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The Appointment of Judges

The Appointment of Judges.jpg

This chapter focuses on how we can delegate our responsibilities to others so that they can grow and also a system is established. Moses’ father in law came to know about Lord’s work through Moses and after coming to know the greatness of Moses’ Lord a burnt offering was sacrificed to God by him (father in law). Thus, we witness that when God’s work is spoken off the ones who have not even experienced them also believe and rejoice and acknowledge the mightiness of God.

We are the generation where everything is changing and evolving every day. Believing in God however, has gone stagnant for us. Our faith, hopes, love and devotion however hasn’t evolved. We all live a godless life and such an existence is worthless. We all have a choice today to rejoice in our Lord and ask for his forgiveness. We need to dust off that Bible which we haven’t opened for a very long time and also need to prioritize our soul cleansing. We need to include daily scripture reading and prayers in our busy schedules. We need God and we need Him to guide us.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
9 Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the LORD had done to Israel, in delivering them from the Egyptians.
10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh.
11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, because he delivered the people from the Egyptians, when they dealt arrogantly with them.”

Let’s Pray: Lord, Heavenly King, and our Savior, take away all our inhibitions and shortcomings. End our sinful existence and make us your beloved, obedient children. Make us your faithful and loving followers. Change our hearts from selfish, stubborn and unkindness to giving, peaceful, merciful and prayerful beings. In the most precious name of our Savior Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Chapter 18: The Appointment of Judges
1 Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt.
2 After Moses had sent away his wife Zipporah, his father-in-law Jethro took her back,
3 along with her two sons. The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been an alien in a foreign land”),
4 and the name of the other, Eliezer (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”).
5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came into the wilderness where Moses was encamped at the mountain of God, bringing Moses’ sons and wife to him.
6 He sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you, with your wife and her two sons.”
7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law; he bowed down and kissed him; each asked after the other’s welfare, and they went into the tent.
8 Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had beset them on the way, and how the LORD had delivered them.
9 Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the LORD had done to Israel, in delivering them from the Egyptians.
10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh.
11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, because he delivered the people from the Egyptians, when they dealt arrogantly with them.”
12 And Jethro, Moses’ fatherin- law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.
13 The next day Moses sat as judge for the people, while the people stood around him from morning until evening.
14 When Moses’ fatherin- law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?”
15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God.
16 When they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make known to them the statutes and instructions of God.”
17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good.
18 You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.
19 Now listen to me. I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God;
20 teach them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do.
21 You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
22 Let them sit as judges for the people at all times; let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.
23 If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their home in peace.”
24 So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said.
25 Moses chose able men from all Israel and appointed them as heads over the people, as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.
26 And they judged the people at all times; hard cases they brought to Moses, but any minor case they decided themselves.
27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went off to his own country.

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God Gives the People Water

God Gives the People Water.jpg

Again the people complained about their problem instead of praying. Some problems can be solved by careful thought or by rearranging our priorities. Some can be solved by discussion and good counsel. But some problems can be solved only by prayers. We should make determined effort to pray when we feel like complaining because complaining only raises our level of stress. A prayer quiets our thoughts and emotions and prepares us to listen.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
1 From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.
6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?” God defeats the Amalekites.
13 And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.
15 And Moses built an altar and called it, The LORD is my banner.

Let’s Pray: Lord, we believe in your mercies and care. You are all sovereign; please help us trust you in your timing. We try to get impatient and tend to take matters in our hands. We know that this is a weakness of ours, we are sorry. Holy Spirit please transforms this part of us. Help us to trust in you Lord and trust that your timing is best. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Chapter 17: God Gives the People Water
1 From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.
2 The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?”
3 But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?”
4 So Moses cried out to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
5 The LORD said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.
6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?” God defeats the Amalekites
8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim.
9 Moses sai to Joshua, “Choose some men for us and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”
10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and
Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sun set.
13 And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this as a reminder in a book and recite it in the hearing of Joshua: I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 And Moses built an altar and called it, The LORD is my banner.
16 He said, “A hand upon the banner of the LORD! The LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

