I decided to assemble my blogs on each chapter of Genesis into a book. You can find it on Amazon.com for download at .99 cents. It was a wonderful experience to create. If you are interested, you can buy my book here: Thoughts About Genesis – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YQL121S
To create your own book, you can do the following:
1. If you don’t have Word you can dowload a free word processor app: Open Office – https://www.openoffice.org/ to create a book and save it in doc format.
2. Download another app: Kindle Create – https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Create/b?node=18292298011 that takes your Word or Open Office document and converts it to kindle format.
3. Upload the converted document to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), answer a few questions and bam, you are published. You have to register with KDP but it is free.
Laban and his family perceived that Jacob had basically stolen all Laban’s wealth. God told Jacob it was time to leave so while Laban was off shearing his sheep, Jacob packed everything up and left. Unknown to Jacob, Rachel stole Laban’s terephim or gods. Laban then pursued Jacob but before he caught up with him, God appeared to Laban in a dream and told him he better treat him decently. Laban accused Jacob of stealing his gods and so searched Jacobs camp but could not find them because Rachel was sitting on them on her camel. Jacob is then angry with Laban and accuses Laban of taking advantage of him for twenty years. Laban says everything that Jacob has belongs to him. But the argument goes no further and they agree to vow friendship and part ways.
Laban is basically a covetous man who only cares about riches. Jacob cares more about pleasing God. Their relationship with each other is a war of theologies. Earthly gods and desires versus the God of Abraham and Issac who is the only active and effective god.
The behavior of Rachel is puzzling. Why did she steal Laban’s idols? One theory is that she thinks they could be used to find Jacob and company (Clarke). Another is that she wants to take them away from Laban so that he will turn to the God of Abraham. Well, motives can be a secret of the heart and we may never know.
Had not God interceded, Laban may well have attacked Jacob. Father, I pray that You intercede constantly to keep me at peace with all men.
Posted in Abraham, Christianity, god, Jesus Christ, Judaism, religion, sprituality, theology
Tagged Abraham, Genesis 31, Issac, Jacob, Laban, Old Testament, Rachel
Rachel and Leah contend with each other to have children by giving their handmaids to Jacob. Eventually Jacob has 12 sons and one daughter through the four women. Some superstitious shenanigans go on between Rachel and Leah over a kind of fruit that supposedly made one more prone to bearing children.
After Jacob has fulfilled his 14 years of indentured servitude to Laban he wants to leave. But he has no livestock so he bargains again with Laban to take all the partly colored or black livestock, of which there were fewer, and leave the others to Laban. Jacob then breeds the animals through either a superstitious, or some currently unknown, methodology to increase the number of partly colored animals. He did intentionally breed lesser stock for Laban. In the end God blesses Jacob with a large number of animals and prosperity as he said he would.
There seems to be no truly innocent parties in these often hostile interactions. Regardless, Jacob comes out the winner as he must.
How must one behave today towards our friends and loved ones and even enemies is very different and even easier to accomplish: love one another. That love will cover a multitude of sins, and conspiracies, and scheming and conniving. Today we have the very Spirit of God living within us: so Lord help me to rely on you and to treat my fellow humans with Love.
Posted in Abraham, god, Judaism, religion, sprituality, theology
Tagged animal breeding, animal husbandry, Genesis 30, Jacob, love, Old Testament, Rebekah
Jacob arrived in Haran after approximately 3 to 4 weeks of traveling to encounter one of his future wives at a well, Rachel who he immediately fell in love with. Laban did a tricky maneuver and got Jacob to work for Rachel’s hand in marriage for seven years, after which he substituted Leah, the older less attractive sister, and got another seven years labor out of Jacob. Rachel may have in on the scheme as well. Oh well, Jacob ends up getting back at Laban big time later.
God chooses Leah as the favored though Jacob loves Rachel the most. Rachel has no children so far and Leah has four.
