taken from THIS book.

I realize that last week, week 12, didn’t get posted. Maybe next time around.

Reading for today is Genesis 24-50! No small amount, that.

“God had to work through many dysfunctional aspects in the life of Abraham and his descendants to try to mold them into the people of this Kingdom. He wanted to preserve among them their knowledge of Him, their worship of Him, and their dependence on Him as their only God. He wanted to keep them separate from the surrounding nations so they would not be seduced into polytheistic idol worship and the corrupt morality that goes with it. (and I would add He desired for them to be the light to all nations that would draw all peoples to Him)

Highlighting Jacob and his family, Dr Fountains points out that God worked through the evil events in this family to bring good through them. A dysfunctional family (Jacob had 2 wives AND 2 concubines) produced 12 sons one of which was favored, leading to Joseph’s pride and then hatred toward him from his brothers, who sold him into slavery. Joseph, through his uprightness in Potiphar’s household, was given ever increasing responsibilities but was brought down when his uprightness clashed with the moral corruption in Potiphar’s wife. And of course the rest of the story ends with Joseph in charge of managing the great famine in Egypt which reunites him with his family and ultimately reconciles Joseph with is brothers. Unfortunately this leads to Israel’s enslavement but that’s a story for a later time. It does illustrate that God works in us to accomplish His goals in spire of the imperfect aspects of our lives.

This illustrates God’s goals for His people:

  1. He wants us to be free from all that keeps us from living as He wants us to live.
  2. He wants us to be righteous, which means to have right relationships with everyone, including with God himself.

Some questions:

  1. How did God bring good out of the evil that the brothers did to Joseph?
  2. What lessons to you see in these accounts that can help us to live effectively in the Kingdom of God and under His rule?

I would like again to encourage you to purchase this book if you have not done so already.

Today’s scripture focus is Genesis 12. Abram is called to leave his home and to set out on a journey of faith, to a place the Lord would show him. God was beginning the work of building a special relationship with a particular people. Not because they were deserving, “not to make them a rich and powerful people but to live with Him and to serve (emphasis mine) other nations”…Thus began the long history of salvation whereby redemption from evil comes through an intimate trust relationship with God.”

  • Abram’s culture was polytheistic and God was calling him to leave this culture and land.
  • Abram obeyed, God blessed him and gave him a new identity. God’s friend and the father of a new nation.
  • This new people would bring blessing to the nations by helping them find their identity as followers of God.

The Covenant Relationship – “A covenant is a mutual agreement between two parties”… and in this case a covenant between God, who is sovereign, and His people, who are the subjects.

  • God established the agreement.
  • We enter into it by agreeing to it and promising our faithfulness and obedience.
  • Based on mutual faith and trust.
  • The guarantee of the covenant rests on God’s unchanging faithfulness. He will protect us.
  • Our part is to obey. If we do He will bless His people and they will prosper and bless all the people of the earth.
  • This provides us our identity in Him.

Purpose of the Covenant – God wanted His people, Israel, to be a model of the Kingdom of God to other nations. They were to live in a way that would attract the other nations to come into the Kingdom of God.

  1. What does it really mean to have a covenant relationship with the Creator of the Universe, Almighty God? As a person and community of His people.
  2. Why does God make such heavy requirements of his people?
  3. What benefits do you see in having an intentional covenant relationship with God as a person, family and Church?

Reading from Genesis 11:1-9 – Human civilization at Babel

Dr Fountain points out that the Lord recognized the amazing accomplishments being achieved by the people because of their:

  1. Unity – one people, one language and good understanding of each other.
  2. they had a common Vision and Goals. Stability, security, prestige and spiritual wisdom. (at least from their own worldview)
  3. they were demonstrating great organizational and management skills. Careful planning, the right people doing the right work, effective management, (though it may have been built on a system dependent on slave labor) good motivation and only using resources available to them in their context.

There is nothing wrong with these elements in a people group or in an organization with KoG purposes! So why was the Lord upset with what man was accomplishing?

  1. God had instructed man to fill the earth and this people were looking to just stay in one place.
  2. They were looking to achieve this all on their own with no dependence on God.
  3. God wanted them to get their wisdom from Him and not to rely on human wisdom.

So in some way He confused their efforts by confusing their languages and this destroyed their ability to effectively communicate?

The principle Dan points out is this: without God as our central focus and source of wisdom, we fall into conflicting and destructive groups. Pride takes over, disunity develops, and warfare between groups can develop.

The Kingdom of God is where God rules in everything. With God we can accomplish much but without Him we become confused, disorganized and even destructive!

Some questions:

  1. What were the good things being done by the people group in Genesis 11: 1-9? Do we include them in our own projects/calling?
  2. If we include these good elements in our work how do we guard against becoming prideful and losing sight of the real reason for our success?
  3. What does this teach us about the KoG?