Genesis: The Book of Beginnings

G C Willis

Contents
    Introduction
 1 Stories in Genesis
 2 The Seventh Day and The First Day
 3 How Sin Entered the World
 4 Cain and Abel's Sacrifice
 5 Death or Life
 6 People Who Do Not Die
 7 The Flood
 8 The Judgment Comes
 9 God's Longsuffering
10 Noah's Sacrifice
11 The Tower of Babel
12 God Calls Abraham
13 Abram and Lot
14 Abram and the Kings
15 Can You Count the Stars?
16 The God Who Hears
17 The God Who Sees All Things and Hears All Things
18 A Terrible Judgment
19 An Aged Man, One Hundred Years Old, Has a Son
20 The Offering of the Only Begotten Son
21 The Bride of Isaac
22 Isaac Marries Rebekah
23 To Meet the Bride
24 Despising The Precious Promise
25 The Promise of Blessing
26 The Deceiver
27 So Great Grace
28 Far From God
29 Jacob's Return Journey
30 Jacob's New Name
31 Jacob Meets Esau
32 Jacob Becomes Friendly with The World
33 Jacob Goes to Bethel
34 Joseph
35 Joseph in Egypt
36 The Dreams of the Butler and The Baker
37 Joseph and the King of Egypt
38 Joseph Explains Pharaoh's Dream
39 Seven Years of Famine
40 Joseph's Brothers Go Down to Egypt
41 Benjamin Goes Down to Egypt
42 The Silver Cup in a Corn Bag
43 Tell My Father of All My Glory
44 Jacob Goes Down to Egypt
45 The Famine in Egypt
46 Jacob's Will to Joseph
47 Forgiveness Doubted
48 Conclusion

Introduction

This book is a translation, abbreviated and revised, of the Chinese book, "Exposition of Genesis, the Book of Beginnings". It has been prepared especially for those who are not familiar with the lovely stories of the Old Testament, and its object is to point such persons to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is so plainly to be seen in almost every story.

An English translation of the Chinese original was made by a brother beloved in China. Typed copies of this were prepared, for her Master's sake, by one who had learned to know Him in an Internment Camp: and these copies were abbreviated and revised by our beloved brother, Dr. Arthur C. Groth, with the help and advice of some of his friends. This was the last labour of love our brother undertook, before the Lord called him to that Home above, where His servants shall serve Him, as we cannot below.

For some years Dr. Groth had felt most keenly the need of a book such as this; and it is with gratitude to God it is now sent forth, his "desire accomplished", which is "sweet to the soul". May the Lord graciously accept it, hide the many imperfections, and use it for His own praise and glory, and the blessing of His people.

Chapter 1

Stories in Genesis

Genesis 1

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." (Gen. 1:1-2)

Some of us have seen a man make a table. Of course he must have the wood. Wood may be bought from a lumber company, and then cut into shape and put together to make a table. But a man could never make the wood itself. Or, a man making bamboo baskets, — he must first get the bamboo. This he splits into strips to weave. But to begin with, he must have the bamboo.

When God first created the world, He did not use stones or water or any thing. Yet, through faith, we know that the world was created by the Word of God, (Heb. 11:3) and the heavens too. (Ps. 33:6). None but God could do this.

At first the earth must have been very good. But how did it become waste and empty, with darkness? God has not told us, but we believe God's word: "the earth was without form and void," or, "empty."

People speak of "the darkness of the world." They do not mean that the sun and the moon do not give light, but that our hearts are dark. As the earth was empty and dark, so this is a picture of people. Light is knowing God. Darkness is not knowing God. How may this darkness be made light?

"The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, Let there be light." There are three persons in the Godhead. They are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is He Who is often called "The Heavenly Father". If we are His children we may call Him, "Abba, Father". That is something like, "Dear Father." The Son of God is Jesus. If we belong to Him, we call Him, "Lord Jesus". He is God, but He once became a Man, and lived on the earth. He died to put away our sins and rose again from among the dead and went up to heaven. He is truly God and truly Man, the risen Man in the glory. The Holy Spirit is also God. He lives on the earth in those who belong to the Lord Jesus. He also speaks to people.

When God said, "Let there be light", the Spirit of God was moving on the face of the dark waters. So He now works in people giving them spiritual light.

