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31 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 40 — Genesis 49

Study 40 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 49

     1.     Consider how diverse and unpromising were the human materials which God chose for the fulfillment of His purposes. Cf. Dt. 7:7, 8; 9: 4, 5.  One secret of how God could do this is described in verses 24, 25a. Is this a secret of victory which you have learnt for yourself? Cf. Phil. 4:13; 2 Cor. 12:9.

     2.     Consider especially Reuben, Judah and Joseph. In whom was the promise of verse 10 fulfilled? (See RSV for sense; cf. Ezk. 21:27.) Cf. also 1Ch. 5:1,2


He Asks for Absolute Surrender!

(J.R. Miller, "Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ" 1890)

"Follow Me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

"They immediately left their nets, and followed Him." Matthew 4:20

Their nets were probably all that they owned! It was with these, that they earned their living. Yet at the call of Christ — they gave up all, cut themselves off from their means of support, and in simple obedience and faith, went with Him. 

That is just what we all should do — when Christ calls us. We should obey instantly and without questioning. No matter how much the sacrifice involves — we should make it cheerfully for His sake. Though to obey cuts us off from all our ordinary means of livelihood, and leaves us without provision even for tomorrow — we should not hesitate. Christ takes care of His servants — when they are faithfully doing His will. He asks for absolute surrender to Him. He wants us to trust Him — while we obey Him unquestioningly.

The faith in Christ which the gospel requires — is the utter, unreserved devotement of the whole life to Him, and the unquestioning commitment to Him for time and for eternity — of every interest and hope. The question of what He will do with us or for us, or how He will provide for us — should not be raised for an instant. There must be no 'conditions' — in the following and the consecration. We may not 'bargain' with Jesus for an easy time, for 'smooth and pleasant paths' — but should simply give ourselves to Him absolutely and forever, to follow where and to whatever He may lead us.

The "immediately" is also important. Many people are forever postponing duties. But every call of Christ should be answered immediately. Many people obey so laggardly, so reluctantly, and so long after they are called — that half the value of their obedience is lost! Christ always wants instant obedience. There is no 'tomorrow' with Him. Tomorrow He may not have any need of us, or we may not be here to do the duty which He now asks of us.

30 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 39 — Genesis 47:13-48:22

Study 39 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 47:13-48:22

     1.     By their own confession what did Joseph do for the people of Egypt? How did he remain true to his father’s God amid all the pressures of his office?

     2.     What different points of view produced the two retrospects of Jacob in 47:9 and 48:15, 16? Which is more worthy of our imitation?

3.     Note Jacob’s confident faith and prayer for his two grandsons. Cf. Heb. 11:21; Gn. 18:18, 19; Dt. 6:4-7; Ps. 78:5-7. What can we learn from this concerning the privilege and responsibility of Christian parenthood?

29 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 38 — Genesis 46:1-47:12

Study 38 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 46:1-47:12

    1.     In what way would the fulfillment of the promise in 46:3 be easier in Egypt than in the nomadic conditions of Canaan? What may we learn from this of God’s providence?

    2.     What trait in Joseph is revealed by his management of Jacob’s arrival? Cf. Is. 11:2

3.     How does this passage illustrate, typically or otherwise, (a) Jn. 14:6; (b)
2 Cor. 4:17, 18?

28 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 37 — Genesis 45

Study 37 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 45
     1.     What were the reasons for Joseph’s intensity of feeling in verses 1-15? What was his attitude to the sufferings that preceded the reconciliation? What can we learn from this of God’s longing to reconcile His sinful creatures, at whatever cost?

    2.   What blessings did the restoration of family harmony bring with it?


27 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 36 — Genesis 44

Study 36 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 44

     1.     How do the actions of Joseph’s brothers in this chapter show a real change in them?  Contrast their behavior toward their father and another beloved son in 37:18-31.

    2.     Observe how in this second visit to Egypt Judah takes the lead; see 43:3, 8; 44:14, 16, 18.  What qualities are revealed in his speech in verses 18:34? How does this teach us that we should not despair of anyone? See 37:26, 27; 38:1; Ps. 119:59.


26 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 35 — Genesis 43

Study 35 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 43

    1.     Why Jacob yield to Judah’s appeal when he had refused the earlier appeal of Reuben in 42: 37, 38?

    2.     Why do you think Joseph gave to Benjamin a portion five times as large as to the others? Was it affection for Benjamin or a further test for his brothers? See 37:4.


