January 17, 2022: Day 13 – Genesis 48-50 and Psalm 31

We come to the end of the Joseph story with the description of the death of Jacob, also known as Israel.  In 48 he blesses the younger son over the elder son.  This should not have been that strange in this family.  Jacob was younger over Esau, Joseph was younger over his other 11 brothers, and so the trend continues with Joseph, where the youngest is actually the one who is blessed by God.

After that blessing then Jacob calls his sons and "blesses" them.  Did you read those blessings carefully.  Most of them were not super positive.  Some of them seemed more like curses than blessings.  Jacob then dies and he is buried in the cave that had been set apart for him and his family.  Did you see how all of Egypt went out with Joseph to bury his dad.  The people of that place recognized the importance of the event.

Psalm 31 is one that some of the words should sound familiar.  Remember when Jesus was on the cross he said as his last words: Into your hands I commend my spirit, just like what we find in vs.5.  Probably my favorite of these verses is the last one, 24, where we are called to gain strength as we wait for the Lord.  The waiting for the Lord doesn't seem to be our strength at all most days.  We would much rather God work on our time frame and in the way that we ask.  But we are actually made stronger as we wait for the Lord to act. 

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2 Responses to January 17, 2022: Day 13 – Genesis 48-50 and Psalm 31

  1. Debbie says:

    In Galatians 1:10 it says If I were still pleasing people I would not be a servant of God. We have kind friends that walk with Keith weekly and it seems like they are a servant of God pleasing us.

    Why was Saul’s name changed to Paul and why was Jacob’s name changed to Israel?

    Galatians 5:2-6 If you let yourself be circumcised, Christ will be no benefit to you. Verse 6 says Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything: the only thing that counts is faith working through love, but previously we read that it is necessary to be circumcised. We are confused and we are a couple days ahead of schedule.

    • Robert Bronkema says:

      Great questions and comments. The changing of names in Scripture denote a change in relationship with God. Abram becomes Abraham, Sarai becomes Sarah, and as you noted, Jacob, which means usurper or supplanter because that is what Jacob did, he took his brother Esau’s birthright and his blessing. When God names his Israel when he wrestles with him, he goes from usurper to fighter of God, which is what it means in Hebrew. Same with Paul, he went from Saul to Paul because he went from killing Christians on the road to Damascus to being the preeminent evangelist of all time.
      In regards to circumcision Paul tells us in Galatians that circumcision is no longer the mark of the covenant that God has established with us. God has made a covenant with us through Jesus Christ that is of the heart, that is personal, that has to do with us giving our lives entirely over to Jesus as Lord and Savior. That is why he calls it having our hearts circumcised, having our hearts with the mark of Jesus on it. Today in our faith we see baptism as the replacement for circumcision.

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