If you know that your heart is dark and empty, it is the Holy Spirit speaking to your soul. Then God says, "Let there be light", as He did to the dark world. And God saw the light that it was good. So He divided the light from the darkness. He called the light Day, and the darkness, Night. So there was evening and morning, the first day.

Then the world had light, but it was still waste, and covered with water. God said: "Let there be a firmament" (air) "in the midst of the waters" to divide the waters into the upper clouds and lower seas. God called the air "Heaven", and we call it the sky. There was evening and there was morning, the second day. The water in the upper part we call clouds. The lower part is called Seas, Rivers, Lakes, and Ponds. As God divided the light from the darkness, so now He divided what was below from what was above, as God always divides good from bad. People do not do that. God tells those who call Him Lord, to go away from what is bad. (2 Tim. 2:19). God said: "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear." God called this land 'Earth' and the mass of waters, 'Sea.' God saw that it was good. God said that grass should come on the earth, and vegetables that have seeds, and also fruit trees, and it was so. God saw that this was good; there was evening and morning, — the third day.

God said, "Let there be lights", to divide day from night, and for signs and seasons, days and years. So God made two great lights, the Great Light, the Sun, for the day; and the Small Light, the Moon, for night. God made the stars also. And He put the lights in the heaven to shine on the earth, to divide the day from the night, and the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. That was the fourth day. These lights are not God Himself. They are things that God made. If we call them gods, God will not be pleased with us. If you see a table, and you say that is the man who made it, do you think the man would be pleased? No! He would say, 'This is simply wood, a table made by me. It is not I.' So we worship God and not the sun or the moon. Now the earth was beautiful! It had flowers, grass, vegetables, and fruit trees. Then sun, moon and stars were shining. Still there were no living animals. So God said that the waters should bring forth a great many living things. So God created fish, and birds in the air. God saw that all was good and blessed them all on the fifth day. Then God made the wild beasts and the cattle and the creeping things. God saw that it was good. The air, the land, the sea were filled with living things, — birds, animals, fish and creeping things. Everything was beautiful! Yet there was no man on the earth; so God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing" . . . . So God created Man and blessed them. God said that He had given them every vegetable bearing seeds, also the fruit trees, for food. And to every animal, and the birds, and the creeping things He gave grass as food. God saw everything that He had made, and it was "very good". There was evening and morning, the sixth day.

Man is different from every other moving thing. God made him in His own image, so that Man's spirit lives forever, and never dies. A dog or a cow has no spirit that lives forever. Your body is like a house in which your spirit lives. If you get sick and die, it is as if your house is destroyed. Then you must move to another place. If your spirit leaves your body, where will it go? Your body can be buried in the grave, but not your spirit. Where will it go? There are two places; one is Heaven, the other is Hell. The Lord Jesus is the Door to Heaven; He says Himself: "I am the door, by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved." (John 10:9)

Chapter 2

The Seventh Day and The First Day

Genesis 2

God had ended His great work, and so on the seventh day He rested. So God blessed it and called it the Sabbath or Rest Day. But now, sin has come into this world so Jesus said, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." (John 5:17) Why do Christians gather for worship on the First Day of the week? — because the Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the First Day.

THE FIRST MAN'S FAMILY

You remember God created the world by His word, but "the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed." The LORD God made beautiful trees and fruit for food and the Tree of Life in the middle of the garden. Also there was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. "A river went out of Eden to water the garden." (Gen. 2:7-10) The LORD God put the man Adam in the garden to dress it and keep it. "The LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." The LORD God made him sleep, and took out one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh. The LORD God used the rib bone of the man to make a woman. He brought her to the man, and Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." So a man should leave his father and mother and cling closely to his wife: the two shall be one. What a wonderful way for God to make the first man and woman! Just so, the Lord Jesus, "the last Adam" to get His bride went into a "deep sleep", that means, He died on the cross. "Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it." This is a deep secret. (Eph. 5:23-32).

Chapter 3

How Sin Entered the World

Genesis 3

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman. Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent. We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." Please notice the woman made three mistakes when she told the serpent what God had said. First: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was not in the midst of the garden: the TREE OF LIFE was in the midst of the garden. Second: the Lord had not told them they must not touch it, on the contrary, they were to dress it and keep it. Third: the Lord had not said, "Lest ye die", but, "Thou shalt surely die." Men today are the same, they do not trouble to listen to what God says, but put their own thoughts in place of His words. Today many think that Knowledge, and our knowledge of Good and Evil, is the centre of God's ways for us. No! It is The TREE of LIFE, of which we may freely eat.

