Monthly Archives: January, 2014

Exodus 4-6: Plans and power

God’s plan, done God’s way, with God’s provision.  That little phrase was told to me by another pastor, who had heard it from another pastor, who had read it in a book.  You know how it goes.  Regardless of its origins, the phrase has stuck in my head and as I was reading through these chapters of Exodus it once again came to mind.  Really this next section of Genesis is all about God enacting his plan and accomplishing it by his power.

Moses had to learn this lesson.  The scene at the burning bush displays Moses lack of understanding of God’s provision.  God called Moses to accomplish a task, but Moses made the mistake of thinking that accomplishing the task would depend on his abilities and powers.  This becomes clear in chapter 5 after Moses’ first meeting with Pharaoh doesn’t go so well, and Moses challenges God: “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people?  Why did you send me?”  God’s response is: “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh.”

God’s plan, done God’s way, with God’s provision.  We could use that reminder I think.  I know I have the tendency or the temptation to petition God for his plan, and then when it become clear what is next, I sort of dismiss God.  “Ok God got the plan, thanks for the update, now if you could just move over to the left there so I can accomplish the task, that would be great.”  God’s involvement in the process does not stop with laying the plan out for us, he wants to accomplish it a certain way and with his provision.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1 that God accomplishes his task by seemingly impossible means so that no one can boast or claim the rights to God’s accomplishments.  Essentially that is what God tells Moses in chapters 6 & 7.

“When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”

We need to be willing to look not just for God’s plans, but for how he wants those plans accomplished and have faith that he will provide the power and the resources to see the plan through.  How many times has God laid out a crazy plan before Christian people only to have them back away because it seems impossible.  We forget that God is the one who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

Happy reading.

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Exodus 7-9

Exodus 1-3: The Lord heard

Take just a moment as you transition from Genesis to Exodus to consider a couple of things.  First, time has passed.  A lot of time.  When Jacob arrives in Egypt, his family totals 70, including Joseph and his sons.  When this scene opens before us we will find out that Israel has a standing army of over 600,000, meaning the people as a whole were much more populous than that.  Also consider that the favour Israel had in Egypt had long passed away and Israel is now an enslaved nation.  The problem, from Pharaoh’s point of view, is that Israel was too large and Pharaoh was afraid of two possibilities: 1) that Israel would just one day get up and walk out OR 2) Israel would side with Egypt’s enemies and fight against Egypt.

Either way, Egypt loses its workforce and Pharaoh loses face.

Also consider that Israel has been among a foreign people who worship foreign gods for about four generations (according to God’s prediction to Abram in Genesis 15).  While it is clear that at Moses’ birth the midwives still feared God, we get the impression when Moses returns to Egypt in Exodus 4 that the Israelites have to be reminded of who God is.  Living in a land of foreign gods would have most certainly affected Israel’s religious practices.

Finally, consider the overall theme of Exodus, the theme of deliverance and freedom.  The whole book concentrates on what it means to be free, what it costs to be free, and the responsibilities that come with freedom.  All through the book you will see Israel struggling to understand that freedom is not license to do whatever you please, and that discipline (law) is not bondage.  The book of Exodus teaches us what it means to have freedom in God’s will, something many modern Christians need to learn.

The theme of deliverance begins right at the beginning of the book.  In chapter 3, God declares to Moses: “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt.  I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers…So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians.”  God was paying attention to their suffering and was seeking to bring them freedom.  I bet it didn’t feel that way to the Israelites.  I bet they didn’t feel God’s attention in the midst of their oppression.

There is an important lesson in this for us.  God is always paying attention, and God’s desire is bring us freedom.  But it may not always feel that way and we may feel like our cries for help are lost into the cosmos.  We have to be willing to trust that God is working out our deliverance.  Plus, we may have some lessons to learn on our way to freedom, just as the Israelites did.

Deliverance.  The preciousness of freedom.  The responsibilities of freedom.

Happy reading.

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Exodus 4-6

Genesis 48-50: Second Born

Jacob-Blessing-his-Grandsons-by-CF-Vos

Jacob blesses Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, adopting them as his own to round out the future tribes of Israel.  Here’s the funny thing that I wish to point out this morning, and it’s really simple and it’s not really even my observation.  I read it in a commentary when I was prepping for last week’s sermon.

