Archive for October, 2010

Day 35…Genesis 39:

Genesis 39: Continuation of Ch 37…Joseph & Potiphar’s wife

v.1-6, as mentioned in chapter 37 Joseph was sold by the Ishmaelites to Potiphar (Pharaoh’s official and manager of his household). Joseph ended up living in Potiphar’s home. He put Joseph in charge of everything he owned, at home, in the fields, all Potiphar had to concern himself with was 3 meals a day. God blessed Joseph & Potiphar recognized that God was with Joseph. And because of this Potiphar’s whole household was blessed!

v.7-9, Joseph was handsome and as time went on Potiphar’s wife became infatuated with him. One day she told him to sleep with her. He wouldn’t do it and even told her

“my master trusts me with everything in this household. No one here has more authority than I. He held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife! How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”

v.10-12, she kept pressuring him day after day but he REFUSED! He kept out of her way as much as possible. But ONE DAY no one else was around the house when Joseph came into work. She came and grabbed him by his coat and demanded he sleep with her<—- TRUE TEMPTATION! He tore himself away and left his coat in her hands as he ran out of the house<—- THE WAY WE SHOULD RESPOND TO TEMPTATION

v.13-15, when Potiphar’s wife sees she is hold his coat she calls to the house servants. They come running in. She tells them that Joseph (a Hebrew slave) has made fools of them and came into her room to RAPE her but she yelled and when he heard the scream he ran outside leaving his coat behind.

v.16-18, she kept the coat with her until her husband came home. The she told him the whole story again (see above).

v.19-23, when Potiphar heard the story he was furious and threw Joseph into jail (prison) where all the King’s prisoners were held. But even there God was with Joseph. God gave him favour in the sight of the warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners–he ended up managing the whole operation (everything)! He gave Joseph free reign, never ever checking on him because God was with Joseph and whatever he did God caused to succeed!

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? 1st, what men mean for evil God uses for good! Even though Joseph’s bros wanted to harm (or get rid of Joseph)…and Potiphar’s wife wanted to punish Joseph for not sleeping with her… God used both of these evils to honour Joseph!!! See above #1 he ended up managing all of Potiphar’s household (he was a slave)! #2 he ended up managing the whole prison! Both times God blessed not only Joseph but whatever or whoever he worked with or was involved in. 2nd, when temptation comes FLEE like Joseph did!

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Realize God has a plan for me even though others mean to hurt me, God will use me and bless me. I just need to wait on him and be faithful where he has me. At the same time don’t fall into temptations to want to harm them back.

Help me God because I can’t do this on my own!

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October 30, 2010 at 4:17 PM Leave a comment

Day 34…Genesis 38:

Genesis 38: Judah’s mess. His sins.

v.1-5, about the same time Joseph was being sold into slavery Judah (4th born) split from his bros. He moved to Adullam with a man named HIRAH. He met the (Canaanite) daughter of Shua and married her. She got pregnant and had 3 boys: 1. Er, 2. Onan, 3. Shelah.

v.6-10, Judah chose a wife for Er (Tamar) but he offended God and God took his life! So Judah told Onan to sleep with his bros’ widow because it was his duty to keep his brother’s line alive. But Onan was not willing to have a child that wasn’t his own. So whenever they slept together he spilled his semen on the ground so wouldn’t produce an heir for his brother. So God took his life too!

v.11-12, so Judah told Tamar to stay a widow until his youngest son grows up and can marry her. BUT Judah didn’t really intend this to happen because he was afraid Shelah would also end up dead! So Tamar went back home and waited. Time passed and Judah’s wife died. When the time of mourning passed he went with Hirah (his friend) to Timnah to supervise the shearing of his sheep.

v.13-14, as soon as Tamar learned her father-in-law was on his was to Timnah, Tamar took off her widow clothes and disguised herself as a prostitute (covering her face with a veil) and sat beside the road at the entrance to the village of Enaim on the way to Timnah. (Tamar realized by now that even though Shelah was grown up, she wasn’t going to marry him after all — essentially Judah lied to her).

v.15-19, Judah saw her (assuming she was a prostitute) and propositioned her “have sex with me!” He had no idea who she really was. [where are the cops when you need them?]

Tamar: How much will you pay me?

Judah: A young goat

T: What guarantee do I have?

J: What kind of guarantee do you want?