Let us mind God's words and never change to what we think is better. Now hear what the snake, the serpent said. First, "Hath God said?" Secondly, he comes out boldly and says "No" to God's word: "Ye shall not surely die." The serpent was speaking for the devil. When men doubt God's Word, and ask, Has God said?; then you know the devil is speaking. We must bear and believe every word in the Bible. Alas, the woman listened to the devil, and seeing that the fruit on the tree was good for food, and was nice to look at, and would make one wise, she took the fruit and ate it. She also gave it to her husband, Adam, and he ate. Then their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.

The LORD God came down in the cool of the day and walked in the garden. When Adam and his wife heard His Voice, they hid themselves amongst the trees of the garden. What a wonder it is that the great Creator should come down and talk with man! The LORD called to Adam. "Where art thou?" And he said, "I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." His own best doings, the fig leaf aprons, could not cover him. In the sight of God he was still a naked sinner. The LORD said. "Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?" Then he replied that the woman gave it to him. The LORD asked her what she had done. The woman said that the serpent deceived her. The LORD put a curse on the serpent so he should go on his belly always, and eat dust. And God would put hatred between him and the woman, and between her seed and the serpent's seed. The woman's Seed would bruise the serpent's head. The serpent would bruise His heel. And God told the woman that she would bear her children with sorrow, and that her husband would control her. The LORD God told Adam that because he had listened to his wife's words, and had eaten the fruit which God said he must not eat, the ground would grow thorns and thistles, and Adam would have to eat his bread by the sweat of his face, until he went back to the dust: because Adam came from the dust, and he must go back to dust. Adam named his wife Eve (meaning, Living) because she was the mother of all living people. We would have thought Adam would have called her the mother of all dying people, for sin had just come in; and with sin Death had come: but Adam, trusted in God, and called her Eve, the mother of all living.

God had said in the day they eat the fruit of that tree, "Thou shalt surely die." Adam and Eve should die that same day: but God in His kindness provided a way of escape. He killed some sinless animals instead of Adam and Eve, and with their skins, He made coats, and clothed them. The sinless animal must shed its blood to cover their sinful bodies, so that they can stand before God. So God showed Adam and Eve at the very beginning, that there is no other way to cover sin, except by blood. We should not try, like Adam, to cover ourselves with the fig leaves of our own doings. If we will give up our own works, and believe on the Lord Jesus Who died for us, God will count us to be righteous.

The devil still tries to lead men and women, old and young, into sin and down to hell. But God told the serpent that the Seed of the woman would bruise the serpent's head. Who is this Seed? The Lord Jesus Christ. When He bore our sins on the cross, He bruised the head of the serpent, and saved us. And the serpent surely bruised His feet on the cross! His hands and feet were pierced with the nails; and He died for us. In the Bible, we see that the LORD God told us four thousand years ahead that He would come to this world and suffer for us. When He died on the cross, He took the load of our sins. So the Lord Jesus said: "He that believeth on Me, hath everlasting life." (John 6:47) God wishes to give everlasting Life without any cost to all who read this book today. How good!

Sin and death came by Adam, so death comes upon every man and woman, and often to boys and girls, "for all have sinned." Just now the Lord Jesus offers to us New Life, Eternal Life. Even when death may come and call us to leave this world, those who have heard His Word and have Eternal Life have no need to be afraid. But if God calls you and you say, "I'm too busy", or "I'm too young", or "Please wait a little while", you may keep putting God off until death comes. Which will you choose? Eternal Life? Eternal Death?

