Posted in Bible Study

Genesis part XXIII: Pharaoh promotes Joseph

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide

God never forgets us, but yet, we tend to forget all about Him until that minute of need arises and we remember Him. Never start your day without God. The first thing you must do when you first open your eyes on mornings is to thank Him and engage in prayer with Him, for He must be the first Person we communicate with each day.

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Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and is promoted

Scripture in focus: Genesis 41 

41:1-7 > Two years after the chief butler is taken out of prison, the Pharaoh has two disturbing dreams startling him out of sleep both times. The river, he is standing by in the dream is the Nile. The Egyptians’ life revolved around this river and they worshipped it (of course!). Cows (kine) were also worshipped, so it’s no wonder the Pharaoh dreamt of cows. As for ‘corn’, the term is a generic term for any grain and the Egyptians used the cows to trample the ‘ears’ of the grain which would’ve looked something like this barley here:

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The Nile is the longest river in the world and it flows through 11 countries. Without this river, Egyptian civilization wouldn’t have existed due to the arid climate.

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41:8 > The next morning, Pharaoh sends for all the impressive magicians and wise men, but they, too, were astounded and couldn’t interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Oh, the sorcery of those so-called dream experts! They’ve just set the stage for Joseph to enter into Egyptian history.

41:9-13 > The chief butler suddenly remembers Joseph and relates his dream account and experience to Pharoah.

41:14 > The timing of God is perfect. A few years passed, and Joseph must’ve been feeling neglected, for he was an innocent man imprisoned in a strange land. See, during the times that we may feel isolated from God or we’re continuously praying and seeing no results, these are the times God is working in/through us to develop our character, to transforming it into that of the image of Jesus Christ. During the time Joseph was in prison, God was doing just that for him and that’s why when it was time for Joseph to get out of prison, it was done quickly, for it was done in God’s timing (also see Psalm 81:5-7).

When we look back at a younger Joseph, he shared his dreams with his brothers in a self-glorifying way and standing before Pharaoh in the following chapters, we see how humbled he has become, and even wiser. 

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41:15-16 > Now, 30 years of age, Joseph stands before Pharaoh. He is given an opportunity to glorify himself, but he’ll have none of it, instead choosing to glorify God. A sharp contrast to the so-call Christian actors and singers we have lately who, when given the opportunity, shine the light on ‘self’. 

41:17-24 > Pharaoh tells Joseph his dream and we’re given additional details. In 41:4, we see the ill-favored and lean-fleshed cows eat up the fat and healthy cows and in 41:21, we see that despite eating the fat cows, the skinny cows remained the same instead of becoming fat.

41:25-32 > Joseph interprets the dreams telling the Pharaoh that the dreams are one and was repeated twice (in one night) for God was going to bring it to pass (v. 32). He reveals that the dream is a warning of severe famine, after seven years of good harvests.

41:33-36 > Joseph offers advice to the Pharaoh.

41:37-38 > Pharaoh approves the proposed advice and his servants were also in agreement. The Egyptians might not have understood the “Spirit of God” (the first mention of the Holy Spirit coming upon a man in the Bible) fully, but they knew that God had assisted Joseph.

41:39-44 > Joseph is promoted to a position of great authority. He is now the number two man in Egypt; the Vizier (Prime Minister) to the Pharaoh.

41:45 > “And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-paaneah” Various proposals have been given for the meaning of Joseph’s Egyptian name, the top two being “The Salvation of the World” and “God Speaks and He Lives”. Joseph is also given Asenath as wife; she was the daughter of the priest of On.

The Egyptians were sun worshippers and in Joseph’s time, the centre of sun worship in Lower Egypt was the temple of Atum (see notes below about this deity) at On (later called Heliopolis by the Greeks). Two obelisks were originally erected at On by Pharaoh Tuthmosis III (c.1504 – 1450BC); they were called Cleopatra’s Needle and had nothing to do with Cleopatra. Today, those obelisks can be seen in Central Park, New York and on the Embankment in London.

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The Obelisk of On (Heliopolis) via Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

41:46-49 > The seven years of plenty came to pass. It’s important to note, that, like Jesus, Joseph begins the Lord’s work at 30 years old, both on orders from God.

41:50-52 > Sons are born to Joseph, before the first year of the famine. The firstborn, he called Manasseh meaning “One Who Causes Me to Forget” for God made Joseph forget all his previous pain and trial. Ephraim means “Fruitful” for God made him fruitful in Egypt. His sons were given Hebrew names for although Joseph forgot his pain, he did not forget the faith of his fathers.

41:53-56 > The 7 years of the famine begins and it not only affected Egypt, but also in surrounding countries such as Arabia, Syria, Palestine, etc.

