(From the archives)
It’s Memorial Day weekend, the time we take to honor those who died while serving our country. In today’s post we’ll look at the life of Joseph and what he had in common with one U.S. war vet who died much later than you could imagine.
Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and baker each have dreams on the same night. Joseph, their fellow prisoner, sees they’re dejected because they recognize the dreams as having meaning, but they can’t figure out the interpretation. So Joseph asks them the rhetorical question, “Do not interpretations belong to God?”
So the cupbearer decides to share his dream with Joseph.
The cupbearer, says, In my dream I see Read More
(From the archives.)
The story of Formula 1 race car driver, Ayrton Senna is so compelling that I couldn’t help but write this post to let you know how the whole thing ended. After his victory over his rival Alain Prost (see post on Genesis 33 to read Part 1 of Senna’s story) he went on to win two more world championships. Ayrton Senna was a flawed man, yet greatly loved in his native Brazil, and around the world, for his humble, unassuming nature. In an interview after winning his third world title, Senna talked about how he was happiest when he was learning and improving as a driver, and also as a man. At the end of the interview he made this comment:
“There is a lot to go, a lot to learn, a lot to live, but I have plenty of time.”
I don’t know anything about Ayrton Senna’s beliefs or theology, but I do know that shortly after that interview, on Sunday, May 1, 1994, the morning of the San Marino Grand Prix, Senna woke up and asked God to talk to him. He opened his Bible to a verse that, according to his sister, said Read More
(Tied for the most popular post of 2014 so far, from the archives)
Read Genesis 39:6-23
I don’t know what Joseph’s early responsibilities were when he first began at Potiphar’s house, but they may have been intensely physical, because Joseph was ripped (“well built” verse six tells us). He was also a good looking guy. And because of this, Joseph’s master’s wife notices him, and begins to proposition him, without much in the way of subtlety either.
“Come to bed with me!” she says to him. Read More
A Tale Of Two Sufferings
I never saw this perspective before, but have you ever considered the difference between how Jacob handled his suffering, as compared to how his son Joseph handled what was arguably even worse suffering? I heard this last Sunday from a 20-something.
So Joseph’s seventeen, and he has it made. He’s his father’s favorite. He lives in a wealthy family. And he is given special revelation from God in the form of dreams, dreams of his brothers bowing down to him. But without warning, Read More
And they sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9
Not Of This World
“…persons from every tribe and language and people and nation,” they sang. And Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” So patriotism is out right? I mean, Jesus died for every nation so, God doesn’t play favorites. He doesn’t put our country at the top of His list of nations and say, Yeah, they’re the ones to root for, they’re who I favor in the world, so you should favor that nation too. No, He doesn’t say that. So patriotism is out, right? Read More
Doubt and Evolution
I know it bothers some Christians that some of their fellow followers of Christ don’t believe in evolution. They’re embarrassed. They hear the new atheists in the media dogmatically insisting that if you’re a Christian who doesn’t believe in evolution you are delusional, or imbecilic, or loathsome. Richard Dawkins and other new atheists encourage people to ridicule and mock those who disagree with their views. (Hamilton, Dawkins: Mock Them. Ridicule Them. In Public. With Contempt.) Unfortunately that approach has trickled down to too many people. The result is some Christians hear disparaging comments from friends or coworkers who have been influenced by Dawkins and other new atheists–and they feel intimidated.
Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham Read More
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. (Genesis 8:20)
I think Noah demonstrates for us one of the most important keys there is to walking closely with Jesus Christ. The very first thing Noah did after he stepped off the ark was to sacrifice some of the clean animals and birds to God. I can’t imagine doing that. In my own flesh I would have said, “I have just seven sheep here, should I take the seventh and make a sacrifice? I have to populate the whole world from this diminished tiny herd. Doesn’t it make more sense to wait until the animals have multiplied before sacrificing to You Lord?”
