Putting God's Word into Practice…

Genesis 37-41

Chapter 37

  • Jacob’s family made lots of grave mistakes–1) Joseph was a tattle-tale 2) Jacob played favorites and 3) Joseph’s 11 brothers hated him and were jealous of him.
  • Although they wanted to kill Joseph, God had a plan for Joseph’s life and no matter what his brother’s did, they couldn’t kill God’s plan.
  • God was at work–getting Joseph to Egypt where He would use him to save the world!  And preserve the family line of the Messiah.

Chapter 38

  • Judah and Tamar–nuff said!  Weird story, weird placement.
  • Matthew 1:3 says that out of this bizarre story Jesus would someday be born.

Chapter 39

  • The Lord was with Joseph.  What/Who else did he need?
  • Favor, success and blessing come from the presence of the Lord, not our location.  Joseph experienced all three while “in the pit!)  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, the heart is free (1 Corinthians 3:17).

Chapter 40

  • Joseph is forgotten in the pit for two whole years. Even after interpreting dreams correctly and asking for favor.
  • It just wasn’t God’s timing yet!

Chapter 41

  • Joseph must have continued to grow in His relationship with the Lord because he came out of prison more committed to giving God credit and glory.
  • Doubling of dream means the thing is fixed by God (vs. 32)  Consistent to the Jewish tradition of having two witnesses.
  • The Spirit of God indwelling Joseph is recognizable to outsiders.
  • God is the only one who makes us discerning and wise.
  • Joseph was only 30 when he was put second in command of Egypt.
  • The dream was fulfilled and “all the earth” came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain.


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Genesis 32-36

Genesis 32

  • Jacob is about to come face to face with Esau…He is afraid and distressed.
  • Jacob prays to the God of his father and grandfather.  He prays with humility, appealing to the character of a faithful and steadfastly loving God.  He asks for deliverance.  Recognizes that he is unable to deliver himself.
  • In the plan Jacob devises, he is left alone for the night.  But he isn’t alone, because the Lord shows up!
  • They wrestle and Jacob finally finds the favor and blessing that he has longed for.  He thought by stealing those things from his brother Esau, that it would be enough, but it wasn’t.  He needed it from a heavenly Father, not his earthly one.

Genesis 33

  • Jacob recognized that his children were a gift from the Lord.
  • Jacob recognized that all the blessings in his life were from the grace of the Lord. (John 1:16 From his fullness we have all received one blessing after another.)
  • By the end of the chapter, Jacob’s name has become Israel.  And he recognizes God as more than the God of Abraham and Isaac…but the God of Israel.  Jacob had personally encountered the Living God and was changed because of it.

Genesis 34

  • Local boy takes advantage of Israel’s daughter, Dinah, and it doesn’t go over very well with her brothers.
  • The locals try to convince the Israelites to settle and mingle–girls and gods
  • Simeon and Levi take revenge–every male killed in the town.  Everything else plundered.

Genesis 35

  • God protects Jacob’s family in spite of his sons.
  • God blesses and continues his covenant with Jacob in spite of his son’s murderous revenge.
  • “I am God Almighty.”  What a wonderful name!  I’m so thankful that God reveals His character to humankind.  And I’m so grateful that there is no one mightier than Him!
  • Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin.
  • Rueben sleeps with his dad’s concubine…Bilhah…not sure how that fits in the storyline…

Genesis 36

  • Esau’s descendants listed.
  • Edom had kings long before any king reigned over the Israelites.
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Psalm 119:15-16

I will meditate on Your precepts

and fix my eyes on Your ways.

I will delight in Your statutes;

I will not forget Your word.

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Romans 12:1-2 (With 11:33-36)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters,

  • “Therefore,” is a sign to look at preceding verses.
  • 11:33-36  Oh the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable His ways!  For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?  Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?  For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever. Amen!

by the mercies of God,

  • compassion, benevolence, favor, kindness


to present your bodies t as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (rational service).

  • It only makes sense!  If my body is from Him and to Him…I must offer it for Him.
  • If His riches, wisdom and knowledge are inexhaustible, then I can trust Him to do with my life what is useful and best.
  • I can willingly lay down my life because my life is really His anyway.
  • Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee!  Here am I! All of me! Take my life! It’s all for Thee!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.

  • Transformed=made into something new one step at a time
  • Mind is where change starts
  • I am either being conformed or transformed at any moment by what is in my mind.
  • My mind determines my choices and actions.

