Thank you for praying for Jim & Personal Genesis studies

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Thank you for praying for Jim – He caught three bluefish, and someone came by and gave him some that they caught, so he is happy. I appreciate your prayers.


Genesis 37 Continued.

Poor Joseph is down in the well, the brothers are contemplating his death while eating lunch. Along comes some Ishmaelites to the rescue – although for Joseph it won’t feel like much of a rescue.

Verse 26-27 So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened.

Shades of Cain and Abel, but the blood would cry out. Praise God the brothers listened, and they will also be glad a few years from now. Judah is telling his brothers to let the Gentiles take care of him. Jesus was brought before the court of the Gentiles so that the Jews would not have Jesus’ blood on their hands.

Verse 28 Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

How did they come up with the price of Joseph, Leviticus 27:2-5 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When a man consecrates by a vow certain persons to the LORD, according to your valuation, if your valuation is of a male from twenty years old up to sixty years old, then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. If it is a female, then you valuation shall be thirty shekels, and if from five years old up to twenty years old, ten your valuation for a male shall be twenty shekels, and for a female ten shekels. Granted, this valuation came after Joseph, but must have been common practice in those days.

Jesus was sold for 30 shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt. But we will see that Joseph acted honorably in Egypt. Reuben was present when the sale took place, so he believed that Joseph was dead. My guess is that the brothers figured that Reuben would not keep their dark secret.

Verse 29-30 Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore his clothes. And he returned to his brothers and said, “The lad is no more; and I, where shall I go?”

I am glad Reuben cared. Reuben was responsible, and acted appropriately. He did try to save Jacob.

Verse 31-32 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?”

Oh how like their father were the sons. They lied (and what saddens me is they saw the deep sadness of their father and never came clean about Joseph for many years.) Isn’t it ironic that goat’s blood and a tunic are used in this ruse? Remember how Jacob stole Esau’s blessing by killing a goat, and using the skin of the goat to fake hair. Jacob is being fooled by his sons.

Remember when Jesus rose from the dead, the Roman soldiers were bribed to say that they were sleeping so that it could be assumed the body was stolen. Here there is a lie about what happened to Joseph when he was in the well.

Verse 33 And he (Jacob) recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.”

This is another example of why we should not rely on outward circumstances. What if Jacob had gone to God and asked him about Joseph? Could he not have saved a lot of grief. Instead he relied on the lying words of his sons and on the faked evidence.

 Verse 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days.

Please notice that here God had him called Jacob (when he is not acting in line with God’s word), not Israel. How often we mourn needlessly. I know that I often worry and fret over things that I have imagined in my mind, that have no basis in reality. It is wasted time, and only serves to keep the Joy of the Lord at bay.

Verses 35-36 And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.” Thus his father wept for him. Now the Midianits had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.

Well, Jacob was wrong here in his prophecy – he would not go to the grave mourning Joseph’s death. He is speaking false words here. And we are going to see the hand of God on Joseph in the next chapters. What I find interesting is that Joseph had to be in some dire circumstances, and if we, in our lives today faced similar trials, we would think God had left us. But we can take heart because we will know that God did not leave Joseph, so He will not leave us.

Beth Moore also mentioned that Jacob’s sons underestimated the ramifications of their prejudice.

Have a blessed night.


It is a two for one day today. I had pushed “submit” in a hurry and left it public before I had edited the post, figure I will leave it up. Have a blessed day!

Genesis 37 – Well we have met that 17 year old Joseph, the dreamer of dreams, who tattles on his brothers and is his father’s favorite. Joseph has been garbed in the coat of many colors, and now let’s see how he gets along with his siblings.

Genesis 37:12 Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.

I never noticed this before!!!! Why are they going back there?  Shechem is where Dinah was raped, where they tricked the inhabitants to circumcise themselves and slaughtered them. It is right on the border of the promised land, and not where God wanted them in the first place. Isn’t that so like us, we get free from an area of sin in our lives, and then go back to pay a visit. Remember, God protected them from the hands of the neighboring tribes as they traveled toward Canaan, now they are going back. Not everyone can re-visit their past sinful areas and come out unscathed. None of these boys will be able to either.

Genesis 37:13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” So he said to him, “Here I am.” I think of others in the Bible who have obeyed like that, “Here I am.” Samuel the prophet heard God and answered. Joseph obeyed His father. Jesus obeyed His Father.

Jesus obeyed His Father even to the cross, He did everything His Father told Him to do. Joseph also obeys implicitly.

What surprises me is that Israel/Jacob knew his sons were in Shechem. I think I would have told my kids to stay away from there. Dinah got hurt there, and the slaughter occurred there. But he sends his beloved son down to Shechem.

God sent His Beloved Son down to earth (Shechem).

