Category Archives: Genesis

Genesis 42:29-45:15

There are two arenas I am challenged in today – discrimination and boundaries.

Joseph was served at his private table, the brothers off by themselves and the Egyptians off by themselves (Egyptians won’t eat at the same table with Hebrews; it’s repulsive to them). The brothers were seated facing Joseph, arranged in order of their age, from the oldest to the youngest. They looked at one another wide-eyed, wondering what would happen next. When the brothers’ plates were served from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s plate came piled high, far more so than his brothers. And so the brothers feasted with Joseph, drinking freely. – Genesis 43:32-34 MSG

I noticed how much prejudice there was in the seating arrangements. When it comes to discrimination, I do not believe I am even aware that I could very well be the one judging from the inside and then finding myself, on the outside, acting them out. I asked God to check my heart to see if I had ever thought I was better than others and how did I act. I am sad to say that God brought back memories of times where I did act like I was better than others and how I held them in contempt in my heart and how I portrayed that in my actions. I had to ask God for forgiveness for my arrogance. There is something about pride that enslaves – a poisonous root. I know that this type of partiality and discrimination are incompatible with being a follower of Jesus.

That leads me to my second thought about setting boundaries. While I accept God’s forgiveness, I think about what that might really look like when I am with others who have harmed me. While I have heard many sermons on what forgiveness looks like, I think I really like Joseph’s approach here. He used a test to see if his brothers were in a better place than when he was with them. How they performed in the test would determine his next course of action. I believe that today we might use the term – boundaries – when determining our trust factor.

As his father Jacob honoured him and that caused resentment among his brothers, Joseph mimicked that by honouring Benjamin as his distinguished guest. He wanted to honour Benjamin, but he was also testing his brothers’ feelings. Would they hate Benjamin as they had hated him? They passed the test.

Sometimes in the hurry towards forgiveness, which I am a fan of, I still think that boundaries are a healthy place for us to create. I never thought of testing relationships to see if they have grown or changed but it sounds like a good place to also start getting rid of some of my prejudices that I have created along the way.

Father, I am challenged today and ask that You walk with me and show me how to be more like You. I ask for Your wisdom as I navigate these two areas of my life.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)


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Genesis 24:28-26:35

I have many friends who arrive in Canada from other cultures where arranged marriages are the norm. I pepper them with questions and ask them to help me relate to stories like Isaac and Rebekah.

The servant said, “I’m the servant of Abraham. God has blessed my master—he’s a great man; God has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, servants and maidservants, camels and donkeys. And then to top it off, Sarah, my master’s wife, gave him a son in her old age and he has passed everything on to his son. My master made me promise, ‘Don’t get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live. No, go to my father’s home, back to my family, and get a wife for my son there.’ I said to my master, ‘But what if the woman won’t come with me?’ He said, ‘God before whom I’ve walked faithfully will send his angel with you and he’ll make things work out so that you’ll bring back a wife for my son from my family, from the house of my father. Then you’ll be free from the oath. If you go to my family and they won’t give her to you, you will also be free from the oath.’ – Genesis 24:34-41 MSG

This was my lesson from this passage as I applied this very prayer when I asked God to help me discover the woman He had planned for me to marry. Prayer mattered to me more than anything else – it closed and shut doors and guided the decision making process so that the emotion of love did not usurp the call. There was a sense of fidelity in honouring God and in trusting Him to help me make an important, life-time decision. I depended completely on the honour that God would give me because of my decision to walk with Him.

After the servant told Isaac the whole story of the trip, Isaac took Rebekah into the tent of his mother Sarah. He married Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her. So Isaac found comfort after his mother’s death. – Genesis 24:67 MSG

As this story closes with my thoughts of happiness for the future, I am struck with the honourable reaction of Isaac’s affection. I find that my relationship with God mirrors itself in my relationship with my wife. When God and I are good, so is my intimacy with my wife. There is another lesson here as well. Because I know that God sent a woman into my life to be my wife, I honour her and receive her as such and could not think of her in any other way – a blessing.