Jacob blesses Ephraim with his right hand and Manasseh with his left.  This is very culturally relevant and we may have a hard time understanding the meaning.  The right hand was considered the source of the greater blessing and was normally used to bless the first-born son.  The first-born was the heir, the “better” son, the recipient of the greater blessing.  However, if you pay attention to the Bible readings we have done, and pay attention to the readings as we go forward, over and over again you will read about the younger son receiving the greater blessing, just as Jacob does here with Ephraim and Manasseh.

Recall if you will:

  1. God chooses Able or Cain
  2. Isaac was second to Ishmael
  3. Jacob receives the blessing over Esau
  4. Zerah and Perez in Genesis 38
  5. Moses, Gideon and David were all younger sons, yet God used them mightily

God chooses whom he blesses and how he will use us, regardless of our birth order or our social status.  God determines our paths, not our family names or our birth orders or our social connections.  In his commentary on Genesis 37-50 (pg 1159, Baker Books, 1998) J.M. Boice quotes F.B. Meyers as saying: “It is not an unmitigated blessing to be born into the world with a great name and estate and traditions; it is better to trust in one’s own right arm and in the blessing of the Almighty.  God is no respecter of persons, and he will lift the youngest into the front rank if only he sees the qualities which warrant it; whilst he will put back the foremost into the lower ranks if they are deficient in noble attributes.”

You might be tempted to say: wait a minute, Jacob was certainly not more morally attractive than Esau; Moses had speech problems; Gideon was timid and Ephraim had done nothing to set him above Manasseh.  You would be right.  But we must remember that God chooses to work in ways that sometimes seem counter-intuitive and even foolish.  1 Corinthians 1:27-29 reminds us of this.  In each of those circumstances, God’s name was made great because he used the weaker vessel.

My point is simply this: God does not take human standards or status or opinion into account when he calls and equips people for service to him.

Happy reading.

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Exodus 1-3

Genesis 46-47: A safe place

Do you have a peaceful place that you go to when you are feeling harried and tired?  Maybe a family cottage you can retreat to, summer or winter.  Maybe a favourite coffee shop with nice chairs and a fire place?  Or perhaps your peaceful place is closer to home, like a workshop or a comfy chair in a quiet corner of your house?  You know the place. A spot you run to get away from the worries of life for five minutes.  A place where you feel that you can close your eyes and breathe out your anxieties.

If you are having a hard time thinking of such a place for yourself, then may I suggest, somewhat strongly, that you find that place for yourself.  We all need a place to “just be”.  That is a phrase my wife and I have been using since we were in college.  We all need a safe, peaceful place that comes without any obligations or expectations or responsibility.  That is why those places sometimes have to be physically removed from our regular geography.  But we can have those places in our everyday settings as well.  Sometimes it’s as much about our mindset as it is about they physical location.

Here’s why I bring this up.  God lead Joseph to Egypt, through various and uncomfortable paths.  Yet through it all, Joseph was convinced that God had ordained his position in Egypt for the benefit of his family and the saving of many lives during the famine.  We talked about that a bit yesterday.  We have confirmation of that in today’s reading.  Genesis 46:2-4

And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”  “Here I am,” he replied.  “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

God understood that in order for Jacob’s family to become the nation of Israel, they needed a safe, prosperous, secure place to grow.  That is exactly what God provided.  “for I will make you into a great nation there.”  He gave Joseph a top job that earned favour in Pharaoh’s eyes and gave him a good reputation among the Egyptians.  A safe place.

Could you or I possibly conceive of such a plan?  Grow one nation within the boundaries of another, and have the host nation willingly participate in the whole thing.  It’s amazing.

God’s plans for us are no less spectacular.  There are times in his plans for us that he leads us into a seemingly strange place that ends up being exactly what we needed.  Those places may even feel like exile, like the exact opposite of what we thought we needed.  But God knows what we need and when we need it.  We need to have faith like Jacob to listen and follow.

Happy reading.

