Two angels came to Sodom and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom (Genesis 19:1). As two angelic messengers arrive at Sodom for the sole purpose of bringing divine judgment on this wholly degenerate city, they find Abraham’s nephew Lot sitting in the gate of the city. This seems incongruous and out of place, because in God’s own review of the city’s inhabitants we are specifically told there were not even ten righteous people in the whole town.
Studies in Genesis
The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man (Genesis 2:20-22) What a precious scene! Do not let your possible familiarity with it rob
Text: Genesis 36:1 – 37:36 Introduction Genesis 37, and the chapters that follow, could hardly be a greater contrast to Genesis 36, which brushes quickly past Esau and his descendants. From here, to the end of the book of Genesis, God will share in painstaking detail the life and labors, trials and triumphs, struggles and successes of one man named Joseph. While Esau and many of his descendants did achieve a certain kind of success in their day, God is not impressed with efforts that are at their core rejecting Him as Creator and Lord. On the other hand, God is
Text: Genesis 35:1-29 Introduction As Jacob’s story draws toward its conclusion, we are reminded 1) of God’s faithfulness to Jacob individually, and 2) of God’s faithfulness to His larger covenant promises to bring about redemption thru the Promised Seed. This serves then to reflect a truth for us as readers as well: with Jacob, we are meant to rejoice in the personal faithfulness of God to each of us as believers—but more importantly, we are reminded that we are not the center of the story of God’s redemption. Even God’s faithfulness to us personally is meant to enable us to
Text: Genesis 34:1-31 Introduction Genesis 34 is the account of the defiling of Jacob’s daughter Dinah, and how Israel responds to this tragedy. Though we might feel eager to hurry through the scandalous material in the chapter, God doesn’t seem to feel the same as he inspires Moses to write this. Moses devotes 31 verses to this event! Why? What does this chapter teach us about Israel, about ourselves, and about God? The primary issue in Genesis 34 is this: how do God’s people respond when He allows suffering in their lives? Will they trust God’s covenant promises, or look
Text: Genesis 33:1-20 Introduction It is important that we see the events in Genesis 33 as a sequel to Jacob’s wrestling with God and thus being broken, renamed, and blessed. We are meant to see the humbled, limping, drastically changed outcome of Jacob’s wrestling with God in Jacob’s interaction immediately after with Esau! We will see evidence in Genesis 33 of Jacob’s new-found courage, humility, repentance, holiness, and worship as a maturing believer. And perhaps most remarkably, we will see Jacob’s willingness to reconcile with his estranged brother Esau. And so we will see marks of genuine repentance and victory
Text: Genesis 32:1-32 Introduction Jacob finally extricated himself from his slave-like condition under his uncle Laban, only to find himself facing a life-threatening encounter with his brother Esau as Jacob returns home. For this reason, Genesis 32 is—among other things—a lesson on how to handle fear and anxiety; on how to face painful crises; on how to deal with tough decisions that must be made.
Text: Genesis 31:1-55 Introduction Although the title of today’s message is simply “Jacob Leaves Laban,” we will see that there is actually nothing simple at all about Jacob trying to extricate himself from Laban’s slave-like treatment of him. In fact, it will become evident that it only thru divine help and intervention that Jacob can succeed… just as it is true of every one of us, that our only hope for deliverance from the enemies of our soul, of our family, of our security is that God must stand for us, must speak authoritatively on our behalf.
Text: Genesis 30:1-43 Introduction The lessons set before us today can literally save your marriage, can salvage your family relationships, can solve your own heart’s relentlessly unsatisfying hunt for happiness. Our text in Genesis 30 records two of the most common challenges for every human: the temptation for women, on the one hand, to find their identity in their family, and the temptation for men, on the other hand, to find their identity in their work. The great problem with replacing God’s pleasure at our core, as the source of our identity, is that nothing in the universe is big
Text: Genesis 29:1-35 Introduction In Genesis 29, Jacob arrives in Haran. It will be 20 years before he is able to return to the Promised Land! God had promised to bless Jacob, and had said, “I will not leave you.” And Jacob will, indeed, be blessed with numerous descendants; Jacob will indeed have God divinely overlooking and overruling on his behalf… yet the fulfillment of these divine promises and blessings in Jacob’s life looks very different from what we might expect! Yes, Jacob will eventually become wealthy and have a big family – but before that happens he will be
Text: Genesis 28:1-22 Introduction The story of grace continues in Genesis 28. Jacob has up to this point been disobedient to God, selfish in his decisions, and dishonest even with his own family. While Jacob is reaping the consequences of his own sin—alone, homeless, and with uncertain prospects for his future in an unfamiliar land—God is meanwhile pursuing Jacob with his gracious purposes. God breaks into the dream Jacob has formed for himself—which is looking more and more like a nightmare—and God gives him a new, heaven-sent vision. Jacob will succeed because God is gracious, because God will give him—not
Text: Genesis 27:1-46 Introduction There are no heroes in Genesis 27. This chapter completes the story of how God’s prophecy concerning Esau and Jacob comes to pass, that the older brother will serve the younger. Yet, throughout this chapter, both parents work against each other and against God’s will in order to side with their favorite child. Both children behave deplorably as well. It is for this very reason that this chapter, as much perhaps as any other in the Bible, reminds us of the offensiveness of grace! There is no one in this chapter who deserves blessing… yet blessing
Text: Genesis 26:1-35 I. God Appears to Isaac (vv.1-11) As we’ve noticed already in Genesis, there are numerous points of mirror-like similarity btw the lives of Abraham and of Isaac. This is even alluded to here in v.1—Isaac faces a famine in the Promised Land just as Abraham did back in Ge 12:10. And in vv.2-6 Isaac, like Abraham, faces the temptation to flee the famine in the Promised Land and run to Egypt for security. But… The Lord/Yahweh appears to Isaac, as he did Abraham in Gen. 12, and initiates a gracious covenant with Isaac, just has he did with Abraham.
Text: Genesis 25:1-34 I. Abraham Dies, Leaving Behind Nations (vv.1-18) vv.1-6 is a summary of additional descendants from Abraham. Yet, the main point of this passage comes in vv.5-6, as we are specifically told thatIsaac is especially chosen among all Abraham’s other children. Not just Ishmael, as we’ve already seen, but among Keturha’s sons as well. To mark this special status, while Abraham ‘gave gifts’ to his other children and sent them away, Isaac alone was Abraham’s heir. vv.7-11 after 175 years, Abraham’s remarkable life comes to its conclusion. Though these verses record Abraham’s death, the emphasis here is on Abraham’s blessed
Text: Genesis 24:1-67 Introduction Genesis 24 ends with the picture-perfect marriage between Rebekah and Isaac. But this is the climax of what is actually the longest single narrative in the book of Genesis! The chapter begins, however, not with a picture-perfect situation but with the the simple, telling statement: “Abraham was old.” Which means Isaac is also getting older, about 40 years old at this point. Now this is sounding less like a whirlwind romance and more like the agonizing, patience-trying, prayer-inducing challenge that many godly people face, isn’t it? How does a long, painful trial end in a picture-perfect