Tag Archives: despair

Genesis 47 – Desperation

So Pharaoh finally gets to meet the family of his illustrious first-in-command.  As a result of this meeting, Israel and his family are allowed to settle in the best of the land of Egypt.  They are now being provided for for the last five years of the famine.  They have no need and no worry.  They have been blessed by God.

The people of the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan are running out of money.  They have been paying for food so that they can stay alive.  However, all the money in the land of Egypt is running out.  There is still a famine, yet there is no money to use to buy more food they are getting desperate.  So they come to Joseph and ask for help.  Joseph makes them a deal.  “Give up your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock, since your money is gone.”  So now they have food for another year, at the cost of their livestock.

However, another year comes and goes, and the famine is not over yet!  They still need food, and they now have no money and no livestock to barter for food.  Desperation is high and provision is low, what are the people to do?  They come to Joseph honestly.  They tell him that they have no money and no livestock.  They have nothing to trade for food but themselves and their land.  So Joseph agrees.  They will become slaves of Pharaoh and their land belongs to him, and in turn he (Joseph) will provide them with food.

How desperate are you to see God work and move in your life?  How desperate are we?  Have we yet gotten so sick and tired of having mediocre Christianity, of not having strong, solid bread of life that we are willing to give up what we have for it.  Are we, like the Egyptians, in understanding of our own need and desperation?  Do we recognize our own famine?  Do we realize just how much we need God and for him to move in our lives, in our cities, and in our nation?  Or, are we satisfied with dying a slow spiritual death as we watch our spiritual life ebb and drain away to nothing?

…As we watch our families, cities, and nations slowly degrade into squalor, where is our desire for something more?  Where is our longing for something better?  At what point is enough, ENOUGH!?!  Where is OUR desperation?  Where is your desperation?  The Egyptians had to come to the point where they were willing to give up their land and their very lives in order to get the food that they needed to survive.  Are you there yet?  When will enough be enough?

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Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Genesis, Old Testament, Person, Process, Purpose, Torah

Genesis 7 – Loss

Well, i know that God is working in me through this project.  I have said previously that by going through the Bible this way i am getting a much more intimate picture.  The lives and people become more personal.  The situations and lives have gone from stories of history, to a history of people.  Well, that has not been more clear than here in chapter 7.

I started today waking up with the song “Take Me In” by Kutless running through my head.  So i was singing it as i went down to the basement to start working on chapter 7.  I opened my Bible and journal, looked at vs. 1, and started crying. “Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Enter the ark, you and all your household…”  I knew what was coming, and i just couldn’t handle it.

Now to put this into perspective; I remember where i was the day that the Oklahoma city bombing occurred.  I was at a friend’s house.  It was someone i hadn’t seen in years.  His mom turned on the TV, and it was all over the news.  My reaction was, “Oh great, that means that this is going to be  all over the news all day.”  Not a tear shed; more annoyance about the life interruption than anything else.  I didn’t understand why everyone was getting so worked up about things.  And sure enough the drama went on for days and weeks.

Then September 11, 2001 occurred.  I was in class working towards my Masters in Counseling when the news hit.  It seemed like all these people all around me were crying and upset.  The loss of life affected them, but not the same way as with me.  I was shocked and upset about what was happening, but i was more fascinated with seeing the whole event unfold.  I kept wanting to see before and after comparison pictures to see the extent of the damage.  The loss of human life was not as much of an issue for me.

Now with that background, i come into this chapter.  I’ve read this chapter more times than i can remember.  I’ve heard the story in Sunday School and classes even more than that.  It has always been just a story to me.  …A story with important historical and theological implications.  Today though, it was something completely different.  It was no longer just some story.  Those people, those lives, have become important.  Seeing all the energy, all the effort, all the work that has gone into these lives.  Not just the people, but the animals and the plant-life.  Those people have become my people.  It’s like i’ve watched them grow up.  I’ve seen their dreams, joys, failures, children, and grandchildren.  I’ve seen them live, love, lose, and find redemption.  I’ve been there as man loses his home and he comforts his wife.  I’ve seen children born, destroy their lives, and continue feeding that through the generations.  I’ve seen new hope born.  I’ve seen generation after generation consume themselves more and more with their anger and selfishness.

I understand WHY it needs to happen, but i’m crushed that it DOES.  “Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Enter the ark, you and all your household…”  I knew what was coming, and i just couldn’t handle it.  How must it have been for Noah and his family?  How hard was it for them knowing that all that they knew and cared for was about to be destroyed.  How much more for God, who had created and cared so lovingly for.  This wasn’t just some trivial matter.  This was a necessary revulsion of all of the corruption  that was acting as a cancer that was destroying the world.  It was all the hard work and effort.  It was all the hope dreams and lives, gone.  I started crying.  (You can ask my wife, that’s not something that happens very often.)

Then it’s almost like my eyes were drawn straight down to verse 16 “Those that entered,… entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him.”  At that point the crying turned into weeping and i had to turn away.  This is something that God HAD to do personally.  He HAD to set it into motion Himself.  The work of His hands, the man created in His image, the birds, the cattle, even the creeping things, all of it.  A necessary and total loss… except for that one hope that floated along in that little boat.

It took me about 10 minutes and some serious toughing up to get to the point where i could pick up my pen and start writing.  Needless to say, this project is completely changing the way i view the scriptures, and the world around me.

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Filed under Bible, Genesis, Old Testament, Torah