Men love the most beautiful, the strongest, the fastest, the richest but God loves to use the less beautiful, the weaker, the slower, and the poorest to accomplish His will. Though Leah is the “hated” one, or at least the one loved least of the two, through her came David and Jesus.
I need to have the eyes of God; to see not what appeals to the eyes but what comes from the heart.
Posted in Abraham, Christianity, god, Jesus Christ, Judaism, religion, son of God, sprituality, theology
Tagged Abrahm, Genesis 29, Jacob, Rachel
Issac tells Jacob to go to the house of Laban, the brother of Rebekah, to get a wife and to not take a Canaanite wife. He also gives a final blessing on Jacob. So Jacob left Beersheba to go to Haran, a distance of about 500 miles. But on the third day out he stops to sleep and uses a stone for a pillow. He has a dream or vision of a ladder stretching from Heaven to Earth with God at the top and angels ascending and descending the ladder. God blesses Jacob and promises him a great lineage. Jacob awakes, takes the stone and makes a monument of it and vows allegiance to God as well as one tenth of all his belongings.
Coffman believes the ladder is a type or symbol or metaphor for Jesus Christ and John 1:51 seems to lend some validity to this assumption. Jesus is the go-between for God and man. It is surprising that we do not see more memes of a ladder representing Christ.
A vision seems to be a much more powerful dream. I do not remember most dreams. I don’t know that I have ever had a vision but one time I did have a religiously themed dream that was so vivid and compelling that it could have been inspired of God. But Jacob’s ladder vision was unmistakable in nature and spoke not just to Jacob but to all men.
The intrigue of the story where Jacob obtains Esau’s birthright is considerable. Rebekah and Jacob conspire to trick Issac out of Esau’s blessing by using camel hair on his skin and other devices to make Issac think Jacob is Esau. Jacob gets the blessing from Issac. Esau and Issac are shocked by the event and Esau threatens death to Jacob. Rebekah even invokes a curse on herself for what they are doing and in fact sends Jacob away, never to be seen again by her.
There is a lot of discussion and argument about justifying Rebekah’s and Jacob’s trickery. Was Issac wrong in trying to bless Esau when he knew what kind of man he was? God seemed to make it obvious that He would bless the younger son through his earlier prophecy to Rebekah. Esau had in fact sold his blessing to Jacob for the bowl of soup though Esau may have made a distinction between birthright and blessing. Esau was obviously an unbeliever as he had married Philistine women so Jacob seemed the natural choice as principle heir. It is difficult to say who was guilty of subterfuge and who was following the providence of God.
Sometimes we are not direct in our dealings with others, perhaps a little dishonest or under-handed or cunning. I should not fear the repercussions of being open and upfront with others, knowing that this is Godly and virtuous behavior which will lead to better relations with God and man.
Posted in Abraham, Christianity, Judaism, religion, sprituality, theology
Tagged Abraham, Esau, Genesis 27, Issac, Jacob, Judaism
During a famine, Issac was thinking of going to Egypt but God told him to go to Gerar. But the apple doesn’t roll far from the tree and he used the same deception as his father by calling his wife his sister. But in this case it was a lie unless your cousin is your sister. Abimelech probably caught on pretty quick and warned his people not to touch her. Anyway, God blessed Issac with great wealth and Abimelech told him to move away a little. So he redug his fathers wells that had been filled in by Abimelechs men. The first two wells the grazers of Gerar claimed as their own but he got to keep the third well that he called Rehoboth. Issac went to Beersheba and dug another well and God blessed him even more. Then Abimelech was afraid of how great Issac was becoming so he went to him and made a treaty.
Esau did what he should not have done and took two Hittite wives which became a source of contention.
Had this been Esau, he probably would have went to war with the Philistines but Issac was ever the negotiator and finally won out through peaceful means. I have a real problem with other peoples behavior upsetting me and I hope I can take a page from Issac’s book – God will bless us given the opportunity and by being patient.