That by testing

  • Am I being transformed or conformed?
  • Does this have the power to make me more like the Lord or more like the world?

you may discern what is the will of God what is good and acceptable and perfect.

  • Only by seeking His wisdom and ways can I know what is holy and acceptable in His sight.
  • Praise the Lord!  His will can be known!
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Psalm 37:1-9

Fret and envy of people who don’t know the Lord are signs of misplaced affections; of love of the world and things in the world. If we see the soul–fading and withering–of the evildoers/wrongdoers, it should move us to contentment and gratitude for our eternal salvation…our inheritance that doesn’t wither or fade.  And it should move us to active bold compassionate pleas for their salvation. (37:1-2)

Trusting in the Lord conforms us to Him in good acts and faithfulness.  It takes our eyes off others and sets them firmly on Him.  When our eyes are on Him, when our heart is on Him, when our hope is in Him, there will be no room for fretting or envy. (37:3)

Befriend faithfulness!  What a beautiful picture!  Make faithfulness of the Lord my friend.  Intimately know and spend time with His faithfulness.  One translation says, “Feed on His faithfulness.”  When we are intimately in tune with God’s faithfulness, we can’t help but to trust Him. (37:3)

The Lord is generous and consistent.  He sees and knows the true desire of our hearts.  He will give! When we delight in Him, we desire more of Him…He will give us more of Himself!  What does it look like to delight in Him? Find contentment and satisfaction in Him. Find joy and pleasure in Him. (37:4)

I don’t need to control, I just need to commit. Let the Lord take action.  It is impossible to commit without a prayer of surrender; it is impossible to trust and hold on tight to something.  So pray and trust…trust in His faithfulness, His justice, His power, His ability. (37:5-6)

Don’t take matters into my own hands.  It ruins everything.  Don’t stop waiting. His timing is always best.  Be still–rest in His presence. When I get away from His presence, I will be out from under His protection and strength; I will always find fretting. God doesn’t want His children to treat and fear; but to rest and trust. (37:7)

Anger, worry and wrath are evil.  Anger, worry and wrath are the result of not trusting the Lord; not recognizing His faithfulness; not delighting in Him; not praying; not waiting on Him. I see this over and over in my life.  Why do I still trust myself instead of trusting Him? He has a far greater track record! (37:8)

Those who wait for the Lord (37:9) and Meek people inherit the land (37:11, Matthew 5:5)  Dictionary.com defines meek as humbly patient, overly submissive and compliant.  Oh the correlation!  This promise is for those who humbly and submissively wait for the Lord. Verse 11 says that not only will they inherit the land, but they will dwell in abundant peace.  Ahhhhh!!!  Oh how my heart yearns for a dwelling of abundant peace! (37:9)

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Jeremiah 17:5-10

17:5-6 Shrub in the Desert (Cursed)

  • No deep roots
  • In a dry, desolate place
  • Doesn’t see any good come
    • Incapable of enjoying life
    • Doesn’t recognize good
  • Living in loneliness.
  • Why?
    • Heart turned away from the Lord.
    • Trust in own strength and strength of man

17:7-8 Tree Planted by Water (Blessed)

  • Deep, watered roots
  • Not fearful or anxious
  • Green and fruitful (life-giving and alive)
  • Doesn’t escape hard times (“When” the heat and drought come.)
  • Why?
    • Trusts in the Lord

17:9-10-Heart Determines if We are a Tree or a Shrub

  • Heart is deceitful and sick
  • Can’t always recognize in whom or what our heart is really trusting
  • The Lord alone truly knows my heart and mind
  • Lord is a just rewarder
  • Gives to everyone according to the fruit of their deeds
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Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

  • He is able to control all things.
  • He deserves to be in control
  • He is trustworthy.
  • My heart cannot be divided.

Lean not on your own understanding

  • My understanding is limited and short-sighted.
  • Every time I lean on my own understanding it can only hold me up for so long…then PLOP!  Down I go!

In all your ways acknowledge Him

  • All my ways!  From the smallest detail to the largest decision.
  • Recognize His rule and authority.
  • Recognize His goodness, faithfulness and steadfast love.
  • Seek Him first!

And He will make straight Your paths.