T: Leave me your identification seal and it’s cord and your staff. (He gave them to her, he must have wanted to have sex bad!) They had sex and she got pregnant. Then she took her veil off and put back on her widow’s clothes.

v.20-23, later Judah asked his friend Hirah to take the young goat to the woman (prostitute) and pick up his things he left with her as a guarantee. Hirah couldn’t find her anywhere! So he asked around and the men told him they have never seen a prostitute there. Hirah told Judah what he had learned. So Judah decided to stop looking for her and told Hirah to stop looking for her “I kept my part of the bargain and sent her the young goat” because they would be the laughing stock of the village if they continued to look for her. “She can keep my things.”

v.24-26, three month later… Judah was told his daughter-in-law was acting like a prostitute and because of it she is pregnant! Judah demanded she be burned! But as they were taking her out to kill her, she sent a message to Judah with the things he had given her (as guarantee for sex) and said the man who owns these things made me pregnant. He recognized HIS THINGS right away and said “she’s in the right; I’m in the wrong because I wouldn’t let her marry my youngest, Shelah.” The Bible says “he never slept with her again” or “…made love to her again.”

v.27-30, when she was going to give birth, she found out she was going to have twin boys. When she was giving birth, one of the babies reached out his hand and the midwife tied a red / scarlet string around the child’s wrist saying “this one came first.” But then he pulled back his hand and his brother came out first instead. The midwife said “how did you break out?” and named him Perez (breakout). Then his brother came out with the red / scarlet string on his wrist and she named him Zerah (scarlet).

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? The biggest lesson for me is really what Judah did to Tamar. 1st, KEEP YOUR PROMISES, don’t lie. You should be true to your word. Instead of lying to Tamar about marrying Shelah (his final son), he should have levelled with her. Told her the truth that he was afraid of loosing his last and only son after the first 2 where taken by God for their wickedness. 2nd, DON’T SLEEP WITH PROSTITUTES, or more importantly don’t have sex with any on other than you spouse because your sins with find you out. [I know this is a no brainer, but we need the reminder!]

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Not sin! Not because my sins will find me out but because they offend and grieve God. And if I have sins that I need to confess to God that I keep going back to (pet-sins). Confess them (1 John 1:9).

October 29, 2010 at 4:07 PM Leave a comment

Day 33…Genesis 37:

Genesis 37: Joseph & his brothers

v.1-2, Joseph is 17 yrs old and is trying to help his brothers herd the flock. They were his half-bros (son of his father Jacob but Mom’s were Bilhah & Zilpah–concubines). Joseph tattled on them to his father.

v.3-4, UNFORTUNATELY Jacob (Israel) loved Joseph MORE than any of this other sons because he was the child of his old age. He had a special gift made for Joseph–coat of many colours (embroidered elaborately). When his bros realized their father LOVED Joseph more then them they grew to HATE him–they wouldn’t even speak to him!

v.5-11, Joseph had 2 dreams and he told the 1st one to his brothers and the 2nd one to his Dad as well:

Dream 1 | “We’re all in the fields gathering wheat in bundles. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around and bowed down to mine.”

Joseph’s bros HATED him EVEN MORE because of his dreams. They said “you think you’re going to rule over us? You’re going to boss us around?”

Dream 2 | “the sun, moon and 11 stars bowed down to me.”

His Dad reprimanded Joseph “stop with all the dreaming. Are your Mother and I and your brothers suppose to bow down to you?” Now his bros were really JEALOUS but Jacob wondered what the dream really meant.

v.12-17, Joseph’s bros had left for Shechem to take care of the flock. Jacob (Israel) told Joseph to GO and MEET UP (bring back a report of how they are doing) with his bros. Joseph agreed of he went. On the way he met a man (from the area) who asked him what he was looking for. Joseph told him he was looking for his brothers and asked where they are. He told Joseph they were left here and on their way to Dothan. So he tracked them down at Dothan.

v.18-20, his bros saw him from a distance and by the time he got to them they had cooked up a plan to KILL him and throw him in one of the old cisterns. They would blame his death on a vicious animal, then they said “we’ll see what he’s becomes of his dream then!”

v.21-22, Reuben (1st born) intervened to save him and convinced his brothers not to MURDER Joseph but to still throw him into the cistern. He planned on returning back later and rescuing Joseph. [I believe Reuben left at this point…]

IDEA: if they left Joseph in the cistern long enough he would die without laying a hand on him (no food, no water)

v.23-27, when Joseph reached his bros they RIPPED OFF his fancy coat and GRABBED him and THREW him into a cistern (it was dry without any water in it). Then they sat down to eat supper. They saw a caravan of Ishmaelites in the distance on their way from Gilead to Egypt to sell the wares. Judah came up with the idea not to kill Joseph but SELL him to the Ishmaelites because there was nothing to gain by killing him [we have to try to cover up a murder] and besides “he is our brother, flesh and blood.”

v.28, by the time the caravan were passing by the bros pulled Joseph up and sold him to them for 20 pieces of silver and the Ishmaelites took Joseph with them to Egypt.