 
 

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Israel’s Sufferings

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The Second Book of Moses called Exodus: The Passover Lamb

The book of Exodus is named after the focus of the first fifteen chapters of the book: the liberation of Israel from Egypt by “the God of Abraham… Isaac, and… Jacob” (3.15). The Exodus, however, is not a goal until itself; the book continues with various laws which distinguish the community (chs 20-23, 34), as well as the instructions for the construction of the tabernacle (chs 25-40), which are narrated in great detail, and assure that a holy God will reside among the people.

Pharaoh was afraid the Israelites were becoming so numerous that they would organize and threaten his kingdom, so he made them slaves and oppressed them to kill their spirit and stop their growth. The Egyptians tried to wear down the Hebrew people by forcing them into slavery and mistreating them. Instead the Hebrews multiplied and grew stronger. When we are burdened or mistreated, we may feel mistreated. Our burdens can make us stronger and develop qualities in us that will prepare us for the future. We cannot be overcomers without troubles to overcome. Be true to God in the hard times because even the worst situations can make us better people.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
17 But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.
21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.

Let’s Pray: Gracious God, we commit ourselves to you. Transform us and help us to truly be your children. Let the hardships and troubles bring out the best in us and we never lose your site during our testing times. Provide us the strength to obey you rather than the men. We offer this prayer to you in the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Chapter 01: Israel’s Sufferings

1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household:
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
5 The total number of people born to Jacob was seventy. Joseph was already in Egypt.
6 Then Joseph died, and all his brothers, and that whole generation.
7 But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
9 He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we.
10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”
11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities,
Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh.
12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.
13 The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites,
14 and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labor. They
were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,
16 “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.”
17 But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.
18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live?”
19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”
20 So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong.
21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.
22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.”

 
 

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Jacob’s Prophecy Concerning His Sons

Jacobs-Prophecy-Concerning-His-Sons

Jacob blessed each one of his sons and then made a prediction about each one’s future. The way the men had lived played an important role in Jacob’s blessings and prophecy. Our past also affects our present and future. By sunrise tomorrow our actions will have become our past. Yet they will have already begun to shape the future. What action can you choose or avoid that will positively shape your future?

Can you trust God when injury and persecution is directed at you? Such spiritual battles require teamwork between courageous and faithful people and almighty God.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
1 Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
2 Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father.
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, blessing each one of them with a suitable blessing. Order to bury Jacob at Machpelah

Let’s Pray: Lord, in every need let me come to you with humble trust. Always, always, inspite of weakness falls and shortcomings of every kind, Lord help me and never forsake me. Amen

Chapter 49: Jacob’s Prophecy Concerning His Sons
1 Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
2 Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father.
3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the first fruits of my vigor, excelling in rank and excelling in power.
4 Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel because you went up onto your father’s bed; then you defiled it — you went up onto my couch!
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords.
6 May I never come into their council; may I not be joined to their company — for in their anger they killed men, and at their whim they hamstrung oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
8 Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion, like a lioness — who dares rouse him up?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and the obedience of the peoples is his.
11 Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washes his garments in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes;
12 his eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun shall settle at the shore of the sea; he shall be a haven for ships, and his border shall be at Sidon.
14 Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the sheepfolds;
15 he saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant; so he bowed his shoulder to the burden, and became a slave at forced labor.
16 Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider falls backward.
18 I wait for your salvation, O LORD.
19 Gad shall be raided by raiders, but he shall raid at their heels.
20 Asher’s food shall be rich, and he shall provide royal delicacies.
21 Naphtali is a doe let loose that bears lovely fawns.
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall.
23 The archers fiercely attacked him; they shot at him and pressed him hard.
24 Yet his bow remained taut, and his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 by the God of your father, who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 The blessings of your father are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey, and at evening dividing the spoil.”
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, blessing each one of them with a suitable blessing. Order to bury Jacob at Machpelah
29 Then he charged them, saying to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my ancestors — in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
30 in the cave in the field at Machpelah, near Mamre, in the land of Canaan, in the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site.
31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried; there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried; and there I buried Leah —
32 the field and the cave that is in it were purchased from the Hittites.”
33 When Jacob ended his charge to his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