The LORD God said that the man had become as one of Them to know good and evil, so for fear lest he should eat the fruit of the tree of life, and live forever, the LORD drove them both out of the garden of Eden to work the land. At the East of the garden the LORD placed cherubim like angels with a flaming sword that turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Chapter 4

Cain and Abel's Sacrifice

Genesis 4

God gave Adam and his wife two sons. The oldest one, called Cain, worked the ground; the younger, Abel, kept sheep. They both brought something to give to God. Surely Adam had told his two sons that when he had lived in the beautiful garden, he had sinned, and was driven out, but that God had covered them with skins, and blood had been shed because of their sin. Cain and Abel were sinful too; they both tried to come to God, each in a different way. Cain brought what grew out of the ground, the fruit such as oranges and bananas, and put it on his altar. He may have chosen the best fruits and the sweetest and prettiest to give to God. But that fruit could not take the place of Cain, in the death which he had earned. That fruit, like the Fig Leaves, had no blood. Abel brought a lamb which he killed, as if he were saying "I am a sinful man, and so should die, but I am asking God to take this killed lamb in my place. And would God take it? Yes; and before God, Abel's badness, his sin, was covered by the killed lamb. But did God take Cain's fruit? No. Why? Because there was no blood shed, so his sins were not covered. Just as the leaves of the fig tree could not cover Adam and Eve's sins, so the fruit could not cover Cain's sins." Blood must flow that we may come to God. Without it we should be thrown into the outer darkness of hell.

But how can we find blood now to cover our sins? We can never find it. But God has found it for us. He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus into this world to suffer death. One day when the Lord Jesus was walking, there was a man named John who called out, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) Yes, God Himself has prepared a Lamb. His blood has flowed out. God is now waiting for you to come to Him and say, "I rest and trust only on the blood of Your Lamb, the blood of the Lord Jesus, to take away all my sins."

This is faith. God spoke about Abel, that by faith Abel offered a much better sacrifice than Cain. And so Abel got the word that he was righteous, God spoke about the gift that Abel brought; so, although Abel has died, he still speaks. (Heb. 11:4) Our righteousness comes from the Lord Jesus, the killed Lamb. I believe He died for me and that He was raised again for my justification! He has taken my place. So I am righteous in His sight.

CAIN KILLS HIS BROTHER

Cain and Abel were the first children in the world. In much they were alike. They had the same parents, lived in the same family, heard the same stories from their father; how God made the world, how Adam and Eve sinned, how God clothed them with skins, but had driven them out of the garden. Both the brothers knew about the true God. They both wished to give Him an offering. They had had so many things alike. Why were their offerings different? Because Cain did not believe that he was a sinner, and only blood can cover sin. Abel knew that. Today some are sheltered by the blood, and others are not. Before God, these must be forever divided.

Cain was very angry because God did not take his offering. When he and Abel were together in the field, he killed Abel. How very bad this was! The LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel?" And he said, "I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" The LORD asked what he had done, because his brother's blood was crying to Him from the ground. And now much sorrow would come to Cain. He must work the ground, which now would not grow things so well for him. He would be a tramp and a runaway in the earth. And Cain went out from the LORD.

Cain did not think that God's eye was on him. But God saw him kill his brother. Many today forget that God sees all things. But all your sins can be covered by the blood of God's Lamb. How wonderful this is! Every one is like one of these two brothers, either like Abel, depending on the blood of the Lamb, (for us the Lamb is the Lord Jesus,) or like Cain, depending on some thing without blood. Who are you like? Abel or Cain?

Chapter 5

Death or Life

Genesis 5

When Adam was 130 years old, God gave him another son instead of Abel and he called his name Seth. After that Adam lived 800 years, and had sons and daughters. At the age of 930 years, "he died". In those days men lived to be very old. The oldest of all was Methuselah: he lived 969 years. Today, if a person lives to be 100, we think him very old. But he must die. How about Methuselah? Of him also it is written: "He died." Would you like to live to be 969 years old? Many people would. Would they like to die then? No. Death is man's enemy. Nobody likes to die, but in this world all except two men have died, Enoch and Elijah.

A little girl said, "Mother, how old must I be before I die?" Her mother was wise, so she gave her a piece of string, and said, "Go to the hillside and measure the graves." She did that and found some very long graves. But she found some shorter, and some very small ones of little children. Are you too young to die? No. But if you are old you are sure that death is near. Soon people may say of you: "He died." No one except the Lord Jesus Christ can take away the fear of death. If you know the Lord Jesus as your Saviour, when death comes you will not be afraid, for that is the time you will go to the Heavenly Home to be with Christ which is far better.

