With everything slowed down, I find myself well ahead in my class preparation for Sunday School. In this time, I’ve felt like I should reread the Old Testament. Pastor Randy tells us to put ourselves in the story, and it’s led to a mix of deep thoughts, questions, and strange observations…and I’m still in Genesis.
To paraphrase Pastor Maury, the Bible isn’t boring if it’s read right.
Cain and Abel
“Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Genesis 4:6-7 NIV
This is how I feel with disobedient people at work. “Do right. We won’t have any problem.” It’s that simple.
Noah and the Flood
Another thing was the flood. Step into the story. Noah and family were sitting in the ark listening to the rain and the boat slowly lifting in the water. It has to be pretty dark and smelly.
As for everyone outside of it, they were watching the water rise, except it wasn’t stopping. Their worry was turning into fear, which was turning into terror.
God and Abraham
Reading Genesis and, in most cases, I can imagine God speaking in person to Abraham. Only a couple of times does it seem to be a voice or a vision.
I wonder what he looked like for Abraham to believe he was God.
God appeared sporadically to Abraham, but now, we have God always in the Holy Spirit.
Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac
I read more about Abraham. He married his half-sister. And I’m wondering what was the conversation like when he was prepared to sacrifice Isaac?
How old was he? What were the emotions involved?
Other nations performed child sacrifice. It was the status quo. Two things in this, culturally and theologically: Yahweh (God) doesn’t require or condone it. (So why tell Abraham to?) Two things, to see if Abraham was willing to give up his promised son and as a type to point to Jesus’ sacrifice.
It’s the same hill that Jesus was crucified on. God stopped Abraham; He did not stop when it came to Jesus.
Marriage in the 2000s…BC that is
“During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother, Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
But she said to her, “Wasn’t it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son’s mandrakes too?”
“Very well,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.”
So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me,” she said. “I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night.
God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.” Genesis 30:13-18
The culture of the time is weird. Leah uses food to buy sex from her husband, not paying him, but his younger wife. Like he’s a product…
Jacob wrestled with God but is still weak (Genesis 34)
Later, Dinah is raped by the ruler of the town’s son. Typically it ends one of two ways: the parents arrange the marriage (usually because she can’t marry anyone since she’s not a virgin) or a bride price is paid, and she doesn’t marry.
Two of her brothers-full blood-just kill all the men in the entire town. It must’ve been a small one for just two of them to do it.
Her dad doesn’t really do anything. I’m more on the brothers’ side with this one (except wiping out the town’s men…just the one, though…they can’t counterattack now…) The family gets more dysfunctional from there. That’s a biblical pattern. King David was just as negligent.
Things of note in reading about Joseph. What was it that caught the Egyptian’s attention about Joseph where he said the gods were with him? Success?
When he interpreted the dream and told the one guy he was going to die, that had to be uncomfortable.
Joseph took no credit in front of the most powerful person in the world at the time, Pharaoh, but gave it to God.
Then there is the fact he’s made a noble and marries into a priestly family. Then has two kids.
What was their religious upbringing like? Mom is a polytheist. Dad is a monotheist. Dad saved Egypt, so they probably deferred to him. Interesting stuff.
An excellent example of the Proverb to lean not on your own understanding.
That’s as far as I’ve gotten. I didn’t include all the passages for the sake of length. Facebook doesn’t like this blog for some reason, so I have to put picture posts on there. Subscribing would be better because of the formatting I can do on the blog, I can’t do on Facebook.
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