  • He WILL!!
  • Confident and assured that He will show me the right way.
  • He always keeps every promise forever.
  • The shortest distance between two points is a straight line!!  Going His path from the start is the fastest and best!
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Proverbs 3:1-12

“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you: bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Vs 3)

I’ve always thought this was about me showing steadfast love and faithfulness. But I think it’s about HIS steadfast love and faithfulness.  I need to bind the truth of His character around me…write it on my heart…never forget it…Oh how that changes how I view Him and my circumstances.  Living out that knowledge would make me like Him in those areas…walking out mercy, grace and favor.  I can trust Him fully!  I don’t need my own understanding; my own ways!  I need to fear and follow Him.  That is where refreshment is found.  Honor Him–give Him my first and my best!

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Genesis 28-31

Chapter 28

  • Generational protective parenting repeat…Isaac sends Jacob to the land of his family to find a wife so as not to marry any Canaanite women.
  • Esau tries to earn his parent’s favor.  Jacob has it by obedience.
  • God showed up and spoke with Jacob.
  • God made an unconditional promise to Jacob.
  • Jacob made a conditional promise to God.

Chapter 29

  • Jacob is an emotional dude!  He saw Rachel–kissed her and wept aloud.   Maybe surprised by how quickly God has rewarded his seeking.
  • Leah tries to use sons to earn her husband’s love…after the forth one she praises the Lord.  Maybe her focus has shifted to His favor and love instead of Jacob’s for the time being.

Chapter 30

  • Rachel envied Leah–even though she had Jacob’s love.  She didn’t have his children.
  • Like generations before her, she gives her servant to be her husband’s wife.  Leah’s jealousy is aroused and she follows suite.
  • The Lord’s blessing was on Jacob, but Laban benefited from it.

Chapter 31

  • God promises to be with Jacob. Jacob remembers that it is the Lord who is His protector.
  • The Lord sees affliction.  He repays.  He keeps His promises.
  • Jacob made decision to flee based on fear.
  • Jacob calls the Lord, the Fear of Isaac.  Isaac must have been known for His fear of the Lord.  May I be known for the same!
  • Jacob ended up with two wives, two concubines, and a large flock after working for Rachel and Leah’s dad for 20 years.  He also gained 11 sons and a daughter.
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Genesis 24-27

Chapter 24

  • Abraham wanted to do everything he could to keep his only son from getting mixed up with a bad woman, and yet Isaac ended up being married to a women whose favoritism led her to deceive and manipulate and change the course of her sons’ lives.
  • We see the phrase several times here: “steadfast love and faithfulness.”  This phrase may be on of the most common phrases in the Bible.  These virtues are perfect summarizations of the character of God, and the character He wants to develop in each of His children.
  • When God answers our prayers, are we quick to town down and worship the Lord? To bless Him for His faithful leading and provision?

Chapter 25

  • The Lord heard Jacob’s prayer for offspring.  He opened Rebekah’s womb and gave her twins…but with not a super great prophecy of their future.  Due to the twins’ dramatic differences, favoritism is born in the hearts of Isaac and Rebekah.
  • Esau despised his birthright and sold it for bread and lentil stew.

Chapter 26

  • We see here almost an identical theme in Isaac’s life as in his fathers. There was a famine. The Lord promised to care for him and his descendants.  Isaac settled in Gerar and lied about his wife being his sister to King Abimelech out of fear.  And in spite of his faithlessness, the Lord blessed Isaac with even more wealth and possessions.
  • Esau took Hittite wives that made life bitter for his parents.  Lord, please let my sons take godly, joy-filled, life-giving, gracious, good, kind wives!!

Chapter 27

  • “Delicious food, such as I love.”  This theme is repeated throughout the chapter.  Isaac’s love for delicious food was the downfall of his legacy.  DON’T LOVE DELICIOUS FOOD!  Those cravings will come back to bite ya!
  • You can’t always trust a mother who says, “Obey my voice.”  You don’t have to obey if the one in authority is leading you into sin.
  • Jacob says, “The Lord YOUR God,” to his father.  He doesn’t know God personally…yet!
  • Wanting a blessing from one’s father is natural desire.  To not hear one can cause exceeding sorrow and bitterness.
  • Rebekah lies to Isaac again to get him to send Jacob back to Laban because she fears for his life, and doesn’t want it to end at the hands of his brother, Esau.

God is working out his faithful, loving plan in spite of sinful man.  He can make a straight line with a crooked stick!

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