 
 

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Joseph is Governor of Egypt

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The faithfulness of Joseph affected his entire family. When he was in the pit and prison Joseph must have wondered about his future. Instead of despairing, he faithfully obeyed God and did what was right. Here we see one of the exciting results. We may not always see the effects of our faith but we can be sure that God will honor faithfulness.

Putting a hand under the thigh was a sign of making a promise just like our hand shaking today. Jacob has Joseph promise to bury him in his homeland. Few things were written in this culture, so person’s words then carried as much force as a written contract today. People today seem to find it easy to say, “I didn’t mean that.” God’s people however, are to speak the truth and live the truth. Let your words be as binding as a written contract.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
29 When the time of Israel’s death drew near, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor with you, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal loyally and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt.
30 When I lie down with my ancestors, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.”
31 And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself on the head of his bed.

Let’s Pray: In today’s world where speaking lies are easier and saves our skins, we the children of God forget the value of truth in God’s eye. It’s not just hard to be truthful to others; it is seemingly tiresome task to be truthful to ourselves. We pray to our Lord and refuge to let truth be our way of living and we are to honor every word and promise made to our Lord and others. Amen

Chapter 47: Joseph is Governor of Egypt

1 So Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan; they are now in the land of Goshen.”
2 From among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh.
3 Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, as our ancestors were.”
4 They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to reside as aliens in the land; for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks because the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, we ask you, let your servants settle in the land of Goshen.”
5 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you.
6 The land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land; let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know that there are capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.”
7 Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob, and presented him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many are the years of your life?”
9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my earthly sojourn are one hundred thirty; few and hard have been the years of my life. They do not compare with the years of the life of my ancestors during their long sojourn.”
10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh.
11 Joseph settled his father and his brothers, and granted them a holding in the land of Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had instructed.
12 And Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their dependents.
13 Now there was no food in all the land, for the famine was very severe. The land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.
14 Joseph collected all the money to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house.
15 When the money from the land of Egypt and from the land of Canaan was spent, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, and said, “Give us food! Why should we die before your eyes? For our money is gone.” 16 And Joseph answered, “Give me your livestock, and I will give you food in exchange for your livestock, if your money is gone.”
17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph; and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the herds, and the donkeys. That year he supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock.
18 When that year was ended, they came to him the following year, and said to him, “We cannot hide from my lord that our money is all spent; and the herds of cattle are my lord’s. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands.
19 Shall we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land in exchange for food. We with our land will become slaves to Pharaoh; just give us seed, so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”
20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe upon them; and the land became Pharaoh’s.
21 As for the people, he made slaves of them from one end of Egypt to the other.
22 Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh, and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their land.
23 Then Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you; sow the land.
24 And at the harvests you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.”
25 They said, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be slaves to Pharaoh.”
26 So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt, and it stands to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth. The land of the priests alone did not become Pharaoh’s.
27 Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen; and they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly.
28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were one hundred forty-seven years.
Jacob’s preparations for death, including the adoption and blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh
29 When the time of Israel’s death drew near, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor with you, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal loyally and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt.
30 When I lie down with my ancestors, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.”
31 And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself on the head of his bed.

 
 

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Judah Pleads for His Brother Benjamin

Judah-pleads-for-benjamin

Jacob moved his whole family to Egypt, but they wanted to live apart from Egyptians. To ensure this Joseph told them to let Pharaoh know they were shepherds. Although Pharaoh may have been sympathetic to shepherds, Egyptian culture would not willingly accept shepherds among them. The strategy worked and Jacob’s family was able to benefit from Pharaoh’s generosity as well as Egyptian’s prejudice.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
2 God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”
3 Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there.

