Psalm 15:5a - Negative requirements of dwelling with the Lord
Psalm 15:5b - A promise that those who pursue these requirements may dwell with the Lord
The psalm opens asking the question ‘who can enter God’s presence?’ (my paraphrase). This is an important question to ask yourself as you go to enter God’s presence. The rest of the psalm seeks to answer that question.
The first three traits offered are that a person should walk blamelessly, do right, and speak the truth. This is mirrored by three things a person should avoid, they should be nothing false in their talking, they should do no evil, and they shouldn’t go around accusing others.
Then come the next set. A person must despise wickedness and honour those who fear God, and they should swear to do good and hold to their word.
Finally, are two more things a person shouldn’t do. They should loan out money and expect interest. This could trap someone in an oppressive spiral of dept. Nor should they accept bribes and oppress innocents.
The promise of this psalm is that if a person holds to all these things, they are able to stand in God’s presence and not be removed. We see in this psalm that there are things in life we should be working towards, and things we should be avoiding.
This psalm seeks to remind us that we are able to enter God’s presence, but not to take it lightly. It should require a preparing of our hearts and appropriate reverence to God’s holiness.
Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. They intended to do him wrong, but God has planned this for the good of the nations.Genesis shows us that while humans may inends evil, God intends good.
Understanding the context of your passage is always important. BibleProject always do an incredible job of breaking down each book so you can see how your passage fits into the wider story.
BibleProject have done an animated recap of Genesis 12-50 to help you fit today's passage into the overarching story of Genesis.
Spoken Gospel outlines the book of Genesis and point out some of the key themes, all in the medium of spoken word.