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 48-50

Genesis 43-45: Embraces

Joseph brothersSo, this is it.  The most heart warming part of Joseph’s story, as far as I’m concerned.  The scene from Genesis 45 when Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers is absolutely beautiful to me.  His emotions get hold of him, his eagerness to be reunited with his family, his desire to know how his father is doing they all come pouring out of him.  As does the forgiveness that I talked about yesterday.  “Don’t be hard on yourselves for what you did to me.  It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.  It was God who sent me here, not you!”  Again, the level of character and faith that Joseph displays is astounding, and on top of that the level of forgiveness.  It amazes me.  Yes, I’m going to keep beating that horse because we need to be better at forgiving!

Christian people are the recipients of the greatest act of forgiveness that has ever been or will ever be; and yet we are some of the hardest hearted, stubborn, unrelenting people in the world.  “Forgive as the Lord forgave you” Paul writes in Colossians 3.  Some of the strongest warnings from Jesus come attached to his teaching about forgiveness.  The parable of the unmerciful servant from Matthew 18.  There is the warning from Mark 11:25 “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

And then there is the addendum that Jesus adds on after he teaches the disciples the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  It’s all pretty clear really.  But how stubborn and disobedient we are!

You know really fries my chicken about unforgiveness?  Life is so much better when we forgive, are reconciled and get on with life.  I just don’t understand how that doesn’t sink in.  I think that is why this picture from Genesis 45 is so beautiful to me.  A family is mended.  Tears of joy, shouts of thanksgiving, warm embraces.  What’s not to like?  And I bet you God smiled.

Happy reading.

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 46-47

Genesis 41-42: Family Reunions

There is a verse in Genesis 50, where Joseph is addressing his brothers, and he says: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

I cannot possibly imagine what went through Joseph’s mind when his brothers showed up.  We are given some insights as the story goes on as to his emotional state, but not so much in Genesis 42 when his brothers first appear before him.  One thing that I am certain of, because of Genesis 50, Joseph had found it within his heart to fully, completely and utterly forgive his brothers for their murderous hearts and treacherous actions.

As we’ve been reading Genesis, I have been amazed on a number of occasions at the the level of forgiveness shown.  Jacob and Esau are another prime example.  As I mentioned in an previous post, I have seen family feuds in action, feuds that started so long ago that the family members involved aren’t even sure what they’re upset about anymore.  But rest assured, they are definitely still upset.  I’ve seen the same thing in churches, which is just another family really.  People who go to the same church, who worship the same God, who care for the same community, yet they WILL NOT cross the sanctuary to speak to one another.  It grieves our Father in Heaven and I can’t figure out how Christian people think it is alright to remain in that place of unforgiveness.  It blatantly goes against scripture.

Think for a moment of what Joseph’s brothers did to him.  Think for a moment about the level of animosity they showed, the complete disregard for his life, for his care, for his connection to them as their brother.  Think of everything Joseph went through.  Being sold into slavery in ancient Egypt was one of the worst living punishments anyone could undergo.  Slaves were not people.  They were things.  No rights.  No law.  No protection.  Killed on a whim, beaten for entertainment, sold for a new camel or donkey.  And yet Joseph forgave his brothers completely.  It takes more guts, more heart and more character to forgive than to hold a grudge.  Holding a grudge is easy, but rest assured my friends it will devour you from the inside.  It will grow to consume your waking thoughts and your sleeping dreams.  Ulcers will form, anxiety will set in, and you will be the one held hostage, not the person you are holding the grudge against.

William Arthur Ward wrote: “A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.”  The sad part is, so many of us erect the walls, seal in the bars and lock the doors all by ourselves.

Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  True, Paul is speaking specifically of the issue of circumcision in these verses, I’m not trying to ignore the context.  But this truth applies to all things in which we are tempted to shackle ourselves, including holding grudges and refusing to forgive.

For me, the most powerful picture in Joseph’s story happens tomorrow.

Happy reading!