When Cain died, his body was put in the earth. He likely had a very great funeral for he had many children. But where has Cain gone? Was Cain's spirit put in the grave together with his body? No, the body is just like a house for the soul. When Cain died, Cain himself, was on his way to hell (1 John 3:12) and when the day comes, he will stand before the Lord Jesus, the judge of all. (John 5:22) By what he has done he will be judged. The books, when opened will tell all the bad works of Cain. It will be shown that he sacrificed to God without blood, and that he killed his brother Abel, and that he lied to God, and many other bad works. So Cain will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, to weep and wail forever. We read of the Day of Judgment, "Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev. 20:15) And this is the second death. But when Abel died, though his body was put into the earth, where has Abel gone? Abel had brought a killed lamb before God as if he said, "I ought to die and go into the lake of fire but please take the life of this lamb for me." Then God put his name in the Book of Life.

In the same way, we come to God, and say, "I am bad, and should die, but Your Son the Lord Jesus has died for me. I take His death for me." So I will never go to hell — with others weeping and wailing. Why? Is it because I am good? No! Or keep the Commandments? No! My name is in the Lamb's Book of Life only because of the precious blood of Christ. Is your name there?

Chapter 6

People Who Do Not Die

Genesis 5

Adam and Eve's two sons, Cain and Seth had families that were very, very different. Cain's children were far from God. Many of Seth's children, learned to know and love the true God. The seventh from Adam was Enoch. He walked with God for Three Hundred Years. Perhaps as Enoch walked with God, God told him a secret, for he warned the people around that the Lord was coming. Enoch loved and trusted God, and loved to hear God's words: so he walked with God. Then God took him away to Heaven where he lived with God, and never died. Now, my hope is that God will do the same with me and take me to Himself without dying, for I read: "Behold I shew you a mystery;" (a deep secret) "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling" (winking) "of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1 Cor. 15:51-52) "If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent" (go before) "them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thess. 4:14-17) So we see that we believers, in the world today, may be changed and taken up alive to meet the Lord in the air.

Enoch gives a picture of this soon coming day. What a blessed hope for those who are washed in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus! Have you the same hope as Enoch?

We May Not Die
We may not die, but rise and meet the Lord!
This blessed hope, God shows us in His Word,
The Spirit makes it plain to us, His own, —
He'll catch us from the world, to His Own throne.

We may not die, but rise and meet the Lord!
Oh, the bright glory these few words afford!
Changed instantly, the twinkling of an eye,
And see Thee face to face, our Lord for aye!

Some shall not die, but rise and meet their Lord,
O precious promise! faithful, true and good!
Although we do not know the day or hour,
We know that He Himself shall come in power.

We may not die, then let us more pure be,
Cut off each sin, unseen, or that men see.
This world is passing, Heaven will quickly come,
Then let us day by day, be more like Him!

We shall arise, and meet Him in the air!
Then let us not entangled be down here!
We look for Christ! We do not look for death!
Our hope at any hour, to leave this earth.

We shall arise, and to our Lord ascend,
When His victorious shout the air shall rend!
O Come! Lord Jesus Come! His saints now cry,
Come quickly! so, we e'er, shall be with Thee.

Chapter 7

The Flood

Genesis 6 and 7

In old times people lived long. Methuselah, the longest, 969 years. His son, 777; his grandson, Noah, 950. Noah, a righteous man, walked with God.

But sad to say, the long lives of many were very bad. The world, in God's sight, was very had — rotten, and full of fighting. God saw that the badness of man was very great, and that his thoughts were only bad all the time. So the LORD was sorry that He had made man, and said He would destroy all the men, the animals, the creeping things, and the birds of the air for He was sorry that He had made them. But God, in His kindness, made a way to save Noah. God told Noah that the world, being so bad, must be destroyed, but that Noah should take gopher wood and make an ark — a very large boat about 450 feet long, and cover it with pitch, inside and out, with a window on top and the door at the side. The ark should be in three stories, upper, middle and lower. God was bringing a flood of water to cover the earth and all living things would die, except those that entered the ark, Noah and his wife, and his sons and their wives. Also one male and one female of every kind of living creatures: of animals, birds and creeping things, must come into the ark to save their lives. And Noah took of every kind of food into the ark, for him and for them. He built the ark. Why? Because he was "moved with fear." Why was he afraid? Because he believed the words that God spoke to him. God told him of judgment coming; all would be drowned. Noah had faith, that is, he believed God, so he made the ark.

God has told us that just as that world was destroyed by water so this world will be destroyed by fire. The same word of God says it is kept for the fire at the day of judgment and ruin of bad men. (See 2 Peter 3:7) He warns men, and tells them how they may escape. (John 3:16).

