Devotion 💙

Scripture of the Week: we’re all teachers of the Word

28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Colossians 1:28

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Bible Study

Genesis XXVIII: the deaths of Jacob and Joseph

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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Jacob blesses his sons

Scripture in focus: Genesis 49

49:1-2 > Jacob calls his sons together to pronounce a blessing upon each one. Israel was about to speak to his sons, and he did not want them to only listen, but to take heed of what he was about to say.

49:3-4 > Being the firstborn, Reuben had claims to the inheritance rights of the firstborn, but he defiled it through pride and immorality by laying with Bilhah, the mother of his brothers Dan and Naphtali (35:22). “Thou shall not excel”: The birthright and the double portion was given to Joseph; Reuben had one. He did not excel in honor, wealth, riches, or in numbers (Deuteronomy 33:6) all because his eyes were set on temporal fleshy pleasures rather than on God. His tribe never did excel and no important person (judge, king, or prophet) came from the tribe of Reuben. 

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49:5-7 > The second-born son Simeon and the third-born Levi are also harshly reprimanded for their evil deeds. They used circumcision (their covenant with God) to cruelly kill and avenge the rape of their sister Dinah. This only brought shame and disgrace to the house of Israel. The tribe of Simeon became the smallest in the second census of Moses (Numbers 26:14), were left out from the blessing of Moses (Deut. 33:8) and shared territory with Judah later on (Joshua 19:1-9). As for the tribe of Levi, they were scattered throughout Israel and because of their loyalty to God and by His grace (Exodus 32:26), they became a priestly tribe and the Lord was their inheritance.

49:8-12 > Judah’s name signifies praise. David and Solomon were of this tribe as well as the Messiah Who is referred to as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” in Revelation 5:5. Jesus is referred to as Shiloh, the name meaning, “He whose right it is”. This tribe prospered greatly and had the largest population in Moses’ census (Numbers 1:27; 26:22). Judah was greatly blessed in material abundance and their land was a wine-growing country (Song of Solomon 1:14). We can see Christ through the everlasting blessings of Judah!

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49:13 > The tribe of Zebulun was situated by the seashore (between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee) and benefited greatly from the trade route, the Via Maris.

49:14-15 > The tribe of Issachar is compared to an ass for its strength and for also their use in farming. They were strong, yes, but they would enjoy the good of the land and not strive for it, hence why they were mostly always put into servitude.

49:16-18 > Dan signifies “to judge” and one such notable judge that came from this tribe was Samson. Dan shall be a serpent by the way: This was certainly a troublesome tribe for they introduced idolatry into Israel (Judges 18:30). In 1 Kings 12:26-30, Jeroboam set up an idolatrous golden calf in Dan and later on, Dan, unfortunately, became a center of idol worship (Amos 8:14). Dan was left out of the listing of tribes regarding the 144,000 in Revelation 7:5-8; however, it is the first tribe listed in the millennial roll call of the tribes in Ezekiel 48. “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.”: The salvation of Samson was a temporary one whereas the salvation of the Messiah is an everlasting one. Jacob was ready to rest in Jesus. 

49:19: The tribe of Dan was a warlike one and this tribe supplied many troops for David (1 Chronicles 12:14).

49:20 > The tribe of Asher (which signifies happy or blessed) occupied great land from Zidon to Carmel of the sea; from the great sea to Asor, and even to Naason. They were fruitful in oil, wine, and wheat.

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49:21 > Naphtali certainly give beautiful or goodly words for their land was in the key portion near the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus did much of his teaching and ministry (Matthew 4:12-16).

49:22-26 > Joseph was a type of Christ. Although he was shot at (The archers have bitterly grieved him), he was still a prosperous and fruitful bough. His strength came not of himself, but from God. Jacob listed 5 wonderful titles for God while pouring out his blessing over Joseph: The Shepherd; the Stone of Israel; the Almighty; the mighty God of Jacob and the God of your father

49:27 > The tribe of Benjamin was a warlike tribe. Examples can be found through Ehud in Judges 3:15-23; Saul (1 Samuel 9:1; 14:47-52) and Paul (Acts 8:1-3) who was a ravenous prosecutor. Mordecai and Esther were also from this tribe.

49:28 > Jacob concludes the blessings of his sons aka the 12 tribes of Israel.

49:29-32 > Jacob’s dying instructions are carried out later in 50:12-14. He was the last of the great patriarchs (of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) although God rose up other great men to use after them. Bible scholars put Jacob’s death at ca. 1858 B.C.

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Joseph dies

Scripture in focus: Genesis 50

50:1-3 > Jacob is embalmed and mourned for 70 days among the nation of Egypt.  Embalming is not a Hebrew custom, but rather an Egyptian one. The Hebrews do not embalm but bury their dead. In this case, it was necessary to embalm Jacob in order for his corpse to be carried and buried in the land of Canaan.