 

v.29-30, later Reuben came back to get Joseph [as he planned] and saw he was no longer there. He ripped his clothes in despair and went to his bros to find out what happened.

v.31-36, then the bros killed a young goat and put it’s blood on Joseph’s coat and took it back to their Dad and told him they found it like this. Israel recognized the coat right away and figured a wild animal had eaten Joseph. Israel tore his clothes in grief and dressed in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long long time! His family tried to comfort him but he refused their comfort–he wept bitterly and believed he was going to mourn his until he died.

MEANWHILE...the traders arrived in Egypt where they SOLD Joseph to Potiphar (one of Pharaoh’s officials, manager of his household affairs).

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Jealousy and hatred can lead you to terrible things like killing and selling someone into slavery, as Joseph’s brothers did to him. SIDE NOTE: Israel shouldn’t have treated Joseph any different than any of his other sons. He shouldn’t have had a fav son!!!

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Don’t allow resentment / hatred / frustration that I feel lead to killing or selling another human being (in my mind). In other words, I need to get over the deep hurt I felt and forgive!

October 27, 2010 at 3:24 PM Leave a comment

Day 32…Genesis 36:

Genesis 36: Family tree of Esau (Edomites)

v.1-5, Esau (aka…Edom) married womEn of Canaan: Adah she had a son: Eliphaz. Oholibamah she had 3 sons: Jeush, Jalam & Korah. Basemath she had a son: Reuel.

v.6-8, Esau gathered up his family and everything he owned and moved away from his brother Jacob. They both had too many possessions to live together in the same place. The land couldn’t support both of their livestock. Esau settled in Seir.

v.9-14, Esau’s sons and their children’s sons: Eliphaz’s sons: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, Kenaz, Amalek. Reuel’s sons: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, Mizzah.

v.15-19, Chiefs or leaders of the clans in Esau’s family: Eliphaz’s chieftains: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, Korah, Gatam, Amalek. Reuel’s chieftains: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, Mizzah. Obolibamah’s cheiftains: Jeush, Jalam, Korah.

v.20-30, Seir the Horite’s sons: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah. Seir’s cheifs: Dishon, Ezer, Dishan. Lotan’s sons: Hori, Heman & daughter: Timna. Shobal’s sons: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, Onam. Zibeon’s sons: Aiah, Anah (who found hot springs in the wilderness while herding his Dad’s donkeys). Anah’s sons: Dishon & daughter: Oholibamah. Dishon’s sons: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, Keran. Ezer’s sons: Bilhan, Zaavan, Akan. Dishan’s sons: Uz, Aran. Each of the bolded men (Lotan to Dishan) were also the Horite chieftains.

v.31-39, The Kings who ruled in Edom (before there was a king in Israel): Bela ruled the city of Dinhabah. After he died Jobab became king. After he died Husham became king. After he died Hadad became king and ruled FROM the city of Avith. He defeated the Midianites in Moab. After he died Samlah became king. After he died Shaul became king. After he died Baal-hanan became king. After he died Hadad became king and ruled FROM the city of Pau (his wife was Mehetabel).

v.40-43, These are the cheifs or leaders of the clans of Esau (aka…the Edomites): Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel, Iram.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? The most obvious is Esau inter-married or settled among the people of Canaan (against his Dad’s wishes) just to show the opposite of what Jacob ended up doing–contrast.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Don’t let sin reign in my life or settle for a life MARRIED to the world.

October 26, 2010 at 2:15 PM Leave a comment

Camp Koinonia Retreat

I had the great privilege of being the guest speaker this past weekend (Oct 22-24) at Camp Koinonia’s reunion retreat. This retreat was a culmination of past campers, staff, directors and a number of students for a church in Mississauga along with their pastor and leaders.

All in all this was an amazing weekend and I met some fantastic and fascinating people. People who taught me as much as I was supposed to teach them. haha!

I chose to speak on APOLOGETICS (defending their faith) because I believe a lot of believers (even older believers) don’t know how to defend their faith so I wanted to equip them with information and evidence that would help them to do so.

I started off the weekend with my testimony on Friday night so they knew a little bit about me and where I have been and what I am doing. Then on Saturday morning we talked about a very controversial subject “DO ALL ROADS LEAD TO HEAVEN?” And we discovered in a nutshell, NO they don’t. Jesus said himself in:

John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

So the only way to heaven is through Jesus himself! The amazing thing about this topic, is that it lead to much discussion among the campers and their leaders, so much so that we ended up having a special Q&A gathering that afternoon with over 12 people. What a great discussion and many of the students had great questions that both the other leaders and myself were able to answer. Great time!