While Noah built the ark, he was a "Preacher of Righteousness". With his hand he was driving a nail, but with his mouth he was saying: "Judgment is coming. God will destroy the world with a flood. All will be drowned. Come, come quickly into the ark." But they did not believe. "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:27) Did they not know? It was not a few days or months that Noak took to build the ark: but 120 years. I think that he built it on dry land. Did not the people walking past see it? Noah preached and warned. Did not the neighbours hear? "Everything is ready. The ark is big and strong, with plenty of room and food. You have no need to do anything but come. All are welcome! Everybody, come into the ark; so that all may be saved!" Perhaps they said, "No, Noah, you have said this for many years. The flood has never come: we are not afraid." Or "Today we cannot go in. Wait. We will not get ready yet. Maybe tomorrow."

Chapter 8

The Judgment Comes

Genesis 7

Noah's grandfather was named Methuselah. Methuselah's father was Enoch, who preached the solemn sermon: "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints, to execute judgment." (Jude 14, 15). The name Methuselah means, "When he is dead it shall be." Enoch gave his son this strange name, so that he might be a sign to all that the judgment was coming. As long as Methuselah lived the judgment would not come: but, when Methuselah died, then all the world should know that judgment was near. Methuselah lived to be the oldest man this world has ever known. Why? Because God was not willing that any should perish, and He waited, and waited, and waited, for men to repent. He waited for men and women and children to come into the ark to be saved. God had warned them that when Methuselah died the judgment must come: so in His loving patience, He waited till Methuselah was the oldest man who ever lived, to give opportunity for the people to be saved.

At last Methuselah died. Noah and his family entered the ark. The LORD shut the door. The judgment was coming. It was then too late! Alas! people still did not know that they were lost. They did not know this was the beginning of the flood. Why did they not know? Because they did not believe God's Word. So they all perished. They perished, though there was a way of salvation, free for nothing, at their hand.

Today there is salvation through faith in Jesus Christ but the world is nearing its terrible end. Are you like Noah's neighbours?

If someone said to Noah, "I believe your words", but did not enter the ark, what good was that? Millions of people say they believe in Jesus, that He was born and died. Some even believe that He is the only Saviour. But this kind of faith will not save anyone. The faith needed is the same as Noah's faith, by which his whole family of eight persons went into the ark and was saved: Trust only to Christ: not only believe that Jesus is a Saviour, but also take Him for yourself as your Saviour. Say, "Jesus is my Saviour." How kind God is! He did not wish any to be drowned. He held the water back for seven days after Noah entered the ark before He shut the door. He waits for you. Why not come now? Then at last the rain did come; it rained heavily for 40 days; the water grew higher; it flooded the earth. Then the people knew that the terrible day had come. I think that Noah's neighbours ran to the ark, and shouted. "Open the door. Let us in! We do believe you now! Let us be saved!" But Noah could only say: "It is too late! Your chance is past. The Lord Himself has closed the door!" Some likely climbed to the tops of the hills but the water rose and covered all. My friends, Heaven's door will soon close. The Lord says: "Now is the accepted time: now is the day of salvation." Some say: "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." But God says: "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." (2 Peter 3:4-7)

The World in Noah's Day
The busy world was pressing on its way
Intent to plant and build, to sell and buy:
And neither knew nor cared that every day
The Lord Himself came from His Home on high
To walk with man.

And thus the course of time its way fast rolled,
Till soon three hundred years were fully gone.
While Enoch, prophet of the Lord, foretold
The Lord with thousands of His saints will come,
Will come to judge.

Alas, the busy world still sped its way,
Nor thought, nor cared, for God's most solemn cry.
Then, strangely, Enoch was not found one day,
For God had taken him to dwell on high,
To dwell with Him.

But Enoch's son still spread the message grave:
"When I shall die the judgment sure must fall."*
And Noah built an ark their souls to save:
He, too, while building, preached the solemn call:
The Judge is near.

The world sped on without a thought of God.
No time had they to hear what He might say
Nor did they know until had come the flood
And took them all, yea, every one, away:
The Judge had come.

And still the busy world runs its own way,
Intent to plant and build, to sell and buy:
And heeds not, just as 'twas in Noah's day,
That God still sends abroad that solemn cry:
The Judge is near.