50:4-6 > After the mourning period, Joseph seeks the Pharaoh’s approval to go up to Canaan to bury his father. 

50:7-11 > It was a grand and honorable funeral procession fit for a king. The Egyptians did this because of their love and respect for Joseph. There was a seven-day mourning period for Jacob at the threshing floor of “Atad”. Seven means spiritually complete. Abel-mizraim or “Mourning of Egypt” was so named by the locals perhaps due to seeing so many Egyptians, they thought it was an Egyptian who died.

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50:12-14 > Jacob is buried in the cave of the field of Machpelah by his sons and everyone returns to Egypt. 

50:15 > Seeing that Jacob was now dead and buried, Joseph’s brothers yet again developed another fear through guilt. They thought that Joseph hated them and he pretended to get along with them for the sake of their father and now that Jacob was dead, a new hatred was going to take root. In the following chapters, we’ll see how this is further from the truth.

50:16-18 > Joseph’s brothers concocted a story through fear and their guilty conscience. Their action causes Joseph to weep for they thought lowly of him. He had already forgiven them and put the past behind. In the 18th verse, the brothers decided to go for themselves and humbly fall before Joseph (37:9).

50:19-21 > “Fear not: for am I in the place of God?”: Here, Joseph reminds his brothers that he would not arrogate himself with the power and vengeance that belongs to the Almighty. Given his status in Egypt as a high-ranking official, his word would’ve been good as gold, but Joseph knew that he was not God. Besides, whatever evil man may bring against us, God uses it for good (Romans 8:28).

Joseph comforts his brothers through his word and showed compassion. He loved them, forgave them, and provided for them. He is a beautiful shining example of how we should live with our family, enemies, and neighbors. 

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50:22-24 > Every time I read these closing chapters of Joseph’s life, I tend to get a little teary-eyed. Joseph was basically the first person I admired greatly when I was younger and was first introduced to Bible stories in primary school. Had none of those events occurred in his young life, then the Messiah couldn’t have come forth (see additional notes below). So, Joseph lived to be 110 years old and saw his great grandchildren’s children. In his last days on this earth, Joseph was content and happy. 

50:25-26 > Joseph died as he lived: firmly trusting in God to carry out His promises. It was by faith that he trusted in things not yet seen. According to Hebrews 11:22, Joseph was never buried in Egypt, but he was put in a coffin for 400 or so years until it was taken back to Canaan by Moses (Exodus 13:19) and buried by Joshua at Shechem (Joshua 24:32).

Bible scholars put the death of this remarkable man at ca. 1804 B.C. 

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And this is where the Book of Beginnings ends. 

Up next: A look back…

Additional Notes/Recap

^ Reuben is a great example of how the first can be last (Matthew 19:30).

^ Even when forgiven, the sins of our past can come back to hurt/haunt us for they may carry dreadful consequences that we have to face for a lifetime as we saw with Reuben and Simeon and Levi.

^ Dan shall be a serpent by the way: Because it was the tribe of Dan that introduced idol worship to Israel, some Bible scholars think that “serpent by the way” suggests that the Antichrist comes from this tribe based on Daniel 11:37 and Jeremiah 8:16.

^ Joseph lived a remarkable life because he trusted firmly in God. Had his brothers never sold him, he would’ve never gone to Egypt. Had he not gone to Egypt, he never would’ve been sold to Potiphar. Had he not been sold to Potiphar, he never would’ve been accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife. Had she never falsely accused him, he never would’ve been put in prison where he meets the baker and the butler. Had he never met them, he never interprets their dreams, never gets to interpret the Pharaoh’s dreams, is never made Prime Minister, will never consult and save lives during the severe famine. Had he never gone to Egypt to go through what made him who he was because of God, then his family would’ve surely died from the famine in Canaan. Had this family ceased to exist because of death by famine, then the Messiah can’t come forth and Jesus never came. Now, take a moment and imagine, what if Jesus never came?

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Heavenly Father, we bless and thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins and to give us hope. We also thank You for Joseph and the role he played in allowing the Messiah to come forth through his faithful actions in Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

Reference/Aids

* The Holy Bible 

* bible-studys.org

* blueletterbible.org

* prayer

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Thank You

Biblical Reflection

Watching God’s creation at work 💙

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I’ve been M.I.A. this week, but it’s good to be offline for a period of time for it allowed me to focus on my walk with God and to catch up with many things such as improving talents and walking in nature. This past week at work, a young bird was born with a few complications. I checked on it every time I got, but the little birdie was adamant and independent despite the crippling defects of its little wings. The other birds flew down when they thought no one was looking to feed and nourish it. I’m happy to see that it’s looking healthier and getting along better. Today, it came into the library and I took it out on the greens to get some sunshine and fresh air. 

