Our study of the Patriarchs is over, and I ended the study with the same feeling that I always have at astudy's end... I wanted to flip right back to page one and start over. It always reminds me of the disciples with Jesus on the mountain of transfiguration. God had revealed Himself to them so powerfully that they wanted to remain in THAT experience rather than move on to possible new experiences.
I get it! God spoke to me in so many ways throughout this study that I'd really like to just go back to the beginning with Him. Maybe I feel comfortable now in the message that I've heard from Genesis. It makes sense to me that my dislike for change could have transferred into Bible study. Or, there could be a little bit of fear that I missed something. Genesis is packed with character and plot. So, without a doubt, I missed out on portions of it. But, mainly, it's the knowledge that I literally met with God through the pages of this study. I KNOW that I did. So, I don't want to move on.
It was interesting reading through Genesis in order and reading about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob like I was reading a fictional book. Their lives certainly read like fiction although it's all very much REAL! Like I said before, we know of NO dysfunction that rivals that of the patriarchal family. And, that provides for much learning AND much comfort.
My favorite character, though, is Joseph. I've always been so intrigued by his story. Portions of his story are some of the first I heard as a young girl. Joseph was the favorite child of his father (Jacob or Israel), and all of his brothers knew it. Therefore, they hated Joseph and plotted to kill him. At the last minute, they chickened out and sold him into slavery in Egypt instead. While in Egypt, Joseph was exalted in Potipher's house. Potipher's wife had something for Joseph. But, when he turned her down repeatedly, she made up lies about him and he wound up in prison. Joseph gained favor in prison with a number of people and ended up interpreting dreams for Pharoah. His interpretation not only guided Egypt through 7 years of famine, but they caused Pharoah to place Joseph in a pretty high position in Egypt. In the end, Joseph's activity in Egypt proves to be the salvation for his family. Without anything to eat/drink, the brothers (the same ones that despised and betrayed Joseph) came looking for nourishment in Egypt. Because they were Joseph's family, they received much more than just food in Egypt. They were WELL taken care of for the rest of their lives.
And Joseph's words from the last chapter in Genesis sort of sum up the redemptive God that we serve...
"What you have intended for evil, God has used for good..."
Favoritism? Used for good!
Betrayal? Used for good!
Lies? Used for good!
There is no sin so great, no hurt so deep, no situation too dark that God can't use it for His good. Actually, if He has allowed something to happen in the lives of His people, you can bet that He not only CAN but He WILL use it for good. HIS GOOD! The good, the bad, the ugly... It's. All. Good! Oh, I'm so thankful that THIS is the God that I serve.
Now, back to my dilemma! I love the study, I didn't want to finish the study, and I wasn't ready to move on from the study. BUT... I had to. And, since we haven't made up our mind as to what we wanted to do next, we decided to get L3 journals from Pinelake and study on our own for a little while.
First of all, that makes me nervous. There is a reason why I'm always in a study of some type. I need the focus. I depend on blanks that need to be filled in so that I will actually DO the reading. But, I decided I would give it a try. Reluctantly... to say the very least!
So, our last day of study in the Patriarchs was Tuesday. I cried through the reading of the last chapter of Genesis. Jacob was buried just after speaking promises over each of his children. On Wednesday, I picked up the L3 journal to begin reading and GUESS WHAT THE SCRIPTURE WAS?!?!?!
Exodus chapter 1 and 2!
Are you kidding me? He's just placing reminders all around me that He is ACTIVE in my life. I pray that I'm always aware of His hand on my life. In just the first 7 or 8 chapters of Exodus, the Israelites have already had to be reminded several times that their God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now that I know their stories, I understand what that means. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is relentless about keeping His promises... TO the first family of the covenant, TO me and TO you!
I pray that TODAY, you are aware of God's activity in your life and how determined He is to keep His promises concerning you. There is NOTHING anyone can do to you that can change the plans that He has for you. He's THAT good! And, He is FOR you!
You rarely know how things will turn out, but... - [image: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS8uoyk5Jw2XILk-cR6Bf8KqzjZqfjgToMotvqsvK0P4ewgkhwQmA] Denzel Washington starred in the movie ...
11 months ago