Risky Business

Genesis 38

What about Joseph and his fantastic dreams? Why the hiatus to follow this crazy-twisted tale in Judah’s life? As the story continues to unfold, the destinies of these two sons of Jacob are linked in a unique way. This chapter covers roughly the same twenty-year period that Joseph will be in Egypt before the brothers come to visit. As we will see next week, Judah is a foil for Joseph. Among other things, Judah leaves his father’s home voluntarily, Joseph is forcibly removed; Judah makes bad decisions and follows his own desires, Joseph makes wise decisions and follows God. The dreams of Joseph will have a near-term impact on the family as he rescues them from famine, and they move south to Egypt. But ultimately the dreams of Joseph point us to a greater Rescuer, a greater Deliverer, a greater Redeemer, a much greater Hero…the Head-crushing Seed of the woman, a Guy we know as Jesus, who is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

Judah or Tamar. I don’t know which one best describes you. Selfish, hypocritical, short-sighted. Or self-reliant, resourceful, ends justify the means. Either way, the beautiful thing is…God uses evil in our lives for good. He’s not the Author of evil, but He is able to take our bad choices and accomplishes His purposes, many times in spite of us. Another way to say it…God doesn’t waste our mistakes. Thinking about life as a teenager…a point in life when a lot of major life decisions are made, generally the time when we have our first relationship with the opposite sex, the time when we are most tempted to experiment, decisions that can change the trajectory of our lives, decisions that may have catastrophic consequences in our lives. And many times bad choices made at this time can not only impact our life’s course, but they can also cause us to think that we can no longer be used by God. We can be deceived into thinking that life is over. But it’s not. God doesn’t often rescue us from the temporal consequences of our choices, but His grace abounds as we face those consequences. And those consequences become a part of the journey that God has us on as He fashions us into the image of His Son.

We talked about this a couple of weeks ago…God is in the process of shaping and molding us into the folks He wants us to be. He has a destiny for each one of us. And the road to realizing that destiny may be short or long, depending on the choices we make. Judah’s turning point didn’t have to be twenty years in the making. Tamar shouldn’t have had to trick her father-in-law. But God uses their choices and does an incredible thing…the hope remains alive through the mess. From this crazy-twisted story comes the line of Jesus. God can redeem our crazy-twisted stories also and bring beauty from ashes.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

 

Behold – God is My Salvation

 

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

 

Today we turn to the Book of Isaiah, one of the most loved books of the Bible; it is perhaps the best known of the prophetic books. It has great literary merit and contains beautiful descriptive terminology.

Isaiah spoke more than any other prophet of the great kingdom into which Israel would enter at the Second Advent of the Messiah. He also discussed the depths of Israel’s sin and the heights of God’s glory and His coming kingdom.

Jewish tradition tells us that Isaiah’s father was King Uzziah’s brother. We know that Isaiah frequented the court and was close to a number of kings.  So it is very possible that he was of royal seed.

Jewish tradition also tells us that Isaiah was sawn in half by the wicked King Manasseh. Hebrews 11 talks about those who were sawn asunder for their faith, a reference many believe is directed to Isaiah.

The first 39 chapters of Isaiah focus on the sin, the call to repentance and judgment of the people of Judah and Israel.

At chapter 40, the book of Isaiah takes a turn toward love, grace and the hope of salvation and restoration.

Isaiah’s overall theme receives its clearest statement in chapter 12: “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid”. (Isaiah 12:2).

The book of Isaiah provides us with the most comprehensive prophetic picture of Jesus Christ in the entire Old Testament.

It includes the full scope of His life: the announcement of His coming (Isaiah 40:3–5), His virgin birth (7:14), His proclamation of the good news (61:1), His sacrificial death (52:13–53:12), and His return to claim His own (60:2–3).

The authors of the New Testament read the book of Isaiah in light of the coming of Christ and realized that this prophet anticipated the Messiah’s coming with remarkable clarity. For this reason they quoted Isaiah more than any other Old Testament book.

In Isaiah we find a lofty view of God. The Lord is seen as the Initiator of events in history. He is called Lord Almighty, Holy One, Redeemer.

He is apart from and greater than His Creation; yet He is involved in the affairs of that Creation.

Indeed, Isaiah centered his theology and his book on God and the work that He was doing and would continue to do in the world.

Luke tells us in Luke 4:10-21 that Jesus opened the scroll containing the book of Isaiah and read one of the Messianic passages in Isaiah and told those in attendance that He was the fulfillment of that prophecy.

His life, death and subsequent resurrection proved indeed He was the Redeemer, the Messiah promised in the writings of Isaiah.

Amen!

Until next time…keep reading!

Jim

Excerpts for this blog were taken from the HCSB, Bible Knowledge Commentary and Courson’s Application Commentary, Old Testament Volume 2.