Let’s Pray: Today we pray specially for our departed. Lord, they have been your followers and believers. They have passed on their faith, belief and love for you to us and we now carry forward this love and belief. Help us see your love and blessings in our daily pursuits. Guide us and love us dear Lord. We also pray for those who have started to associate with us on daily basis. Lord, each one us are going through our life struggles; where we can’t cope- give us the strength to endure; where we can’t bear- provide us the understanding and where we falter- forgive us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

Chapter 46: Judah Pleads for his Brother Benjamin

1 When Israel set out on his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2 God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”
3 Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there.
4 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph’s own hand shall close your eyes.”
5 Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
6 They also took their livestock and the goods that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him,
7 his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.
8 Now these are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his offspring, who came to Egypt. Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn,
9 and the children of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
10 The children of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman.
11 The children of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12 The children of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan); and the children of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
13 The children of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Jashub, and Shimron.
14 The children of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel
15 (these are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, together with his daughter Dinah; in all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three).
16 The children of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
17 The children of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. The children of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel
18 (these are the children of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and these she bore to Jacob — sixteen persons).
19 The children of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
20 To Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.
21 The children of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard 22 (these are the children of Rachel, who were born to Jacob — fourteen persons in all).
23 The children of Dan: Hashum.
24 The children of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem
25 (these are the children of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and these she bore to Jacob — seven persons in all).
26 All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own offspring, not including the wives of his sons, were sixty-six persons in all.
27 The children of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy. Jacob’s family settles in Egypt
28 Israel sent Judah ahead to Joseph to lead the way before him into Goshen. When they came to the land of Goshen,
29 Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. He presented himself to him, fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
30 Israel said to Joseph, “I can die now, having seen for myself that you are still alive.”
31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me.
32 The men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.’
33 When Pharaoh calls you, and says, ‘What is your occupation?’
34 you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our ancestors’ — in order that you may settle in the land of Goshen, because all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians.”

 
 

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Joseph Sends for Jacob

joseph

Although Joseph’s brothers had wanted to get rid of him, God used even their evil actions to fulfill his ultimate plan. He sent Joseph ahead to pressure their lives, save Egypt, and prepare the way for beginning of the nation of Israel. God is sovereign. His plans are not dictated by human actions. When others intend evil toward you, remember that they are only God’s tools. As Joseph said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (50:20).

Joseph was rejected, kidnapped, enslaved and imprisoned. Although his brothers had been unfaithful to him, he graciously forgave them and shared his prosperity. Joseph demonstrated how God forgives us and showers us with goodness even though we have sinned against him. The same forgiveness and blessings are ours if we ask for them.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Let’s pray: Lord, at every juncture we falter and sinful ways. Heavenly Father, guide us and keep us away from sinning against you. We want to be your children and ever follow you. Amen

Chapter 45: Joseph Sends for Jacob

1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
6 For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.
7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay.
10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.
11 I will provide for you there — since there are five more years of famine to come — so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’
12 And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you.
13 You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.”
14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck.
15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.
16 When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” Pharaoh and his servants were pleased.
17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your animals and go back to the land of Canaan.
18 Take your father and your households and come to me, so that I may give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you may enjoy the fat of the land.’
19 You are further charged to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.
20 Give no thought to your possessions, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.'”
21 The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the instruction of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey.
22 To each one of them he gave a set of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of garments.
23 To his father he sent the following: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey.
24 Then he sent his brothers on their way, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Do not quarrel along the way.”
25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.
26 And they told him, “Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over all the land of Egypt.” He was stunned; he could not believe them.
27 But when they told him all the words of Joseph that he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.
28 Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.”

 
 

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