It's Not About Me-What is The Meaning Of Those Words?


"No matter what your circumstances may be, don’t try to shield yourself from things God is bringing into your life.  We have the idea sometimes that we ought to shield ourselves from some of the circumstances; we have to see that we face them abiding continually with Him in His temptations. They are His temptations, they are not temptations to us, but to the Son of God in us."
I like this quote and I wanted to share it with you, simply because early on I used to repeat words like “IT’S NOT ABOUT ME”.  Then the Spirit of God taught me how everything that is happening to me whether inside or outside, which means MY LIFE AS A WHOLE, is happening to Him not me. Even the lack of bare necessity or how people treat me, it is always directed to Him.

By the same token, everything you and I think about someone else, whether it is a simple murmur or an insult, it is directed to Him not the person. No matter how deserving the other person is, somehow He is the one that we hurt.  As He taught me that, I realized, as Christians, even our attitude and thoughts toward a non-Christian is also about Him who lives in us. It is phenomenal to experience this with Him. Since then, those words “IT’S NOT ABOUT ME’ have such deep spiritual meaning to me because I experienced them spiritually with Him. So, Oswald quote is so true and so real to me.  But, if I did not have this experience with Him, I would have never quite grasp spiritually speaking what Oswald is talking about

25 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 34 — Genesis 42

Study 34 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 42

     1.     What was the motive of Joseph’s apparent harshness towards his brethren? For his real feelings see verses 24, 25.  Have we here an illustration of the methods which God also uses? Cf. Heb.12:6, 11; Je. 31:18, 19.

    2.     What brought the brothers to the recognition of their guilt? See verse 21.

3.     How mistaken was the attitude of Jacob in verse 36! What may we learn from this about our own attitude when everything seems against us? Cf. Ps. 43:5; Phil.4:6-7.


24 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 33 — Genesis 41:14-57

Study 33 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 41:14-57

    1.     What in Joseph so impressed Pharaoh and his court that he was made ruler of Egypt? Compare your own character and consistency with his, and consider where you fall short.

    2.     If we have found in Christ the Bread of life, and men around us are perishing, what spiritual lesson may we draw from verses 54-57?


23 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 32 — Genesis 40:1-41:13

Study 32 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 40:1-41:13

    1.     What qualities in Joseph are shown in this passage? Try to find at least five.

    2.     How did God make Joseph’s prison experiences work together for good? Why were victory over temptation, and use of opportunities to prove God and help others, so important at this stage?

22 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 31 — Genesis 38 and 39

Study 31 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 38 and 39

    1.     Chapter 38. From what initial false step did all the events of sin and shame originate? What can we learn from this? Cf. Gn. 24:3; 26: 34, 35; 27:46-28:4.

    2.     Chapter 39.  How did Joseph exemplify the best qualities of his ancestors: the faith and faithfulness of Abraham, the meekness of Isaac, the energy and ability of Jacob, the beauty of Rachel?

3.     Over what temptations did Joseph win the victory? What was the key to his success?


21 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 30 — Genesis 37

Study 30 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 37

    1.     What three things specially aroused the envy and hatred of Joseph’s brothers against him?  To what other sins did their envy lead them? Cf. Jas. 3:16.

    2.     Can you approve of (a) Jacob’s possessive love for Joseph, (b) his favouritism in his treatment of him, (c) the unrelieved gloom to which the loss of Joseph led him? What ought we to learn from such a story?

Note.  Verse 3. ‘A long robe with sleeves’: a garment of distinction, perhaps implying freedom from manual toil. The ordinary tunic had no sleeves.


20 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 29 — Genesis 36

Study 29 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 36

In chapter 10, before the writer concentrates on the line of Abraham, the names of other nations are recorded. In a similar way in this chapter, before concentration on the family of Jacob a list of Esau’s descendants is given.

    1.     Jacob and Esau were both sinners. What, however, was the vital and decisive difference between them? Do we ever read anything similar to 35:1-7 recorded of Esau? Cf. Heb. 12:16,17.

2.     It was foretold before their birth that each of Rebekah’s twin sons would beget a nation (25:23).  Was it the case with the nations, as it was with their progenitors, that the one was chosen of God and the other rejected, and, if so, why? Cf. Ob. 1-4, 8-10, 17, 18. Mal. 1:2-5.