So Israel tells Joseph to see if all is well with his brothers and the flocks and bring back word to him. And in verse 14 it says that Joseph went out of the valley of Hebron (which means fellowship), to Shechem (the world).

I wonder who this next character is, Verse 15 “Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What are you seeking?”

I wonder who the “certain man” was.

Verse 16 “So he (Joseph) said, “I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks.”

Reminds me of Jesus, the Son of Man seeking his brothers to save them.

Verse 17 “And the man said, “They have departed from here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.'” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.

Did you know that the word Dothan means double well, and it also means sickness.

Jesus came down to earth, to go after us, His brothers, and help us escape from the sickness of sin. And we will see, that just like Joseph’s brothers, people on earth conspired after Jesus.

Verse 18 Now when they (Joseph’s brothers) saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!”

Didn’t Jesus face the same thing, with plots to kill Him, to prevent Him from ruling and reigning? The priests of Jesus’s day were afraid that Jesus would usurp their authority, they forgot from whence their authority came. And they knew Jesus from afar off, the prophesies in the Torah predicted to the day and the hour the coming of Jesus, there was no way the priests and Levites could say that they didn’t know. The miracles that Jesus did, his place of birth, anyone with an inquiring mind could see that Jesus was Messiah, and they chose instead to conspire to kill Him.

Joseph’s brothers acted on their feelings of jealousy. This was not honoring their father, who had placed the coat of many colors, the mantle of authority on his back. So often, in our lives, we act this way, assuming that if we kill the messenger, if we ignore the message, if we put something out of our sight it will go away. The truth will stay, even when we try to kill it.

Reuben heard their plan and tempered it, saying not to kill him. Reuben says in verse 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hands and bring him back to his father.

This is very much like Pilate, who had Jesus beaten to try and pacify the Jews and prevent them from crucifying Jesus. Reuben wanted to rescue Joseph, but did not want to inflame his brothers against him. I feel that maybe Reuben feared that he, too, would be at the bottom of the pit with Joseph if he had spoken more forcibly. How often do we temper our words to the climate around us, say in the office or among friends, do we try not to stand out in our defense of Christ?

Verses 23-24 So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.

Jesus was stripped of his garment, and cast into a pit (tomb). It was a dry and barren place – no water. No water of the Word, no water of the Spirit, it was a place of death. So often we dig ourselves into our own pits, into our own dry and barren places, and we keep digging deeper and deeper. We die. Joseph had the symbol of authority stripped off of him. Isn’t that what they tried to do with Jesus, strip Him of his life so that He would have no authority over them, but what satan meant for harm, God will turn to good. God will take this tough experience to grow up Joseph to be a leader of his people, and God will take this tough experience to play at the minds and hearts of his brothers to cause them to come to repentence. God will also take this experience of Joseph and bring him to a place where he also reaches and helps to feed the Egyptians.

But imagine what Joseph must have felt, his dreams, his visions, and his possible death. Sometimes it takes something like this to cause us to grow and change. And, while going back to Shechem was not the ideal place for his brothers to be, it did allow for a chance encounter – a God moment, to preserve Joseph’s life. I love that God will come even when we are not where we are supposed to be, and that He pulls us out of the pit and rescues us. Sometimes our rescuers do not seem to be what we expected, but we learn from all.

Beth Moore, in a video that complements the study of the Patriarchs stated that Jacob underestimated the ramifications of his partiality towards Joseph. Then Joseph met the certain man (a Shechemite) and Beth states, “Ironically, Joseph turned out to be safer with the Shechemite than with his own brothers.” and “In his lifetime Joseph will look for his brothers’ approval, respect, mercy, apology, possibly their appreciation and finally their welfare.” But the betrayal of Joseph at the hands of his brothers had to hurt very much, because betrayal implies a closeness.

Verse 25 And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt.

Remember Ishmael? Abraham’s son born of Hagar, God will use him to rescue Joseph. In fact, since they were traveling, God had it all arranged – these started traveling long before Joseph was put into the pit. Notice what these Ishmaelites are carrying – sounds a bit like the three wise men.

Beth states that “We must be very careful of what we plot at a distance, lest we follow through when close. Nothing is harmless about a grudge. The Greek word for “nursed a grudge against” means to be held in or by anything, to be entangled in something, be enmeshed, to be subject to.”

This is what Pastor Don has been talking about – keeping our thought lives and our words in line with God’s Word. When we start thinking fleshly thoughts, harboring unforgiveness, anger, rage, and muttering about things, we put ourselves right into satan’s hands. The thoughts we think, the feelings we succumb to, will cause us to act. If we are nursing a grudge against someone, we really need to ask the Holy Spirit to make us aware of the ungodly thoughts, and ask God to forgive us and help us to turn from them. We need to repent before we act in ways we should not act.

Hoping you have a blessed day!



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
Aside | This entry was posted in Heather's personal Bible study notes, personal. Bookmark the permalink.

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