The three chapters chosen for today deal with departures, promises, and yes, deceit.
January 15: John 14, Genesis 30, Genesis 31 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
John 14 records the events of the hour after the Passover meal before they all depart to Gethsemane. Jesus told his disciples he is going away to prepare a mansion, more precisely a dwelling place for them. Since he was leaving he promised to send another comforter or advocate. (I have put in a short explanation on the difference in the interpretation of this passage between Christianity and Islam). Jesus then explained clearly he will be going away and send the Holy Spirit in his place.
Genesis 30 records the remaining children born to Jacob (except Benjamin, who will be born later). It also tells a story about Rachel, desperate to get a child of her own was bargaining with Leah for Reuben’s mandrakes. After Joseph was born, Jacob wanted to leave and go back to the promised land, but Laban bargained with him to stay and make them even more prosperous. Through selective breeding Jacob acquired the majority of the flocks, and became wealthy.
This displeased the sons of Laban, so in Genesis 31 Jacob fled from Laban. However, as Jacob, wives and children all were set to depart, Rachel stole Laban’s idols. Laban found out the idols were missing, pursued Jacob and caught up with him. Laban looked for the idols, at no avail, Rachel had hid them under the saddle of her camel and sat on it claiming she had her period. Finally Laban gave in, said farewell to all and he and Joseph established the Mizpah.
The chapters chosen for today deal with servanthood, betrayal, promise and deceit.
January 14: John 13, Genesis 28, Genesis 29 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
John 13 begins the last 24 hours before the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet before the Passover meal, a task normally performed by the lowest servant. During the meal he announced his betrayal, and then he gave the disciples a new commandment “love one another”. He also predicted Simon Peter’s denial.
In Genesis 28, Jacob went to Paddan Aram to get a wife. On the way he had a dream, commonly known as “Jacob’s Ladder”. Meanwhile, Esau took yet another wife, the daughter of Ishmael. The promise of Jacob’s dream was that God was to give the land to Jacob’s descendants. Jacob made a vow to God and named the place Bethel.
Jacob arrived in Paddan Aram in Genesis 29, fell in love with Rachel, worked seven years to be allowed to marry her, but her father Laban tricked Jacob, so he got Leah instead. Then he worked another “seven years for Rachel”. But it was Leah that gave him his first four children, Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah.
Today there are three chapters.
January 12: John 11, Genesis 24, Genesis 25 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
John 11 describes how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (on the fourth day no less). The ruling Jews were worried that Jesus would become ruler and then the Romans would destroy their nation. This leads to Caiaphas’ inadvertent prophecy “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
Genesis 24 tells the beautiful story of Isaac and Rebekah.
After Sarah’s death, in Genesis 25 Abraham married his concubine Ketorah, who had already borne him six children. Before his death he sent them all away with ample gifts and provisions but his inheritance he gave to Isaac. Isaac and Ishmael buried Abraham, and then Ishmael’s genealogy is written down. Finally is told the story of Jacob and Esau, and how Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew and some bread.
The three chapters chosen for today are
January 11: John 10, Genesis 22, Genesis 23 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
In John 10 Jesus told he is the good shepherd and claimed to be one with his Father. This is of course blasphemy (unless it is true), so for that the Jews want to stone him.
In Genesis 22 Abraham was told by God to offer up his son Isaac to be sacrificed on Mount Moriah, the same mountain that Jesus was crucified on. Obeying God he did what he was told, but at the last moment God provided a substitute sacrifice in the form of a ram.
In Genesis 23 Abraham’s wife Sarah died and Abraham purchased a grave in Mamre, where Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael buried her.
The concept of sin troubled the disciples and was big on display in the Old Testament.
January 10: John 9, Genesis 20, Genesis 21, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
In John 9 Jesus opened the eyes of a man blind from birth, Since this was done on a Sabbath trouble arose from the Pharisees. In the arguments Jesus again claimed his divinity.
In Genesis 20 Abraham claimed Sarah was his sister. Why? Sarah was his half-sister, so Abraham stretched the truth, also called a lie, or sin. The chapter shows God’s protection even when we do wrong.
In Genesis 21 Isaac is born, and when Ishmael is made fun of it, Sarah got angry and Hagar and Ismael were sent away to die in the desert, but God protected them. The chapter also features the treaty between Abraham and Abimelech at Beersheba.
The three chapters chosen for today all deal with sin, its consequences and God’s forgiveness
January 9: John 8, Genesis 18, Genesis 19, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
John 8 begins with the sinful woman who was about to be stoned for adultery. Jesus last words to her was “Go and sin no more”. Jesus did not condemn her for the past but forgave and pointed to the future. The he got into an argument with the religious powers about his and their ancestry. They claimed to be descendants of Abraham, and they questioned the legitimacy of Jesus. Jesus answered “Before Abraham, I am”. Jesus claimed to be God. This was of course blasphemy, unless it is true.
Which brings us to Genesis 18 with Abraham still waiting for his promised offspring. He was visited by three angels that promised him he will have a son within a year. God confirmed this promise, but was also proclaiming the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham tried to bargain with God, at no avail.
So in Genesis 19 Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. There is ample evidence this is a historical true event, the Bible is verified true even here. God provided for Lot, his wife and two daughters to escape.They did, but Lot’s wife looked back towards the city and was no more. After that is recorded the strange story about Lot and his two daughters, and all I can say about that is that it is not good to take matters in our own hand rather than listen to God and let Him guide.