Genesis 5 … Consider His Immutability

Immutability: “the state of being immutable; not mutable; unchangeable; changeless.”

Genesis 5 reminds us that God does not change; His character, His covenant promises, His will and purposes do not change. Genesis 5 also reminds us that Adam was created in God’s likeness and blessed by Him. But because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, Adam “became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, [Emphasis added] and named him Seth,” (5:3).

Sin…it changes everything… except God!

Consider His Immutability

  • Immutable: He is our Creator and the One Who blesses, (5:1-2).
  • Immutable: He loves us. “Then Enoch walked with God…” (5:22). What made Enoch walk with God? I have to believe it was because Enoch loved God. And why did Enoch love God? “We love, because He first loved us,” (1 John 4:19). The Scriptures are clear; Enoch loved God because God loved him first. And then “God took him,” (5:24). What a love relationship!
  • Immutable: His plan, to bring rest from our work and toil brought on by the curse, had not altered. What He says He will do, He will do!
    • “For I am God, and there is no other;
      I am God, and there is no one like Me,
      10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
      And from ancient times things which have not been done,
      Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
      And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

As we consider His Immutability, how should we respond?

  • Praise Him! He can be trusted because He is always faithful…He is Immutable!
  • Acknowledge Him as Creator, the Only One Who blesses; and give Him the glory.
  • Thank Him for His unwavering love, and seek to know and love Him more through His Immutable Word.
  • Follow Enoch’s example and intentionally determine to walk with Him every day.
  • By faith receive His rest; rest from our own efforts to work our way into His presence. “God took Enoch.” Faith will usher us into His presence. Let Him take us there!

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen, (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Let’s Grow Together!

Genesis 50 … Consider Him Who Meant It For Good

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive,” (50:20).

The close of this chapter of God’s story proclaims a theme woven throughout the pages of Scripture: God’s intentions for our Good.

Joseph’s brothers were overcome with fear, begging for mercy; and Joseph weeps, as if to say, “Haven’t I already demonstrated my love for you?” But even after all he had done, the brothers dreaded their future. Sound familiar?

We too, very often misinterpret God’s objectives in the midst of a world filled with pain and suffering. Our trials often produce more confusion than confidence. Today, let us consider God’s truth, His proof regarding His Good intentions for His people.

Consider Him Who Meant It For Good

 He Meant It For Good, Proven in His Promise.

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, (Ephesians 1:13-15).
…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, (Titus 1:2).

He Meant It For Good, Proven in His Plans.

  • The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation, (Psalm 33:11).
  • The Lord of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand,” (Isaiah 14:24).
  • “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,” (Jeremiah 29:11).

He Meant It For Good, Proven in His Purpose.  

  • “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted,” (Job 42:2).
  • And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, (Romans 8:28).
  • …also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, (Ephesians 1:11).

He Meant It For Good, Proven in His Power.

  • “But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth,” (Exodus 9:16).
  • And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness,” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

He Meant It For Good, Proven in His Provision.

  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, (Romans 5:8).
  • And this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins, (1 John 4:10).

He Meant It For Good, Proven in His Pleasure.

  • Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps, (Psalm 135:6).
  • Saying, “My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure,” (Isaiah 46:10).

How do we respond to Him Who Meant It For Good?

Believe Him Who Meant It For Good! Let us be diligent to feed our faith on the truth of His Word, that we might grow in our assurance that He is always working to accomplish His perfect promises, plans and purposes by His power and provision, for His good pleasure.

As we look at this life, let us ask the Lord for spiritual glasses that we might have perfect spiritual vision, even 50/20 vision!

As for… [anything and everything He allows to come our way] God meant it for good.” (50:20).

Let’s Grow Together!

Genesis 45 … Consider Him Who Sent

“Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt,” (Genesis 45:5-8).

Like some kind of unbelievably unnerving episode of Extreme Makeover, the big reveal happens; and the brothers are terrified. In a state of disbelief, and sense of panic, they are speechless. “Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?’ But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence,” (45:3).

The Hebrew word translated dismayed is “a verb meaning to be dismayed or terrified. It is sometimes used when a sudden threat conveys great fear.”

Can you imagine the thoughts sprinting through their minds? I don’t think their heads were hung in dismay; it probably looked more like a frantic craning of necks, wondering when tortuous prison guards would perhaps arrive. Imaginations were surely running rampant as memories flooded their minds, along with possible scenarios of the hands of revenge they would soon encounter. There was little room for any thoughts other than the certainty of their doom; that the day of reckoning had arrived.