On Saturday night we continued our series on Apologetics with the topic of “CAN THE BIBLE BE TRUSTED?” I shared some evidence from the  1) Bible itself:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

God-breathed means it finds its source and origin in God. The words of the Bible are the very words of God himself. Now this doesn’t mean the Bible fell from heaven. Rather God moved upon men to write, communicate and transcribe His Word with their own language, style and even background. So Luke a doctor writes very different than Peter a fisherman and Matthew a tax-collector.

I had 3 students and 1 adult describe for me my fav drink: Mountain Dew. We discovered how hard it is to have unity between 4 people in just describing a can of pop! Then how impossible it would be to have 40 different authors over 3 different continents and 3 different languages over a period of 1500 years to have unity in their writing (God’s plan to restore his creation). This is a short description of how the Bible was written. Wow!!!

Prophecy means predicting the future. The prophecies of the Bible are precise. Many times they’re given 100’s even 1000’s of years advance of the event they are predicting. The OT contains 48 specific prophecies & 300 more referring to the Messiah. Every prophecy was published at least 500 years before Christ was born. Here are just a few:

Micah 5:2 predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Came true: Matthew 2:1.
Zechariah 11:12 predicted he would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. Came true Matthew 26:14-15.
Psalm 22:16-18 predicted he’d be crucified 600 years before it was invented. Came true Luke 23:33.

The last 2 evidences I shared were for those people who didn’t believe the Bible is the truth:

2) Archeology: critics of the Bible are always trying to use archeology and history to discredit the Bible. One of many, some have claimed Pilate never existed, yet recently archeology has uncovered a theater in Caesera bearing his name.

3) Manuscripts: Old Testament – dead sea scrolls were written 1000 years before Jesus was born and they were almost identical (99%) to the manuscripts they already had that were written 100 years before he was born. New Testament – there are 24,000 manuscript copies of the NT with a 25 year time span between the original and the earliest manuscripts. The Iliad ranks next — it has 643 manuscript copies with a 500 year time span between the original and the copies. —> we discovered clearly that the Bible can be trusted with the 3 evidences we looked at, not to mention the way the Bible has changed lives, mine included!

Our final topic I spoke about on Sunday morning was “DOES GOD EXIST?” and I shared some evidence:

1) Teleological Argument: means God’s DESIGN is seen in the UNIVERSE or CREATION.

Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. 2 Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. 3 They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. 4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.

God is speaking to us everyday through the sun, moon, stars, and all of his creation. He is showing himself in the wonders of nature – a bird flying, the smell a flower, a mountain, even your skin. Take a second and look at your hand. Really look at it. Now compare it to your neighbours. Is it the same, or is it unique. Imagine someone had to have created it. God shows us he is the designer by his fantastic designs.

Human body. Heart, perfectly designed to pump 2000 gallons of blood a day. Lungs, designed to filter oxygen out of the air you breath. Brain, 100 billion brain cells, far more advanced than any computer system in the world. Tongue, has 8000 taste buds. Eye, moves 10,000 times a day, 130 million light sensitive cells in the retina. Ear, grooves, bumps and ridges were created to catch passing sound waves and channel them into the eardrum. I can go on…imagine if some of the things I mentioned weren’t exactly as God created them. Say you had 2 tongues OR your nose was upside down. You would drown whenever it rained.

It is obvious that these things didn’t happen by chance or all of sudden happen, NO, God is the designer/creator and it is seen in his creation.

2) Anthropological Argument: God’s CHARACTER is reflected in MANKIND

Genesis 1:27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. The human person is made in the image of God. In other words, when God created us, he made us to be mirror images of himself; we are creatures who resemble our Creator in distinctive ways. We have free choice, we are creatures of reason, we are creative, we have the ability to experience love and hate, we are meant to have relationships — in all these ways and others we are made in God’s image. For this reason we sense, without being taught, that there must be a God!

Right & Wrong. One other thing that makes it very obvious God’s character is reflected in our live is that we understand the difference between right & wrong. Would you say it was wrong to kill someone?

Where did you get that idea it was wrong? I believe this is a moral code that God gave to us when he created us. You go as far back as Genesis when God put Adam and Eve in the Garden, he told them they could eat of any of the trees except the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil. You see, God gave us the notion that some things were right and other were wrong. CS Lewis (an atheist that set out to prove that there was no God, instead became a deeply committed Christian) calls this Tao = sense of right and wrong and it comes from God, not biology, genetics or psychology.