41:57 > All the neighboring nations came to Egypt to buy corn.

Fun Fact: Egypt was once known as the breadbasket of the world because of the Nile.

Up next: Joseph’s family comes to Egypt and his dreams of teenage years come to pass.

Additional Notes/Recap

^ The probable kings during Joseph’s period in Egypt – enslavement and rise to power – were said to be Khakheperre Senusret II/Sesostris II (ca. 1897-1878 BC) and Khakheperre Senusret III/Sesostris III (1878-1843 BC) which would’ve been the 12 Dynasty. I’ll love to do further research into this Dynasty! I’ll publish my findings at a later time.

^ Atum or Atem or Tem was also known as the great he-she was a creator god. He was the first and most important god to be worshipped in Iunu (Heliopolis, Lower Egypt) for the ancient Egyptians believed that Atum (the setting sun) rose from the waters of chaos (Nun) and created all the gods. Later, Ra (the rising sun) would become the main god. 

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REFERENCES/AIDS

* The Holy Bible 

* bible-studys.org

* blueletterbible.org

* prayer

*** Images and GIFs via Google Search

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Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion/Thoughts/Trivia

Is it okay to tell a lie?

The lyrics of “Little Lies” by Fleetwood Mac comes to mind as I penned the title down. You know, that song where the singer begs to be told sweet little lies?

Tell me lies
Tell me sweet little lies
(Tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies)
Oh, no, no you can’t disguise
(You can’t disguise, no you can’t disguise)

If love is unrequited, then why would you beg to be told that you’re loved when you’re not? Does being deceived makes you happy? Unfortunately, some of us just roll with it even though we know it’s wrong to hold onto false hopes.

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The Bible on lies:

In the Bible, we clearly see that lying is a sin and yes, very displeasing to God. In the Ten Commandments, we are warned to not bear false witness against our neighbors (Exodus 20:16) for lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 12:22). If you go way back to when sin first entered the world, it was based on a lie told to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:4). Ananias and Sapphira got called out for lying to the Holy Spirit in Acts 5:3.

There are a few instances in the Bible where white lies are told to save lives (see Exodus 1:15-21 & Joshua 2:5), but nowhere in the Bible does God gave His approval of these lies.

Nowhere in the Bible praises lies for saving lives 

God expects His children to follow Him in truth (John 14:6) for He never lies (Titus 1:2) and liars will be among those judged at the end (Revelation 21:8). 

Putting away lies no matter how small they are cause us to have healthy and truthful relationships with our neighbors

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Some lies we hear every day:

* When you’re asked “Do you have any questions?” and you answer no when in fact you may have lots of questions. Don’t feign ignorant knowledge. Even if you have to ask the same question 3 times until you have the right answer or to know that you’re carrying out your work accordingly, do it. 

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When your friend invites you to a little get-together, and you lie about having something at church or at home. Own your truth. If you don’t feel like attending, say so.

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* When Youtubers tell you that they’re putting 1000 donuts in a pool when in reality, it’s like 800. Youtubers think it’s okay to exaggerate numbers, but it’s click bait and not to mention, a lie at the end of the day. If you’re going to put 1000 donuts in the pool, I want to see 1000 donuts.

* When someone gets caught in a lie and they try to justify it by asking you to stop hating and try to reason with their lie in the first place.

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I’ve told white lies over the years to cover my tracks, but in the end, I’ve come to realize that even little white lies are wrong, no matter how sweet they may taste.

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Remember, the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). We worship God in truth so it’s obvious that honestly is the best policy regardless of the situation.

***Dobre brothers GIFs via Google Search

Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion/Thoughts/Trivia

Beautiful men in the Bible: answers

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Last Sabbath, the first Bible activity was launched and the topic was quite a handsome one if I must say so myself. I’m not one to pay attention to physical beauty while reading the Bible, but this time around, it happened to be of interest as I read, study, learn and rediscover God’s Word.

Before I list the answers, I just want to thank YOU for reading and participating by leaving comments. 💙

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Answers

We all know Sarah was beautiful (Genesis 12:11) and we’ve come across many other beautiful women in the Bible, but I’ve never really paid attention to how certain men are described in the Bible. So it started with Joseph’s handsome appearance (Genesis 39:6) and then I left off wondering how many other men’s beauty was referenced in the Bible. Are you still curious as I was? Here are the other males I came across:

Saul: Israel’s first King was tall and attractive (1 Samuel 9:2).

David: He had beautiful eyes, red hair (ruddy) and was very attractive (1 Samuel 16:12). I also noted his beauty was mentioned in 1 Samuel 16:18 (in this verse, we also see that he was a skillful musician, a mighty warrior and a wise man where it concerned speech and godly) and also in 1 Samuel 17:42. David was said to be effeminate in appearance by some Bible scholars. Even if he was, this doesn’t mean that he wore make-up and women’s clothing. He was just pretty, but all manly.