And into this mental bedlam, Joseph speaks. He speaks of the sovereignty of God Who had all things under His control and rule, Who had gone ahead of them in preparation, Who had actually “sent” Joseph to Egypt. “Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God…”

There was no reminding them of their treachery, no commanding their groveling for mercy; but rather another demonstration of the grace God had so freely bestowed. Bestowed in forgiveness, bestowed in sending Joseph ahead to keep them alive by a great deliverance, and bestowed in bringing Joseph’s family to this place of abundant provision!

Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10 You shall live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children and your flocks and your herds and all that you have. 11 There I will also provide for you,’” (45:9-11).

How marvelous was God’s provision through Joseph; a beautiful foreshadow of a time coming when God would again Send One to keep man alive by a great deliverance!

Consider Him Who Sent

He Sent the Son to bring salvation. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him,” (John 3:17).

As God had sent Joseph, He Sent His Son to provide. But this time, the great deliverance would keep us alive for all eternity! And though Jesus would be betrayed and would suffer mercilessly at the hands of His own, God Sent Him. Our great deliverance, although a free gift of grace to us, came at a great price to our Suffering Savior. Joseph did not have full disclosure at the outset of what was to come, but Jesus knew exactly what awaited Him; it had been predetermined, and still He chose to be Sent.

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power,” (Acts 2:22-24).

He Sent the Holy Spirit to teach, lead and remind us of all Jesus said. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you,” (John 14:26).

He Sent His Word to heal and deliver. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions,” (Psalm 107:20).

He Sent us that others might be brought. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world,” (John 17:18).

He Sent us with His peace. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you,’” (John 20:21).

How do we respond to Him Who Sent?

  • Consider so great a sacrifice! Have we placed our faith in His Son Whom He Sent? Let us remember the great cost our Savior endured and ask God to grow our faith so that we may learn to see His faithfulness even in our suffering.
    • For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us, (Romans 8:18).
  • Let us depend on His Holy Spirit to fill us; abiding in Him Who Sent that we might yield to His leading and bear His fruit.  
    • But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh… But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; (Galatians 5:18, 22).
  • Let us grow in our hunger for His Word; seeking Him Who Was Sent that He might deliver and heal the places starved for His touch.
    • “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied,” (Matthew 5:6).
  • Let us overflow with a spirit of thanksgiving, for He considers us worthy to be Sent! Imagine the gratitude the brothers experienced as they journeyed, packed with gifts, to retrieve their family to carry them back to the place of abundant provision! Surely they couldn’t wait to share the great news! May we be so totally consumed with thanksgiving that we simply cannot help but declare how marvelous is our God, Him Who has called and Sent, even us!
    • But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:9).
  • Let us move forward, Sent in His peace. When Joseph sent his brothers back to Canaan, he gave them a very insightful command.
    • So he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the journey,” (45:24).
      • This word quarrel is a word meaning, “to provoke to anger.” Joseph was calling his brothers to a journey of peace. No pointing fingers at those who had the greater culpability in the betrayal of their brother; for all had sinned. But now it was time to let the past go and be Sent into a glorious future!

As the Father Sent the Son, He has Sent us; may we intentionally let go of the past, forgiving others and ourselves, and let’s move forward!

…but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 3:13-14).

Let’s Grow Together!

Genesis 35 … Consider Him Who Is With Us

“…and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone,” (35:3).

Do you find it incredulous that Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, the Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent One chooses to be with us? It’s really incomprehensible! But by His choosing He comes; He appears to make Himself known, to be with us!

Consider Him Who Is With Us!

  • He Is With Us to be worshiped.
    • “Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God…” Then God went up from him in the place where He had spoken with him. 14 Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. 15 So Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel, (35:3, 13-15).
  • He Is With Us to purify us.
    • So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments,” (35:2).
  • He Is With Us in the day of our distress.
    • God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone,” (35:3).
  • He Is With Us to strike fear in our enemy.
    • As they journeyed, there was a great terror upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob, (35:5).
  • He Is With Us to reveal His transforming power.
    • Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; you shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name,” (35:9-10).
  • He Is With Us to reveal Himself.
    • God also said to him, “I am God Almighty,” (35:11).
  • He Is With Us to give us purpose.
    • Be fruitful and multiply,” (35:11).
  • He Is With Us to confirm His promises.
    • A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come forth from you. 12 The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you,” (35:11-12).
  • He Is With Us to bring comfort.
    • Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre of Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned.28 Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. 29 Isaac breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, an old man of ripe age; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him,(35:28-29).

How do we respond to Him Who Is With Us?

