January 15-21

This is not meant to be a beating, but rather a tool to give you some help in reading and understanding God’s word.  If you miss a day, and can “catch up: by doubling up, then sweet.  If you can’t read on certain days, adjust the schedule to fit your life.  I think you will find the schedule pretty easy to maintain if you keep just a bit of discipline.

With that said…………….

This week’s reading:
January 15: Genesis 43 – 45
January 16: Genesis 46 – 48   
January 17: Genesis 49 – 50    
January 18: Matthew 1 – 4
January 19: Matthew 5 – 8
January 20: Matthew 9 – 12
January 21:  Matthew 13 – 15
January 22: Matthew 16 – 19

Last Week’s Summary:
January 8
: Genesis 22 – 24
Genesis 22 has God “testing” Abraham by offering Isaac as a sacrifice.  The covenant promise of God is repeated to Abraham. (Note: Isaac was in no danger ever—Hebrews 11:19 & Genesis 22:8.  Also of importance; this is the last time Abraham hears from God)
Genesis 23 recounts the death and burial of Sarah; and highlights the haggling of a society based on honor (something that is still true in the Middle East today. 
Genesis 24 shows the providence (faithful governing) of God in choosing a bride for Isaac. (Note: Already you are having the fulfilment of judgment from Genesis 9, as the people of Canaan are being kept separate from God’s chosen nation.  Also note Abraham’s unwillingness to let Isaac leave the land; a man who travelled as he wished is fully faithful to God and waiting for the possession of the land by his descendants.)

January 9: Genesis 25 – 27
Genesis 25 wraps up the life of Abraham and updates on the descendants of Ishmael.  It also shows the promise continuing in Isaac as he has descendants of his own.  It also shows the choice of Jacob, by God, before he and Esau were born.  (Note: This is a sticky issue for many people: remember; every human since chapter 3 deserves death.  God did not have to save Noah, or Abraham; He chooses to.  He chose the son of Abraham, Isaac; as opposed to the son of Abraham, Ishmael.  That choice continues in the selection of Abraham’s grandson Jacob over Abraham’s grandson Esau.)
Genesis 26 has Isaac following in his father’s footsteps in deception, but it also has God using persecution to move Isaac where He wants him.  You also have the continued faithfulness and blessing of God in spite of the sin of His people. 
Genesis 27 begins the focus on Jacob and his sin.  Note this outcome was always going to happen (God chose Jacob in Gen. 25), so Jacob’s sin is even worse.  Again we see the faithfulness of God to people who do not deserve it. (Note: God does not approve of the deception of Jacob, but had already chosen Jacob.  His sin does not disqualify him from the promise; but it does make the road Jacob will travel along harder.  Esau was rejected (and proved that he too was unworthy previously) not because Isaac could not bless him, but because God had chosen Jacob.)

January 10: Genesis 28 – 30
Genesis 28 begins a long string of the consequences of sin to Jacob & his family.  Jacob is sent away for protection & to find a wife.  Along the way God in spite of Jacob’s sin confirms the covenant given to Abraham & Isaac before Him.  (Note: Jacob’s faith is based (wrongly) on what he can receive from God.  Jacob is still growing in faith much in the way his grandfather Abraham did.)
Genesis 29 begins a love story (?), and ends in a deception; which is fitting given Jacob’s history.  (Note: The plans of people going awry as the few days of Rebekah at the end of chapter 27 have become 14 years and counting.)
Genesis 30 is the beginning of the nation of Israel (and the fulfilling of the promise of Genesis 12 & 15) and in spite of the way we get there, God is blessing the people He has called.  (Note: There are no heroes in this chapter; save for God.  Already we have God working with a sinful people in keeping with His promises.)

January 11: Genesis 31 – 33
Genesis 31: Treachery finds everyone out and here we sort out the twisted relationship between Jacob & Laban.  Ultimately the relationship ends how we knew it would; with Jacob provided for and returning to the land of promise with the beginnings of the fulfilment of God’s promises.  (Note: Similar to Noah, Jacob does not leave for Canaan until God directs him to.)
Genesis 32 begins with Jacob fearing Esau and ends with Jacob fearing (and trusting) God. (Note: Jacob did not win his match with God, but was literally & figuratively broken until he surrendered to God.)
Genesis 33 has Jacob still trusting in God and confronting Esau and settling in the land promised to his grandfather. 

January 12: Genesis 34 – 36
Genesis 34 has the apple falling not far from the tree as you see the twisted sense of honor of Jacob’s sons leading to deception and murder.  Despite their motives their actions are wrong and this further displays the unworthiness of the people God has chosen to bless and work through.  (Note: Reuben will in the next chapter disqualify himself as leader of the sons of Israel; here, Simeon & Levi do the same.)
Genesis 35 has God purifying Jacob and his family as God protects them in their travels.  Jacob is renamed Israel (again) and the covenant promises are reiterated. 
Genesis 36 reminds us that God is not just dealing with Jacob (Israel) but the whole world and recounts the descendants of Esau (Edomites).  (Note: God is not just the God of Israel.  As chapters 1, & 6 – 10 demonstrated; God rules over everything.  Even the nations who reject God are under His sovereign control.)

January 13: Genesis 37 – 39
Genesis 37 begins the shift from Jacob to Joseph.  Joseph is presented as the next “leader” through dreams and the sin of the Israelites (sons of Jacob) is clearly seen.  (Note: God is demonstrating through the dreams He has given that He has chosen Joseph as the next leader for Israel (Jacob’s family).)
Genesis 38 gives us a look at the convoluted life of God’s chosen people.  There are no righteous people in this story (similar to Sodom) and the only redeeming value to the actions is the line of Judah that comes from it. (Note: Perez is the son of Judah that is followed to get ultimately to Christ—Ruth 4:18 – 19.  This line of Jesus is a story of sin and depravity, the likes of which most people cannot fathom.  This shows the unending grace and mercy of God towards humanity in His working with even “those” people.)
Genesis 39 swings back to the state of Joseph and shows the fate of a man trying to live uprightly in a world that has no taste or desire for such righteousness.  (Note: The faith of Joseph as he continues to work diligently and expertly in spite of the fact that he has no desire for any of the jobs he is doing in Egypt.  This trust in God is what allows Joseph to see his life rightly in the face of extreme sorrow & difficulty.)

January 14: Genesis 40 – 42
Genesis 40 shows the power of God and the providence He uses to govern the world.  It just so happens these officials are in prison with Joseph and just so happens they have dreams. 
Genesis 41 continues God’s working as Pharaoh has a dream and Joseph is remembered.  After Joseph is remembered, Joseph is promoted and empowered; all to the praise of the God who makes these things happen.  (Note: Two years, it took two years of faithfully working while imprisoned for God to bring Joseph out.  Reminder that God’s timing is different than ours and our charge in this world is to faithfully serve wherever we are, trusting in God and His timing.  Also do not miss Joseph’s attitude; it doesn’t matter that 2 years have passed while jailed; or that 13 years have passed since his brothers sold him, Joseph’s faith in God has not waned but grown.)
Genesis 42 begins the family reunion of the sons of Israel as the promised famine has spread as far as Canaan.  Joseph begins to now test his brothers to see if the God who has preserved him has worked in the brothers for good or for ill.  (Note: Twenty years have passed since Joseph was seen by his brothers.)