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 43-45

Genesis 38-40: Morality

compassRight and wrong.  Black and white.  Those annoying grey areas.  Conscience and pleasure.  All trough the Old Testament accounts we see the difficult time people have distinguishing right and wrong.  It surprises me to find that some of them don’t even seem to take much (or any) time in discerning right and wrong, they simply act out their desires.  I always find this difficult, because that struggle between the flesh and the Spirit are taught so strongly in the New Testament and in our church culture.  But as we read these accounts, we find a society with much different moral standards than ours.  Polygamy was common, prostitution was rampant and seemingly acceptable (although God takes a strong stance against it after he rescues Israel from Egypt).  Even rape and incest were tolerated with minimal consequences, although we see a strong reaction to rape in Genesis 34.

The moral compass of the time was slightly off and definitely differed even from the moral standards God would set for Israel through Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  Enter the story of Judah and Tamar, a story that is definitely full of moral ambiguity.  Judah’s sons were obviously not upright, upstanding types of fellows, or else God wouldn’t have been so unhappy with them.  According to the local customs and traditions, the continuance of a wife from one brother to another, should her husband die, was completely normal and acceptable.  Judah sending her back to her family with deception in his heart was definitely not acceptable, either by custom or by God.  Deception begets deception I guess in this particular account.  It is funny to notice the double standard Judah lives by in this story.  He was quite willing to proposition a prostitute himself, but when he finds out that Tamar had been prostituting herself, he calls for her death.

The placement of this story in the Biblical narrative is significant.  This is the only snap-shot of Joseph’s brothers we get, other than at the beginning and end of Joseph’s story, and it is a snapshot that comes as an interruption to Joseph’s narrative, and it comes before the account of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife.  It is interesting to ponder: if it had been Judah who was in Potiphar’s service, would he have acted in the moral way that Joseph acts in refusing to commit adultery?  Derek Kidner (writing for Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Genesis), comments: “it puts the faith and chastity of Joseph, soon to be described, in a context which sets of their rarity…”  In other words, having one story follow the other shows us the faith and the moral character of Joseph against the background of Judah’s questionable moral actions.

Again, it makes me comment that I am thankful that the Old Testament shows us humanity at both its highs and its lows, both in the triumph of character and in the moral depravity we can so easily fall in to.  For there are moments we are Josephs, taking the high road, and there are moments when we are Judahs, seeking to fulfill our desires regardless of cost or moral complications.  In and through it all, there is God working in the background, handling our triumphs and our failures in his divine grace, and somehow working his will and his plan through to completion.

You want to know the really interesting part of this story with Judah.  Unknown to Judah and Tamar, the Davidic and Messianic lines were at stake in this sorted affair.  Check our Matthew 1:1-6 to see what I mean.

Happy reading.

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 41-42

Genesis 35-37: Dreams and visions

We have reached another transition in the story of Israel as a nation, another generational shift.  Jacob begins to fade into the background as his sons become the focus, Joseph in particular.  But the same God continues to work, and he chooses to work in some of the same ways.  Just as Jacob grew into a man of God who spoke with God face to face and who received dreams from God, so Joseph becomes a man who is sensitive to God’s voice. God uses dreams and visions to direct Joseph’s life, from tragedy to tragedy it seems, but all within God’s control.

There are some who believe that God’s prophetic voice, his choice to work through dreams and visions, has passed from this age.  I am not one of those.  I believe that God still works in those ways. I believe the seeming lack of these types of divine communication has less to do with God and more to do with us.  I believe that if someone were to stand up in most of our evangelical churches and utter a true prophetic word, it would be met with such criticism and doubt that the meaning and power of the experience would be lost on us.  Of course when Joseph shared his dreams with is brothers, it was also met with not just criticism but open hostility.

It is a hard thing to believe in something that doesn’t seem to happen all that often.  I have been reflecting lately that I would absolutely love to experience that level of divine communication.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing lacking in that still small voice that mutters to our inner spirit, those nudgings we receive as the Spirit moves and motivates us; but I have come to crave a deeper divine experience.  Perhaps that is wrong of me, I don’t know, but to hear the voice of God is definitely on my mind.

And God does still speak.  There have been some absolutely amazing testimonies coming out of countries that are completely closed to the gospel and Christian influence of people who have met Jesus in a dream, been convinced of his love and salvation plan and come to know him as Lord and Saviour.