  • He Is With Us! How can we not worship Him, Who is worthy of all our adoration, praise and exaltation? What an honor, that we are able to worship Him, the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings and LORD of lords, the Mighty and Majestic One! Let us worship Him in everything and every way, with all that is within us. What a great privilege, to worship Him Who Is With Us!
    • For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary, (Psalm 96:4-6).
  • He Is With Us! Should not the realization of His presence, every moment, move us to pursue holiness? “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness with favor,” (Habakkuk 1:13). Because of the blood sacrifice of Jesus, our sin has been covered and we have been granted access to His holy presence, “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,” (Hebrews 10”19). Let us be careful not to take this access for granted and let us be diligent to follow Paul’s advice:
    • …and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God, (Romans 6:13).
  • He Is With Us! Why should we fear or worry? “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?(Romans 8:31-32). When we are in distress; facing the enemy; in need of His transforming power and purpose; when we lack assurance, understanding or comfort; whatever our need, let us find strength as we look to Him in faith. After all, He Is With Us; what more do we need?
    • Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, (Psalm 73:25-26).
  • He Is With Us! As we reflect, and truly consider this most amazing truth, how can we not overflow with gratitude! We may feel unable to express our gratitude with mere words, for His Presence is truly indescribable! Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15). And truth be told, mere words are not enough to convey gratitude. Let our whole heart and life be an offering of thanksgiving, gratitude and worship, for He Is With Us!
    • I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Your name forever, (Psalm 86:2).
    • Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).

He Is With Us! Wherever we have gone, wherever we are, wherever we will go, for He is “the same yesterday, today and forever,” (Hebrews 13:8).

Let’s Grow Together!

Genesis 25 … Consider His Answers

This morning I saw Him! I saw Him increase in His Answers. I saw Him as our Answer, the only One suitable, capable, reliable and knowledgeable. He manifests Himself through His Answers.

Consider the following four ways this word, “answer” (noun), is defined .

  1. Answer: that which is suitable for satisfying or fulfilling.
  2. Answer: a response by an act or motion.
  3. Answer: that which is reliable or dependable.
  4. Answer: a reply to bring clarity, illumination.

Consider His Answers

His Answers are suitable for satisfying and fulfilling. “These are all the years of Abraham’s life that he lived, one hundred and seventy-five years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people,” (25:7). This was God’s fulfillment of His promise made some ninety years prior, “As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age,” (Genesis 15:15).

His Answers are a response, to move and act for the sake of His children. In Genesis 17, Abraham cried out to God, “’Oh that Ishmael might live before You!’…God said, ‘As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation,’” (Genesis 17:18-20). It was for the sake of His servant, Abraham that God responded with this blessing. “Now these are the records of the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maid, bore to Abraham…16 These are the sons of Ishmael…twelve princes according to their tribes. 17 These are the years of the life of Ishmael, one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people,” (25:12-17).

His Answers are reliable and dependable to provide in our barrenness and emptiness. “Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived,” (25:21).

His Answers provide clarity and illumination. “But the children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If it is so, why then am I this way?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 The Lord said to her…” (25:22-23).

How can we respond to His Answers?

  • He alone is capable of fulfilling and satisfying our every desire. Let us find all our satisfaction in Him alone, and trust all the other things to Him.
    • But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you, (Matthew 6:33).
  • He is the One, Who by His grace, acts to draw people to Himself. Because of Abraham, Ishmael received blessings; but they were temporal. Let us commit to intercede for our loved ones, persistent in our pleading that they might have the greatest blessing available, life with the LORD for all eternity.
    • For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, (Titus 2:11).
    • He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life, (1 John 5:12).
  • He alone is completely reliable; we can always trust that He is working to fulfill His purposes. In our times of emptiness, let us run to Him and pour out our hearts before Him, convinced He always hears. When we become so distraught and our words don’t seem to form, when we don’t even know what to pray, we can rest in His faithfulness, believing His Answers are on the way!
    • “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear,” (Isaiah 65:4).
  • He is the Omniscient, All-Knowing One. Let us go to Him when in need of understanding and illumination. Rebekah surely did not understand all the LORD told her. He chose to disclose His sovereign plan, and it was now her choice to trust Him with all her questions. We will never fully understand all He is doing, but let’s continue to ask Him for faith to trust Him with every detail of our lives, especially the parts that seem hidden in darkness.
    • Who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God, (Isaiah 50:10).

His Answers are there for us. Let us be diligent to seek them. When we see His Answers… we see Him!

Let’s Grow Together!