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January 24 - Evening

"The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.”
- Exodus 7:19

Chaos Comes to Pharaoh's Ma'at


The Nile flooded in July/August to refresh the soil with fresh deposits and moisture for the growing season.  A series of ceremonies officiated by Pharaoh would be held at the Nile to encourage this flooding process in order to give Egypt an abundance of crops and economic prosperity. Pharaoh was responsible to maintain ma’at (details), which was the universal order of the physical and moral world. In Egypt all order began with the Nile and the gods all worked to maintain ma’at in Egypt.
Yahweh’s first attack on Egypt was a matter of national security when he visited the Nile with chaos by undoing ma'at. After having shown Aaron’s staff becoming a monster of chaos that devoured the magician’s staffs in Pharaoh’s court, God now loosens his hold on the order his creative work in Egypt. The Egyptian gods can do nothing to stop or reverse the process. The gods cannot restore order. Yahweh begins unleashing the forces of chaos and upsets ma’at in Egypt when he strikes the Nile River.
Pharaoh had failed to recognize the true God, the Sovereign Creator and Judge, who called himself Yahweh. Moses had provided words and demonstrations to reveal and confirm the desires and plans of Yahweh, yet Pharaoh refused to concede the portion of the Egyptian kingdom that God called his own: the Hebrew people. Instead, Pharaoh refused to recognize God’s authority and power, and chose to exalt his own self as a deity, the keeper of ma'at, and the master of the deities.
Now, it was time to confront Pharaoh’s claims and force God’s will. The source of the life of Egypt, the Nile River, would be struck. This attack on Egypt would reflect poorly on a variety of Egyptian gods: Khnum, god of the Nile's flooding; Hapi, the god of the Nile; Osiris, the god of the earth and vegetation; Osiris, the god whose blood was the water of the Nile and his blood stream was the Nile itself.
Pharaoh’s disobedience to Yahweh’s demand results in disorder, death and discomfort.  The striking of the Nile River was a serious and comprehensive blow by Yahweh to Pharaoh’s kingdom and authority, but far from the distress, destruction and death that could be avoided in the future if Pharaoh would humble himself to Yahweh’s request to give Yahweh the people of Abraham.
It is interesting to note that the Lord asked only for his people. He did not ask for a temple in Egypt. He did not ask for a national revival in Egypt. He did not ask Pharaoh or the people to forsake their gods. The Lord simply asked for his people, but Pharaoh would not recognize the Lords absolute authority which made this request very, very reasonable considering Yahweh could have asked for much, much more.
Laodikea (Gr) - Laodicea (Eng) – Laodikea is a Greek compound word for the name of a city in Asia. Laodikea is made of laos that means “people” and dike which can mean “custom,” “right,” “a lawsuit,”  “a judicial decision (especially a guilty verdict),” “execution of a sentence,” “avenging justice.” Together laos and dike make Laodikea mean “a judicial decision of the people,” “execution of a sentence by the people,” “the people’s right,” “the custom of the people,” “the people’s lawsuit,” or, simply, “the people rule.”
Do understand that following God's will and being obedient to his Word will provide order and stability?
I will avoid the chaos and confusion of the world by hearing the truth and walking in its light.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Parents

Church

Maturity in understanding and life
Secretary of Education
Immigrant communities: Chinese, Japanese, Muslims



Inside David's palace in Jerusalem. This is the remains of a large stone structure that served as a governmental building during the days of David, Solomon and the kings of Judah, and, also, after the return from exile. This is residence of King David and the kings of Judah.
(More details and photos here.)
A map of Genesis 14 detailing Abraham's attack and defeat of the four kings from the East.




Someone to Quote

"The problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar."

Something to Ponder

The first hymn in the English language designed for public worship was written by Isaac Watts in 1688. Up until this time the only singing in the church was of the Psalms, but Isaac argued with his father that limited singing of only Psalms resulted in the omission of singing the great New Testament truths. Soon, the church agreed to this new practice (1,650 years after the resurrection), and Isaac began to write a new hymn each week.

Here’s a Fact

First Kings 4:26 says “Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses.”  Second Chronicles 9:25 says the same thing, but adds “…which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem.” One of those “chariot cities” has been identified as Megiddo where Solomon’s stables and the mangers have been found. (details)

Proverb

"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."
- Proverbs 24:3-4

Coach’s Corner

Success may not be what the world tells you it is.

Genesis 29
New International Version (NIV)
Jacob Arrives in Paddan Aram
29 Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples. There he saw a well in the open country, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large. When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well’s mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
Jacob asked the shepherds, “My brothers, where are you from?”
“We’re from Harran,” they replied.
He said to them, “Do you know Laban, Nahor’s grandson?”
“Yes, we know him,” they answered.
Then Jacob asked them, “Is he well?”
“Yes, he is,” they said, “and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”
“Look,” he said, “the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.”
“We can’t,” they replied, “until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.”
While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherd. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. 12 He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.
13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. 14 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”
22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.
25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”
26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”
28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.
Jacob’s Children
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,[b] for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”
33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.[c]
34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.[d]
35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah.[e] Then she stopped having children.
Footnotes:
  1. Genesis 29:17 Or delicate
  2. Genesis 29:32 Reuben sounds like the Hebrew for he has seen my misery; the name means see, a son.
  3. Genesis 29:33 Simeon probably means one who hears.
  4. Genesis 29:34 Levi sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for attached.
  5. Genesis 29:35 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise.
Genesis 37
New International Version (NIV)
Joseph’s Dreams
37 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
This is the account of Jacob’s family line.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate[a] robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Joseph Sold by His Brothers
12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.”
“Very well,” he replied.
14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.
When Joseph arrived at Shechem,
15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”
17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan.
18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels[b] of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”
31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”
34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him.
36 Meanwhile, the Midianites[c] sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.
Footnotes:
  1. Genesis 37:3 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verses 23 and 32.
  2. Genesis 37:28 That is, about 8 ounces or about 230 grams
  3. Genesis 37:36 Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac (see also verse 28); Masoretic Text Medanites


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