Showing posts from March, 2019

Joseph, Slave in Egypt

Exodus 1:8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. ( Exodus 1:8 ESV ) As we enter into the book of Exodus, we encounter Joseph. Exodus 1:5 says: All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt. ( Exodus 1:5 ESV ) After telling us that Joseph was already in Egypt, the author then tells us: Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. ( Exodus 1:8 ESV ) Can we assume that we know who Joseph is? He is the one who received the “technicolor dream coat” from his father. But, do we really know Joseph? Do we understand what he lived for and what his ambitions were? What made him great? Was he great? I think of our own country. We all know the name of Abraham Lincoln, but do we know him? Was he a great man? What did he stand for? I think of his Gettysburg address where at the conclusion he said: -that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under

The Sons of Israel

Exodus 1:1-7 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: ( Exodus 1:1 ESV ) Who are these “sons of Israel” who moved to Egypt, and from where did they move to Egypt? Israel is the name given by God to Isaac’s son Jacob. Isaac was the son of Abraham. Abraham was from Ur of the Chaldeans. Chaldean is another name for Babylonian. Babylonia got its name from the Tower of Babel, which was built on the plains of Shinar, which is where Ur was located. Genesis 12:1-2 tells us: Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. ( Genesis 12:1-2 ESV ) God was calling Abraham out from his country and even family to be a separate and distinct nation and people. Abraham took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s


Romans 16:21-27 We have come to the end of the book of Romans, and in his final words of farewell, Paul again shows his concern for the believers in Rome. In his introduction to the letter, Paul gives his reason for writing and expresses a strong desire to see the Church in Rome. In Romans 1:11, he says: For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— ( Romans 1:11 ESV ) His longing to see the Church in Rome is tied to his desire to strengthen them. This intense desire to strengthen the Church flows through the book of Romans and is also expressed in his final words of farewell. The Church is made up of individuals, and the process of strengthening the body involves the strengthening of the individual members of the body. In Romans 16:25, Paul says, “Now to him who is able to strengthen you...” He is talking about strengthening the body by strengthening the individuals in the body . The book of Romans begins and ends


Romans 16:17-20 We are at the close of Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome. In writing to believers he had never met, Paul was also writing to us. The Holy Spirit used Paul to record God’s word for all believers. We are the spiritual descendants of the Roman Christians and can count the book of Romans as written to us. As we come to Romans 16:17, Paul has just expressed how precious these believers are to him. Out of the abundance of his affection for them, he makes an appeal. As an Apostle, he could command them. As their leader, he could make demands upon their loyalty. However, he chooses to appeal to them. Appealing to us in a humble, affectionate way, is Paul’s way. Consider Romans 12:1, “I appeal to you therefore , brothers, by the mercies of God...” Even his manner of addressing them is in keeping with his humility and gentleness. He calls us brothers. In our American culture, he would, of course, say “brothers and sisters,” because he means to address all

Greetings, Part 2

Romans 16:3-16 Romans 1:1 introduces Paul as the author. It says: Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, ( Romans 1:1 ESV ) In brief, as an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God, Paul has influenced the Church throughout the centuries. We owe a lot to his work and his faith. He worked harder than all the other apostles (1 Corinthians 15:9-10), and he was used by God to clarify much of New Testament doctrine. However, Paul did not work alone. Many people supported, encouraged and upheld him both physically and spiritually. In chapter 16, as he closes his letter, Paul introduces us to some of these people. Many more remain anonymous, but from the few named here, we can gain insight into the love, devotion and passion shared by these early believers. First, in verses 3 through 5 of Romans 16, we meet Priscilla and Aquila. Paul calls them Prisca and Aquila. Priscilla is a less formal, warmer version of the nam