By having these thoughts I do not want to diminish in any way those other avenues God uses to speak in our lives.  The influence of godly men and women who speak truth and love.  The powerful work of the Bible as God’s living and active Word.  The nudging of the Holy Spirit.  The direction offered through circumstance (because I do not believe in coincidence).  And of course the close communion we experience when we come before God in heart-felt prayer and worship.

Perhaps the real thing on my mind is less the mode that God uses to speak and more the craving we have in our hearts to hear him speak.  David speaks in the Psalms, on more than one occasion, about craving, longing to be in God’s presence.  An insatiable thirst for more of Him.

Happy reading.

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 38-40

Genesis 32-34: Family ties

Genesis 32 introduces another theme that will walk with us through the rest of the Bible.  Ok, so maybe this isn’t the very first time this theme appears, but it is the first time I am going to comment on it and draw it out a bit.  In this section of Genesis, we see Jacob returning to his homeland after 20 years of servitude to Laban.  Makes me kind of glad that I only had to buy a ring for Amanda when I wanted to marry her!

Going back to Canaan could not possibly have been an easy decision for Jacob.  Remember when he left that place he was running away.  Running away from an angry father whom he had deceived and running away from an angry brother whom he stole from.  An angry brother that was an expert archer and hunter who was destined to live by the sword according to the words of Isaac…I’d run away too if I made him mad.  Yet Genesis makes it clear that God had put the call on Jacob’s heart to return home, and the new, God-sensitive Jacob understood that he had to obey that call.

So home he goes, and what is the first think on his mind: appeasing his brother.  Here’s what I find so amazing about this story: “But Esau ran to meet him, hugged him, threw his arms around him, and kissed him. Then they wept.” (Genesis 33:4).  Jacob expected everything but that response from Esau. Here Jacob comes prepared to bribe his brother into sparing his life, and Esau instead runs into his brothers arms and weeps for joy over his return.  Somehow, over 20 years, Esau had found it in himself to forgive Jacob for the deception and the theft that Jacob perpetrated.

Now I haven’t forgotten the theme I mentioned earlier; it is reconciliation.

Here is what this account from Genesis teaches me about reconciliation: it requires a willingness on the part of both parties in order to work.  Both parties have to recognize the wrong that was done, but then both parties have to work past the wrong, forgive one another, and carry on with the relationship without allowing that past event to colour the future.

You might be tempted to say: “Well of course Esau was happy to see his brother!  It had been 20 years.”  I find it very sad to say that I have personally known family feuds that have lasted much longer than 20 years.  I have known family feuds that have walked the family members to the grave.  I have known family feuds that have lasted not one, but two or three generations.  I find it completely amazing that Esau was not only willing to forgive his brother, but to welcome him with open arms.

Oh that we would be that willing to forgive and be reconciled!

Happy reading!

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 35-37
Esau_identity theft

Genesis 30-31: Treachery

Is Jacob treacherous?  Of course I don’t mean treacherous in the narrow mountain trail with no guard-rail kind of way.  I mean, is Jacob full of treachery?

I honestly don’t know how to answer that question.  He certainly knew how to be a schemer, and he certainly understood how to get what he desired.  Although he was not immune to being played, as Laban makes plain with the whole Leah/Rachael thing.  The story of Jacob’s life is the story of the consequences that come from making decisions.  If ever you know someone who has made a shambles of their life through their decisions, then Jacob’s story is the story to tell them.  The 20 years or so that Jacob spends in Laban’s household is a time of refining and growing for Jacob.  It is through this time that God establishes Jacob as a strong family, gives him sons and daughters, gives him wealth, flocks and herds.  More importantly, God uses those 20 years to make Jacob into a man who listens to and obeys God.

We all make unwise decisions in our lives.  Some of them haunt us for many years, and some of them pass quickly and are forgotten.  We would be wise to consider how much difficulty we would possibly avoid if we stopped our own scheming and wait on God’s plans to be accomplished in God’s ways.  The funny thing is, Jacob ends up where God needs him to be, married to the right ones to bear him the sons who would become the nation of Israel.  AND, on top of that, Jacob learns to listen to God’s promptings in his heart, as Jacob describes in Genesis 30:10 and following.

Happy reading!

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 32-34