The final evidence is changed lives, like showing the Bible can be trusted we can prove the existence of God by example of changed lives:

Irina Ratushinskaya grew up in an atheistic home, was taught there was no God all of her childhood. When she was 9 years old she figured something out, “My parents told me there is no ghosts. They told me there aren’t any goblins. The only told me those things once, though. They tell me there isn’t a God every day. There must be a God!” In other words, if there weren’t something to it, they wouldn’t be fighting so hard against it.

Irina eventually accepted Christ into her life and many years down the road was imprisoned for her belief. While in prison the guards try to freeze her to death but she continued to hold onto her faith and she said that she knew that ppl were praying for her, which in fact was true. Somehow she knew it and got thru the pain.

I challenged the people at the retreat after each talk, first to respond to the fact that Jesus was the only way to God (heaven) by either wanting to know more or making a decision to believe and accept him. Then I challenged them to start to use their Bible on a daily basis instead of only on Sunday or once in a blue moon. Lastly I challenged them to stand up for God like they have never done before.

Again I was so blessed to be the speaker this past weekend and I am hoping the seeds that were sown will take root and grow.

October 25, 2010 at 9:27 PM Leave a comment

Day 31…Genesis 35:

Genesis 35: Jacob returns to Bethel

v.1-5, God spoke to Jacob and told him to go back to Bethel and live there and build an altar to God. Jacob obeyed and before he left he told his family to get rid of all foreign gods, clean up ritually, change their clothes then go to Bethel to build an altar to God. So they gave him all the idols and their lucky earrings. Jacob buried everything under the oak tree near Shechem. Then they set off to Bethel. No one followed them from the surrounding town because everyone was terrified of God.

v.6-8, Jacob along with his family arrived in Luz (Bethel) in Canaan. He built an altar called the place El Bethel (God of the House of God) because this is the place God revealed himself to Jacob when he was running from Esau. At the same time Rebekah’s nurse Deborah died. She was buried under the oak tree, so Jacob called it Allon-bacuth (the Tree of Crying).

v.9-15, God revealed himself again to Jacob (6th time) at Paddan Aram and he blessed him. Like his father and his father’s father, God changed his name: ISRAEL (God wrestler). God reminded Israel of the promise he made to Abraham and Issac — give him the land he gave to Abraham and Issac. Then God left. Jacob set up a stone marker to mark the place where God had spoken to him and poured a wine and oil offering on it. Jacob name the place Bethel (House of God).

Rachel’s final son: BENJAMIN:

v.16-20, they left Bethel, and they were still quite far from Ephrath when Rachel went into hard labour..

12. Rachel named her final son just before she died Benoni (Son of My Sorrow) but Israel renamed him BENJAMIN (Son of My Right Hand)

then Rachel died and was buried on the road to Ephrath (Bethelehem). Israel set up a pillar to mark her grave site. It’s still there today called “Rachel’s Grave Stone.”

v.21-22, Israel moved on his way to Canaan and set up his tent at Migdal Eder. Unfortunately while living in that region, Reuben (eldest son) slept wit Bilhah (Israel’s concubine) and Israel heard about it.

Here are Jacob’s sons (also the 12 tribes of Israel):

Sons of Leah: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar & Zebulun

Sons of Rachel: Joseph & Benjamin

Sons of Bilhah: Dan & Naphtali

Sons of Zilpah: Gad & Asher    ———–> All born in Paddan Aram.

v.27-29, Jacob made it home back to his Dad Issac at Mamre in Kiriath Arba (today: Hebron). Issac now at 180 yrs old died and was buried with his family by his sons Esau & Jacob.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? God keeps his promises even it is NOT IN OUR TIMING. God has made Abraham a father of many nations through his son’s son (Jacob). It probably wasn’t how Abraham expected it but God did as he said he would — he promised!

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Remember God keeps his promises and trust him to take care of my family and me in this new chapter of our life.Wherever God has me go or do, I need to trust he has my best interest in mind.

God, help me to trust and not doubt!

October 21, 2010 at 10:27 PM Leave a comment

Family pics

Last Saturday we had our family pictures taken and the photographer: Samantha Erin has already sent us a few priliminary pics. Check them out. Such great pics. My wife is such a hottie and my daughter is still my little princess, and a cutie in these pics.

Enjoy… 

DeGraaf Family Photo Session – Whitby, ON | Samantha Erin Photography
www.samanthaerinphotography.com

October 21, 2010 at 11:57 AM Leave a comment

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