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Absalom: Obviously, someone had to inherit the father’s awfully pretty looks, but this one surpassed David for his beauty was flawless (2 Samuel 14:25). His beauty made him quite popular and he was also praised because of it.

Adonijah: He was quite handsome and born after Absalom (1 Kings 1:6).

The Assyrians were gorgeous men (Ezekiel 23:12) so were the Babylonians, the Chaldeans, and the Aramean tribes of Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa (Ezekiel 23:23).

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah‘s good looks were mentioned indirectly in Daniel 1:4. To work in the Babylonian King’s court the men had to be intelligent, knew their manners and of course, have good looks.

Moses‘ good looks are mentioned in Acts 7:20.

King of Tyre/Satan: Ezekiel 28:12-17

Solomon: Of course! Mentions of his beauty are peppered across SOS (Song of Solomon) especially in 5:10-16. SOS can be read as an allegory of Christ’s love for the church and also as a romantic love story and I intend to study it as both when that bridge is reached.

I did not include our Savior for He had no beauty that mankind may desire Him while He walked the earth (Isaiah 53:2), yet He is fairer than mankind (Psalm 45:2) for He is the eternal King. His beauty is so great that it cannot be compared with the mortal man. 

If I missed any, do let me know in the comment section down below. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

***GIFs via Google Search

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Posted in Blogging 101, Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesday: category is…

Something exciting this way comes! Er, well, hoping for the best.

Little Life Update

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Good afternoon, good evening, good night, or morning. Firstly, I apologize for being M.I.A. for the past few days on your blogs, but I’ve been unwell and needed the rest. I’ll try my best to rectify those visits soon. Also, I’m in the process of shopping for a new laptop for the current one is slowly, but surely shutting down and I’m just milking it until its final goodbye. At the moment, I’m unable to access all the blogs I read and I can’t reply back to emails so please bear with me. This post might even take the entire day! 😅😫

The posts that popped up over the weekend were scheduled {on my work computer} and I’m yet to reply to your comments, but I appreciate and thank you for stopping by to read, browse and/or comment. 

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Category is…

Now, to blog business.

Last month I talked about the changes to come on the blog, but I’ve been slow in fulfilling them due to limited time although I have some ideas and half-finished posts in drafts. I’m still deciding which ones to start on…

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Allow me to walk you through a few categories/topics I’m pondering on.

A to Z Challenge

These can be fun depending on the topic and I intend to complete at least 2 this year with a focus on nature specifically animals.

Adventures in the kitchen

Heh! I’m not friends with the kitchen, but we’re trying to be besties. 😁I look forward to chronicling my cooking and baking adventures {if I get to it} so stay tuned for this one!

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Bible thoughts

I know I’m still trying to complete the study of Genesis, but I’ll like to add something to our Bible studies like a monthly study question, a thought, a reflection or an activity. 

Blast from the Past

In which we revisit a few childhood shows/movies to see if we still feel the same way about them. To be honest, this is something I’ve been meaning to get done since 2017, but the time was never right so the project never took off. I made notes on the few selected shows so it’s only to fetch them from drafts. If it doesn’t take off this year, then I know it’s not meant to be.

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Cultural Behavior/Differences 

I love learning/reading/discovering what is considered the norm in different societies! I’m not too sure if this one is a green light as yet, but I’ll like to share what I’ve learned.

Fairy Tale Friday

This project has been on my mind for a few years now. It all started when I helped a student with a fairy tale thesis and I’ve been meaning to explore the world of fairy tales ever since. Not too sure about this one at the moment, but I’ll love to get to it one day.

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Follow Friday

I came across the thankful blog series I started last year and realized that I never completed it so I’ll like to restart the engine on this one.

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Testimony Thursday

I want to start sharing thankful and blessed accounts of the Lord’s goodness from across the web. I may also want to look at different testimonies besides our personal one.

Trailer Reaction (skip it or watch it?)

This one speaks for itself and I look forward to rating trailers. 

What UP Wednesday!!

Twice a month (or so), we meet in the middle of the week to interact. We’ll discuss non-personal items such as a favorite treat or what we’re currently reading.

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Did any of these new categories spark an interest? Let me know in the comment section below! Thank you for reading, and yes, this post took up almost the entire day. 😩

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***Pooh GIFs via Google Search

Posted in Devotional Nuggets

Devotional Nugget #3: The Sinning Christian

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.