Father, thank you for modelling honour through the loving relationship of the Trinity. I know you want me to do the same with my family. Give me wisdom to love so that my wife will see You in me.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Genesis 18:9-21:21

The word chosen catches my eye, and I’m hooked. “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” (Genesis 18:19, NIV)

After delivering the news that Sarah will birth a child the next year, the Lord is on the way to Sodom and Gomorrah to examine the situation for himself. There’s a conversation between Abraham and the Lord, about sparing the city if there are at least ten people who are righteous. It turns out, there are not. Lot, his wife, and his two daughters are told to flee. In this, I read protection, and it is life. Protected from the angry mob that is struck blind. Protection from the impending destruction.

When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (Genesis 19:16-17, NIV)

I’m currently reading a book written by a Hungarian Holocaust survivor (The Choice by Edith Eva Eger). There is a haunting mention early in the book where her parents had been given warning to flee, and papers to help with safe passage, and they didn’t act upon it. I think of them in this moment of Lot’s hesitation.

There are other moments of protection and provision in this reading: of Sarah being spared from Abimelek’s attentions, of Hagar’s provision when she is sent away.

When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.

17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. (Genesis 21:15b-19, NIV)

In these Bible stories, I read of God’s very real presence, and it comforts me.

Lord, thank you for reminding me.

Courtney (66books365)


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Genesis 11:10-14:13

The Lord had said to Abram, leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.” Genesis 12:1-4 NLT

Abram didn’t hesitate to obey the Lord. He left what was familiar to step into a new land that God hadn’t revealed to him yet. He had to go in faith and trust.

Unlike Abram, I can come up with a lot of excuses to stay where I am comfortable. I’m too young, I’m too old (Abram was 75!). I’m not qualified enough…the list could go on. I ask myself, ”Did I hear God right?” This is why I need to write it down in my journal and stay in His word. So when the doubt comes, I can recall His promises.

Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants. “And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev. At that time a severe famine struck the land of Canine, forcing Abram to go down to Egypt, where he lived as a foreigner.” Genesis 12:7-10 NLT

What altars do I have built so that when I am in a season of waiting, I can look back and remember God’s faithfulness?

Dear Father, Forgive me for my forgetfulness. Thank you for your patience and grace. Help me to step into the new, even if I can’t see it all yet. I reflect on Your goodness. You go before me. I want to trust you more. And live the abundant life that you have for me. Amen.


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Genesis 1-3

What an expression of God’s honour as Creator when I read how He created the world and everything in it and made Adam and Eve in His own image.

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them
    reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
    the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
    and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
God created human beings;
    he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
    He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
    “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
    for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.” – Genesis 1:26-28 MSG

I am amazed that God decided to honour us by giving us the responsibility of taking care of His creation.

Since sin had not yet appeared, Adam and Eve did not experience shame – towards God, themselves or any part of creation, although they were naked.

  The Man said,
“Finally! Bone of my bone,
    flesh of my flesh!
Name her Woman
    for she was made from Man.”
    Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh.
    The two of them, the Man and his Wife, were naked, but they felt no shame. – Genesis 2:25 MSG

I am not too sure that Adam and Eve so easily disdained their God-given honour to disobey Him – but they did. This not only put in place the affects of death, this action resulted in shame – both physical and spiritual.

It has become apparent that God dealt with their inward shame by killing an animal which created the precedent that sin is covered by the shedding of blood.

God made leather clothing for Adam and his wife and dressed them. – Genesis 3:21 MSG

God dealt with their outward shame by providing garments from these animals’ skins to cover their nakedness. It is here where the foundation of my sin lies and here where I feel guilt and shame for doing so.

I am wired to understand that Jesus died to take care of my guilt problem, but I need to know and share with others that He also died to take care of my shame problem.

Father, thank you for sending Jesus to take care of not only the harm I have done, but the harm that has been done to me. Harm that has caused guilt and/or shame in my life. Help me share this message with others who are still struggling to give You all of this so that You may be honoured in their lives once again. This is the miracle of Your love and I thank you for it. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)


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