cover to cover – week five

Bev at Keep on Believing hosts this rewarding study and renders my heart with her insights each Monday. (And don’t miss the comments which hold a wealth of His love also.)

WEEK FIVE Genesis 42 – Exodus 4:17

There are so many things that linger as we say goodbye this week to Jacob and Joseph and we see Moses and Aaron step up in power over Israel. I am so taken with the bravery of the midwives who out of fear for the Lord, and probably love in their hearts, could not put the Hebrew babies to death. I am moved by Joseph’s powerful forgiveness and understanding that had he not gone through all he had, many would have died from the famine. I loved meeting Moses again for the first time, seeing him as a weak and sinful human that God made mighty. I think it is about the journey more with God than the destination. He’s into character building, love refining and relationship a lot more than the circumstances required to see it to fruition. Here are a few major lessons I gleaned as I read through the readings this week. May you enjoy your own appropriate blessing from God Himself.

An Appropriate Blessing in Due Time. Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them. Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.” Just like his dad, Isaac, Israel’s eyes were failing. Wonder if he thought to see the full circle of life and how God had truly changed this man from deceiver to the father of the tribes of Israel? (49:28) Each son got his own appropriate and unique blessing. I had the pleasure of writing a letter honoring my second daughter this weekend giving her blessing for her accomplishments as she wraps up her senior year at University of Texas. I customized it perfectly to her special talents and joys that she brings. I wouldn’t read the one I wrote her sister last year until after I had written hers so it wouldn’t sound the same, but it would be her special blessing from us. I have three so very different children and each one uniquely makes me overflow with joy and promise for them. I love that God equips each one of His children with unique and special talents and blessing. Just as Jacob gave a fitting blessing, God appropriates a blessing for their particular needs.

Forgiveness and insight make the journey worthwhile. (Gen.50:19-21) But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? Joseph had a sweet heart toward those who had harmed him. He saw how God had used it for good to save so many. I want that kind of insight and forgiveness. To know God is working something far greater than the trivial slight—though this was not that trivial. One other thing about Joseph: he certainly could have grown bitter and depressed all those years without encouragement. I wonder since he had been given the gift of dreams, if God did not come to him in dreams and sustain him through this long and grueling trial. He certainly was refined from a bratty braggy little boy to a man of honor. I could use a work of refinement in my life like that, where my only thoughts would be of love and forgiveness.

Hard work is often part of the deal to make us strong in facing trials. (Ex 1:12)—the more the Israelites were oppressed the more they multiplied. Hard work and oppression only made them stronger. What doesn’t kill us… Then, after Moses left Jethro and went down to Egypt and met Aaron his brother, he told the Israelites all of what God was going to do for them. It got much harder. They had to build the bricks without the straw provided and meet quota. How often Satan turns up the heat right when we are about to break free of the bondage we are in.

Holiness requires reverence. (Exodus 3:5)—”Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Moses was in the presence of our Holy God who cannot have it any other way. We simply must worship in His presence.

The Great I Am. (Exodus 3:14) This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ Our Lord reveals His magnificent name. I AM. God is a very “live in the present tense” kind of God. He is the eternal and the moment all at once. He always was and always will be; therefore, He is. There is so much more to this in God’s Name that we will not fully understand this side of heaven. I find this name so powerful as one would expect, but also a huge revelation of His being a very present God.

The Lord equips Moses to build faith. (Ex 4:3) by changing his staff into a serpent and making Moses pick it up and it changes back to a staff. Moses had to reach toward the snake (required faith) and grab it before it changed. The Lord perfectly equipped Moses but then he starts second guessing himself, relying on his own power. “But I am slow of speech.” Moses only saw his shortcomings, not his God. Oh, how often, I do this. I was so convicted in this. And then Moses finally says what he wanted to say all along: (4:13) “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” How many times do I ask God to use someone else and miss a mighty purpose He has just for me? We have freedom of choice, but we also have a mighty God that wants to do great and powerful things through us, if only we respond, yes, Lord. Use me.

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8 thoughts on “cover to cover – week five

  1. How I enjoy reading your thoughts on our reading this week. What you wrote at the very end spoke to me and Nise’ wrote something along the same lines and I think God is speaking to me through the both of you. LOL!!
    I know God is preparing me to do something I have never done before. He keeps telling me , Don’t fear and I can hear Joyce Meyer say, do it afraid, God will see you through. It hit me, quit looking at my lack and look at God and His power. He will do it through me! Thank you!
    I hope you are having a great week.
    Love,
    Patty

  2. Annie,
    You’ve wrote blessings for each child. Wow!

    The last paragraph is the one that hits me the most too. It would take a lot of faith for me to reach down and pick up a snake. I would certainly be asking for someone else to do it. But I realize that we have to be faithful with what He asks us to do, even in the small things.

    I am enjoying a bit of time tonight visiting and learning from each of you. How I wish we could gather at a round table and discuss it face to face.

    Love & blessings in Christ–

  3. Hearing your voice on the phone tonight talking about the great I AM in your life so shook and settled my heart. It’s what I need this moment. Spent too many moments over a lifetime proving He wasn’t what I needed but I know that I know tonight He is my I AM. You brought that to me tonight and I just love your mother’s heart and your heart of friendship! Thank you my friend!

  4. “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” I can’t imagine how many times I’ve asked God to do this one! But, if I just obey Him He has everything under control. Isn’t He just so amazing? At the time I thought it would have been easier if He’d send someone else, but in the end I am the one grateful that He chose me! I love The Great I Am!

    And… I love you, too!
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful insights!
    Love,
    Angie xoxo

  5. Moses needing to bend down and grab the snake before it would change is so convicting to me as well, as I want to be fully equipped before I go. Beautiful post.

  6. Annie, glad your daughter is home…How you always bless me with your words, guess it’s because your heart shows thru and He speaks thru you. How true about appropriate blessings. The things that happen to us that grow us and change us into His likeness usually become an appropriate blessing. That is true in my life, or so I am seeing as the testing goes on and on…..I am a far better person, especially Christian because of the testing. Just as Joseph was “made” into the great leader with the compassionate heart….ALL because of ALL he went thru before the time was right for him to be the leader to save his family and others…..wow, thank you for opening my eyes and heart… Blessings on your day and week….

  7. I am always blessed by your comments.
    Your last paragraph really spoke to me because I have uttered the same words as Moses…send someone else…in fact I told God who should be picked instead of me and even told that person…lol…the blessing was that my good friend said…yes, I could do this but I am not called to do this…you are! So important to have friends that tell the truth in love and have discernment…I would have missed a huge blessing in my life had I let fear completely capture me…also to witness God work inside this weakling…all to His glory!

    Thanks again!

    Helen

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