1 John 5:18

When we become a child of God, we’re expected to put away the old person for we’re altogether a new creation (Ephesians 4:22-24). Our thoughts should no longer be ours. Our old ways should no longer linger. Our hearts should no longer be deceitful. If we really and truly believe and belong to God, then why do we keep sinning? Some of us wilfully sin, but call it a “mistake”, a “flaw”, an “imperfection”! We can dress it up beautifully and call it whatever we want, but a sin is a sin.

We live in a world where temptation is always on the rise. We foolishly think that we have everything under control without relying on God only to be dragged back to our youthful lusts which God tells us to flee (2 Timothy 2:22). We all sin (Romans 3:23), but when we come to Christ by faith, He cleanses us of our sin thus we’re born again (John 3:3). God doesn’t make us righteous, He declares us righteous (Romans 5:1) for we’re still in the flesh and there’s always going to be a constant battle between the flesh and the spirit. You’re going to lose some, you’re going to win some, but if we’re fully surrendered to the control of the Holy Spirit, we’re going to win those battles constantly (Galatians 5:16-17). 

Jesus showed us the way out. When He was tempted, He “offered up prayers and supplications with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death” (Hebrews 5:7). We have to continually submit to God allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us for the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32) and He works in us to transform us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

As long as you’re fighting and resisting the lust, you’re not sinning. It’s going to be a continuous battle for the Spirit of God and the flesh are at war.

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Today’s Reflection

In Matthew 5:48, Jesus wants us to strive for perfection as it is God’s standard for us. However, Jesus knew that in reality, we would fail that standard for we’re still in the flesh hence the reason why He died for our sins (Romans 5:8).

Posted in Devotional Nuggets

Devotional Nugget #2: Have you prayed for your enemies lately?💙

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matthew 5:44

When I was a teenager, I used to say that I have no enemies, not knowing that they came in the form of a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, or even a family member. And that one enemy can use your very own friends and family to turn against you. The world is also an enemy. 

Praying for our enemies is a form of love. When we pray for those who spite us, we follow the Saviour’s example as He hung on the cross. He could’ve asked the Father to persecute His enemies as they did Him, but instead, He chose to ask the Father to forgive them (Luke 23:24). Even when Stephen was being stoned to death, he followed in the footsteps of Jesus and expressed love for his enemies by asking God to forgive them (Acts 7:60). 

RELATED POST|Forgive and forget?

I know it can be hard to pray and sometimes to forgive our enemies, but think about this: do you want to end up just like them? When we act spiteful, we allow hatred to fill our thoughts which in turn quench the Holy Spirit in our hearts and feelings gets in the way, and you may be tempted to spite, act out or even kill your enemy. But when we pray for our enemies, it eradicates anger and in some casts fear for perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). 

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Today’s Reflection

Before you pray for your enemies, release all negative thoughts including revenge and hateful emotions. Seek wisdom to pray and to love your enemies as Jesus did. 

Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion/Thoughts/Trivia

The Angel of the LORD: additional notes

I’ve been looking back at some of our Genesis studies and I know I’ve talked about the appearance of the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, but I just wanted to add this:

Throughout the OT, we see the Angel of the Lord was God appearing in human form, but why doesn’t this Angel appear in the New Testament? That’s because Jesus (God) became human. His true identity was eventually revealed to a few disciples when he was transfigured before them in Matthew 17:1-13

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The OT sets the stage for Christ’s life on earth {in the NT} when people such as Jacob and Joseph were typified as a type of Christ and when Christ Himself appeared before men as the Angel of the Lord. How great is that! While we’re out here trying to become our own god, ONLY ONE GOD became man for He loved humanity so much and was willing to die for our sins and to make them white as snow.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hopethrough the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 

and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,

1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)

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Posted in Devotional Nuggets

Devotional Nugget #1: He restoreth my soul 🦋

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

Psalm 19:7

Many things can be restored (an old car, money, destroyed photographs, broken bones, etc.) except time. However, did you know that God can restore your lost years?

In 2 Chronicles 6:12-42, during the Dedication of the new temple, King Solomon prayed to God asking Him to forgive the people of Israel and to restore them when they sin. God answers Solomon’s moving prayer in the following chapter offering a four-step process for His people when they sin:

 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

God’s guide to spiritual restoration is simple: We must first humble ourselves before Him recognizing that we’re NOTHING compared to His Sovereignty. We must then pray for His will in our lives for He has a special purpose for each of us when it comes to completing His work. Thirdly, we seek His face by walking and communing with Him continually. In the final step, God wants us to renew our mind by turning away from wickedness and putting our focus entirely on Him.

Let the restoring and healing begin!

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Today’s Reflection

Father, we thank You for loving us despite our flaws and we thank You for blessing us with Your sweet mercies even when we don’t deserve it. We pray that You restore our souls as we redirect our focus on growing closer to You.