But in the words of Matthew Henry, “Serving God with our little is the way to make it more; and we must never think that wasted with which God is honoured.” Obviously Noah had a grasp of this truth.
And Noah had a grasp of the power of thanksgiving. Imagine with me that you’ve been cooped up in an ark with thousands of animals (and with all of the sanitation issues that implies). You’ve been cooped up like this for more than a year! For 377 days! What’s the first thing you want to do when you get out? Celebrate with a party? Go for a long walk just because you finally can? Build a house for yourself? Play some frisbee football? That’s what I’d want to do but that’s not what Noah did. Noah Read More
From the archives, one of our most popular posts:
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. -Genesis 1:20-23
Scientists are conceding they have grossly underestimated the quantity and diversity of marine life in the ocean. Research scientists from 80 different countries are undertaking a huge census of ocean life around the world. Called the Census of Marine Life, the census effort began in 2000, and ten years later, scientists continue to be amazed at the numbers and varieties of new species they’ve found. In the first three years of the study 160 new species of fish were found each year. That’s about 3 new species discovered every week. As the census has progressed, new species of marine life are being discovered at an even greater rate. One study found 700 new species of crustaceans in an area the size of a small bathroom. (Census of Marine Life) Read More
“But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”
(You can read Isaiah 53 in its entirety at the bottom of this post)
Isaiah 53 Written After Jesus’ Death and Resurrection?
Isaiah chapter 53 is so descriptive of Jesus Christ it seems out of place. There’s just no way this should be here. It should come after the New Testament, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, not before. Read More
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,” Jesus Christ, John 5:39
In our last post we saw Jesus in the story of Joseph. Today we’ll see Jesus in another Old Testament passage: the story of Abraham taking his son Isaac to sacrifice.
Read Genesis 22
Before Genesis 22, Abraham was last seen together with Isaac when he was celebrating Isaac’s weaning. At that time Isaac was somewhere between three and five years old. Genesis 22 begins in verse one with the phrase “After these things . . .” So fast forward to when some say Isaac is now in his thirties. He’s been the apple of his parent’s eye for thirty or so years now and even as his name means laughter, he’s provided laughter and joy to both Abraham and Sarah. Which as we’ll see makes the next phrase in our story, God tested Abraham, just about as gut wrenching as you can imagine. Abraham is about to hear what to him must have seemed like a very strange request from the Lord. Read More
In last Saturday’s post, Looking for the Living Among the Dead, we saw how Jesus talked to the two men on the road to Emmaus who thought He was dead. “…beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27-34)
Here in Genesis we see what I believe is just one example of how Jesus is found in the writings of Moses and all the prophets. Perhaps Christ even shared something similar with the two on the road to Emmaus.
Joseph’s Response to the Sins of His Brothers
Jacob, the father of Joseph and his brothers, has just passed away. The funeral is over, and the family is back at home in Egypt, trying to return to their normal routine. It’s at this time, all the wrongs Joseph’s brothers committed against Joseph, come flooding into their minds: they hated him because he was their father’s favorite, they plotted to kill him, they tossed him into a cistern, they sold him into slavery, then they lied to their father and told him Joseph was dead.
And now Jacob is gone. And they think Joseph has just been waiting for the right time to settle the score. They think he’s angry. They think he’s ready for revenge. So they throw themselves down before Joseph, the powerful Prime Minister, and beg for his forgiveness. Read More
“Bury me with… Leah.” -Jacob, Genesis 49:29-31
“The primary problem is… learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.” -Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Ethics, Duke University
Married to a Stranger
It’s impossible to know what your spouse will be like tomorrow, or next year, or next decade. Because life will change him, or her. Finishing school changes him. Age changes her. The hirings, and firings, and battles at work change him. Where she lives changes her. A loved one dying changes her. Having kids changes him. You can’t really know who you will be married to, in the future, because they’ll change.
It’s inevitable: at some point in your marriage, you’ll find you’re married to a stranger. It happens to every one of us.
It happened to Jacob right away. Read More