Devotions January

Exo 4-6

January 31, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

God’s mission overwhelms Moses (Exo 4). The years in the desert have destroyed his self-confidence. Follow his objections and how God deals with them in this fascinating dialogue. God provides support from Moses’ brother Aaron and the blessing of his father-in-law Jethro.

The emotions and fears in Moses must have been beyond our […]

Exo 1-3

January 30, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

A generation later, Exodus begins where Genesis left off (Exo 1).  Joseph and his Pharaoh have died. The growth of Israel’s tribes now threatens Egypt’s new leaders and they implement radical policies to control the Hebrews, but the persecution only causes Israel to grow.

A Levite woman knows that her newborn son is […]

Gen 48-50

January 29, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Before he dies, Jacob wants to bless Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen 48). They will each become one of the 12 tribes of Israel and explains why there is not a tribe of Joseph. There are two! Jacob intentionally blesses Ephraim first, though Manasseh is firstborn.

Next, Jacob blesses his other sons […]

Gen 46-47

January 28, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Israel goes down into Egypt (Gen 46). He is still Jacob, but more and more living like the Israel God means him to be. Even here, God speaks to Israel and says, Jacob, Jacob (46:2). Once again God reaffirms to him the promise of blessing to be a great nation. Moses, the […]

Gen 43-45

January 27, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

The famine continues (Gen 43) but Jacob will not turn loose of Benjamin to get more food from Egypt. God literally is starving Jacob into the position of provision and blessing. Finally, with no other options, Jacob agrees to release Benjamin, who then goes with his brothers to Egypt where Joseph is […]

Gen 41-42

January 26, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Having gained a reputation interpreting dreams in prison, Joseph gains the opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dream (Gen 41). God has been at work all along advancing the story of his mission from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob, and now to Joseph. By the chapter’s end, Joseph is second only to Pharaoh, is […]

Gen 38-40

January 25, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Joseph has just arrived in Egypt when the scene suddenly switches back to Canaan and Judah (Gen 38). Read this story on the surface for what it is, a disgusting level of sin and self-centeredness in Judah and his family. Remember that the promised Seed will come through Judah, a promise clearly […]

Gen 35-37

January 24, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

God tells Jacob (Gen 35) to build an altar in Bethel. This is time of repentance and seriousness, as God confirms the name change from Jacob to Israel and reconfirms the promise of the land and great blessing (35:9-13). Rachel dies giving birth to Jacob’s twelfth son, Benjamin, in Bethlehem. Following a […]

Gen 32-34

January 23, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Jacob is terrified that Esau will kill him and begs God to save him (Gen 32). Immediately after his prayer, Jacob continues to scheme and manipulate. For decades God has wrestled with Jacob spiritually to no avail. Now, the Lord himself shows up to deal with him on a physical level, wounding […]

Gen 30-31

January 22, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Rachel desperately cries out to God for children (Gen 30), and he opens her womb (third divinely opened womb in Genesis). The sisters’ rivalry to bare Jacob children heats up and includes their servants as with Sarah and Hagar. Excluding Benjamin, Jacob’s 12 sons are born by the end of this chapter. […]

Gen 27-29

January 21, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Before Esau and Jacob were born, God promised the covenant line would be through Jacob (25:23). Rather than believe this promise, Jacob stole Esau’s birthright (25:29-34). Now (Gen 27), with the help of his mother, deceives his brother a second time, robbing him of dying Isaac’s final blessing. This family’s dysfunction results […]

Gen 25-26

January 20, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Besides Sarah, Abraham had another wife named Keturah (Gen 25) that gives Abraham six sons. Before Abraham dies, he protects Isaac’s inheritance of the covenant by sending Keturah’s sons east toward Arabia. God keeps his promise to bless Ishmael (born of Abraham and Hagar), who fathers 12 tribal leaders.

Isaac’s wife Rebekah is […]

Gen 22-24

January 19, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

This (Gen 22) is a wonderful picture of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. How many parallels can you spot between Abraham’s offering of Isaac as a living sacrifice and God’s offering of his Son Jesus Christ for us?

The death of Sarah (Gen 23) is stark reminder of human reality. After […]

Gen 19-21

January 18, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Previously (Gen 14) Abram rescued Lot; this time two angels warn Lot to flee before judgment falls. The story graphically reveals the debauchery that provoked God’s wrath. Perhaps most telling is how difficult it is for Lot to leave this dark place. In the aftermath of judgment God remembers Abraham, continuing to […]

Gen 16-18

January 17, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Sarai grows impatient waiting for the son God promised and encourages Abram to impregnate her servant Hagar, a common cultural response to barrenness (Gen 16). Ishmael is born from this dubious relationship and millennia of war and conflict result.

God appears again to Abram 13 years later (Gen 17), changes his name to […]

Gen 12-15

January 16, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

This (Gen 12) is the call of Abram (later Abraham) and the beginning of the Hebrew people. Earlier (Gen 11), Abram, wife Sarai, father Terah and nephew Lot immigrated to Canaan. Chapter 12 opens with a flashback to show that God’s call brought them to Canaan. Terah is now dead.

Returning from Egypt […]

Job 40-42

January 15, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Job has continually clamored to ask God for answers. That moment finally arrives (Job 40), and Job has absolutely nothing to say. God challenges Job to consider Behemoth, a literal transliteration of the Hebrew word for “beasts” (plural), but the singular verbs suggests its use here as a title. Theories abound about […]

Job 38-39

January 14, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Ironically, Elihu just spoke piously about God’s voice thundering in divine excellency (37:4-5), never dreaming that might become a reality in his life moments later. What a surprise when God himself shows up in 37:1-3 and his voice speaks out of the whirlwind! But, God bypasses Elihu, addressing Job directly and asking […]

Job 35-37

January 13, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

This final part of Elihu’s speech seems to reveal a very cut-and-dried theology. He’s clearly committed to the concept of God’s inalterable and incomprehensible sovereignty. Careful reading also makes clear that his theological system holds out no hope for any real relationship with a loving God. He’s convinced that God simply does […]

Job 32-34

January 12, 2015

Devotions January|

What does it say?

Read 32:1-3 slowly and carefully. Next, a younger man named Elihu speaks up. Out of respect he has waited patiently, listening to this acrimonious exchange. He now dares to express his own thoughts and will continue to the end of Job 37. He’s frustrated that his elders have not given better answers. […]