God’s creation is amazing. When the older birds ministered to the sick one, the sheep and the goats scripture came to mind especially this part:

I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Matthew 25:36

I’ve been working on the ministry that God is currently setting up for me to be a part of and I couldn’t be happier for I love serving Him any which way He calls me to. Everywhere I turn, He is reminding me of the soon-to-be-ministry.

May God bless your weekend as you rest in Him and if it’s possible, try to go outside and take a walk in nature as you commune with Him. 

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Song Sunday 🎶🎷

Spend time in His presence 💙

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

Stop what you’re doing and spend some time with God today. Take some time to sit at His feet and talk to Him, worship and praise Him. Read your Bible and respond in prayer. 

Spend some time with Jesus. You don’t have time not to do this. 

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Just be, here at Your feet
Just be, here on my knees
Here in Your presence I am complete
Jesus, You’re all that I need

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Biblical Reflection

Expressing joy at calamities

 and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.

Proverbs 17:5

The book of Proverbs shows us how foolish we can be if we do not choose to live wisely. It also teaches us how to be humble and how to be Christlike in all manner of ways. 

Matthew 5:44 tells us to love our enemies despite them cursing us, despising us, and spitefully using or persecuting us. However, some of us are so weighed down by the troubles they’ve caused that for a little moment, we forget Who we belong to and rejoice in their pain. We feel satisfied when we hear of their misfortunes instead of lifting them up in prayer. 

Why must we love our enemies? Simple. Just as much as He loves us, Jesus also loves our enemies for He does not want anyone to perish, but to join Him in everlasting life (2 Peter 3:9). So whenever you feel like rejoicing over your enemy because bad things befall them, remember that Jesus died for EVERYONE inclusive of your enemy; you’re not exclusive. 

RELATED: Have you prayed for your enemies lately?

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Français ... et autres langues.

The most fun language I’ve ever come across and cat in 10 or fewer languages.

I am falling in love with languages all over again! I may have to rename this category to Languages or something of the sort.

Cats in 10 languages… or less

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One of the first/early words that we learn to say in French is chat which translates to, yes, you guessed it, cat.

So I decided to learn the word ‘cat’ in a few other languages besides English of course!

French: chat

Italian: gatto (In Polish, it’s also gatto or kot)

Romanian: pisica (so cute!!)

Hindi: billi (I learned this from watching Don)

Spanish: gato (In Greek, it’s gata)

Vietnamese: mèo (The word for cat in Egyptian hieroglyphic was miu or mii).

Japanese: neko

Hawaiian: popoki (💙)

German: Katze (In Dutch, it’s kat) 

Okay, so I went a little overboard. I blame les chats!

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Another fun language!

I haven’t updated this category in almost a year given that I started it in the first place to track my French language progress, but somewhere along the way, I stopped learning. Then a spark was relit last month while I was on vacation. A family friend called on me to help him with some holidaying French tourists for he thought I knew French as I should. Although in the end, the tourists didn’t end up going on the trip, it was an eye-opener for me. Long story short, I rediscovered my love for the language and I’m having lots of fun learning!

And only yesterday, I came across the most fun language in a long time! Can you guess what it is? I’ll give you a hint…

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Yes, that’s right. The Hawaiian language! Although I read that the Hawaiian language is rarely spoken among the locals, I learned so much.

‘Ae e lei – yes, wear a lei (lei also mean garland because… duh!)

‘a’ole mahalo – no thanks

ʻŌlelo – language/speak

e’ai -eat

E ʻōlelo – speak

e hele -go

mahalo – thanks (it can also mean “to admire”)

Some of the words remind me a little of the Greek language but with fewer letters. If you look at some of the words above, you’ll notice the letter ‘e’ in front of a few. There are 2 types of E’s: the imperative (where the E is used to signify a suggestion/command) and the vocative (if the E is used before a noun which is a person most of the time, it indicates that you’re addressing him/her. Ex.:

E hele e Kiana – Go Kiana (this happens to be the Hawaiian form of Diana)

ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language) has been classified as an endangered language by UNESCO, but since more people, today are interested in the language once again, it’s taught in immersion schools and one can obtain a Master’s degree in the Hawaiian language from the University of Hawaii. Beautiful language!

RELATED: Ten Languages

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✈ Travel Tuesday ✈, Trinidad & Tobago 💙

Maracas, Trinidad (part deux): postcardesque!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Two of my favorite snapshots from my Maracas trip! I think they’re very postcardesque! 

Pretty soon, I’ll post about the entire trip so stay tuned! 😀