19 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 28 — Genesis 35

Study 28 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 35

   1.     How did Jacob’s repentance show itself, and how was it rewarded? Note what personal sorrows accompanied God’s blessing to Jacob. Cf. Heb. 12:6-11; Ps. 119:67, 71.

   2.     What actually provoked Jacob’s repentance, and what new revelation was given to him after his repentance? What does this record thus demonstrate concerning God’s character and His demands? Cf. Ho. 14:4-7; Tim. 2:19.

18 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 27 — Genesis 34

Study 27 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 34

    1.     In this sordid story, which appears the more honorable, Shechem and his father, or the sons of Jacob? How contrary to 1 Pet. 2:12; 4:15! Cf. 1 Cor. 10:12.

    2.     What evidence is there that Jacob left everything to his sons, instead of taking action himself as the head of the family? When he did finally rebuke them, about what was the chiefly concerned? What considerations ought to have moved him to think, speak or act differently?


17 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 26 — Genesis 33

Study 26 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 33

   1.     What is the importance of the title which Jacob gives to God in verse 20? How has he named Him previously? See 31:5, 42, 53; 32:9 Cf. Ps. 63:1.

   2.     In the story of this chapter how far did Jacob live up to his new name Israel? Is it significant that he is still called by the old name?  Recall the terms of his vow in 28:22. How far does our behaviour match our Christian profession and express our new nature? Cf. Rom. 7:, 20, 24, 25a.

Note.  In other cases of change of name in Scripture the new replaces the old; so we read of Abraham instead of Abram, of Peter instead of Simon (but see Jn. 21:15-17),  of Paul instead of Saul. But after Peniel the old name Jacob still occurs seventy times in Genesis, and Israel only forty times.

16 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 25 — Genesis 32:3-32

Study 25 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 32:3-32

     1.     What is good, and what is defective in Jacob’s prayer in verses 9:12? Was he relying most upon God, or upon his own resourcefulness? If the former, ought he to have been so greatly afraid (verse 7) Cf. Mk. 4:40; 5:36.

     2.     What is suggested by the picture of wrestling with God? How far does God bless us only when we echo Jacob’s prayer in verse 26? What are the cost and the reward of such a prayer? Did Jacob prevail by his own strength, or by faith? Cf. Ho. 12:3, 4a.  

15 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 24 — Genesis 31:1-32:2

Study 24 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 31:1-32:2

    1.     Six more years have passed (31:41). To what extend is Jacob the deceiver now a changed man?  See 31:6, 38-42. Also, what evidence is there that he has come to a deeper knowledge of God?  See 31:3-13, 42.

    2.     What factors combined to make Jacob sure that God’s time for him to return to Canaan had come? How was the inevitable opposition of Laban overcome?  What may I learn for my won encouragement from such a record?

Note.  31:42, 53.  “The Fear of Isaac”: i.e., the God whom Isaac reverently worshiped.

14 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 23 — Genesis 29:31-30:43

Study 23 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 29:31-30:43

   1.     Which of Jacob’s wives was the ancestress of our Lord? Cf. Pr.16:9; Heb. 7:14. And of what did his years with Laban make him most conscious?

   2.     What does this passage show about polygamy?  Does Jacob’s possession of several wives provide an example of a warning concerning right ideals for marriage?

13 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 22 — Genesis 29:13-30

Study 22 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 29:13-30

     1.      Compare Laban’s trickery in his deals with Jacob’s earlier trickery in his dealings with Esau and with Isaac.  Can we discern God’s hand here? What practical lessons did Jacob thus learn?  See 31:42; 32:10-12.

     2.     Are the determination and energy shown by Jacob here a new feature in his life? Do you, like him, have a purpose and object in life to give you a similar single-mindedness?

Note: Verse 27 seems to mean that Jacob had to fulfill the week of wedding festivities for Leah; then he received Rachel and served seven more years for her after marrying her.  See 30:25, 26; 31:41.

12 March, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 21 — Genesis 27:46-28:22

Study 21 of "Search The Scriptures” Is:

Genesis 27:46-28:22

1.     How does the fundamental difference between the two brothers now manifest itself increasingly? What truth concerning God’s choice does Isaac now explicitly recognize?

2.     What was the significance of Jacob’s dream? At what point in his experience did it happen? Of what great truth was he ten made aware concerning (a) God, and (b) God’s purpose for his own life? What response did he make? How far have you gone in similarly making God’s promises your own?