Before shall swiftly fall that judgment dire,
Like Enoch once, our God shall claim His Own.
The world, and all its works, are burnt with fire;
But His shall walk with Him in white, at Home:
At Home, with Him!
{* Methuselah means: "When he is dead it shall be."}

Chapter 9

God's Longsuffering

Genesis 7, 8.

You know there is much wickedness and fighting now. Perhaps you ask, "Why has not the judgment already come?" God has told us: "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) Yes, it is because He loves you. He does not want you to suffer the everlasting fire. He is waiting for you to repent, to turn and believe in the Lord Jesus and to get eternal salvation. Jesus says, "He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24) Noah was safe in the ark; the rough waves struck it, but could not reach Noah. Thus the Lord Jesus is our refuge — our "ark". All the waves passed over Him. He has taken God's judgment against our sins. We trust in Him, as Noah trusted in the ark; and so we also shall get no judgment.

After the heavy rain God spoke to the wind; the water went down. After five months, the ark landed on Mount Ararat. Later the tops of the hills were above the water. Noah let a raven out, but it did not come back; then a dove, but because of the water the dove had no rest for its feet, so it flew back to Noah. After seven days Noah let the dove out again, it came back with an olive leaf. So Noah knew the water had gone down. Again, after seven days, it did not come back. It had found trees and food.

Chapter 10

Noah's Sacrifice

Genesis 8

Later Noah removed the covering of the ark. By one year and ten days, the earth was quite dry. So God told Noah that he and his wife and sons and their wives should leave the ark. And so they and the beasts and the birds and creeping things, all left the ark. How happy! But God had been with Noah all that long time in the ark. The joy of Heaven is to be with God, and the Lord Jesus, and He with us. Noah had this joy; although he was shut up inside the ark a whole year, he had the best Friend with him. We who believe in the Lord Jesus have Him with us, and are just as safe as Noah.

Noah built an altar and sacrificed of every clean beast and bird. The LORD smelled a sweet smell, and said in His heart, "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth: Neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease." (Gen. 8:20-22) The sweet smell from the altar is a picture of God's foreseeing the preciousness of the sacrifice of His Son on the cross for us, and for Noah too.

All the water of the flood, or of baptism, can never wash away the sins of your bad thoughts and works, for "without the shedding of blood is no remission". (Heb. 9:22)

God blessed Noah and his sons, and said, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things, But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." (Gen. 9:1-4)

Some think that good acts, not eating meat, not killing things, fit them for heaven. No! Eating meat, or not eating, has nothing to do with the forgiveness of our sins. (1 Tim. 4:1-6) But we do not eat the blood. Why? Because the blood is the life, and the life belongs to God. (Acts 15:20-29, Lev. 17:10-14) The blood of Jesus Christ poured out tells us that He died, — He gave life for us.

God put the rainbow in the clouds as a sign of no more flood. This reminds us that God has promised that all who trust in the Lord Jesus have everlasting life and will escape judgment. (John 3:16 and 5:24)

Noah planted grapevines, drank wine, and got drunk. His son Ham saw him naked in his tent, but Shem and Japheth covered their father. When Noah was awakened from the wine, and knew what was done, he cursed Ham's son (Canaan). [slightly edited, Ed. STEM.]

Chapter 11

The Tower of Babel

Genesis 11

Noah's sons had many children. They all talked the same language. As they walked, they found a great plain and lived there.

God had told Noah and his sons to spread over the world. But those in this plain of Shinar did not want to move, so they said: "Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." (Gen. 11:3, 4) Perhaps they feared God would send another flood, so they tried to get away from His judgment. Men do the same today, but cannot get away from God.

The LORD came down to see the city and the tower. Then He mixed up their talk so they could not understand. One man might call for mortar, but the other would not know what he said. Another might call for brick, but nobody knew what he wanted. So they could not work. They stopped building, calling it Babel — "confusion"— so the Lord scattered them over the world.

Notice how very easily God can stop those who think they are wise. May we all honour and worship the only true God, and not go against Him.

About two thousand years after the confusion at Babel, the Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, came into the world to die for sinful men. He was raised again from the dead; and after forty days He went back to Heaven. Ten days later, those who believed in the Lord Jesus were together in one place: suddenly God sent His Holy Spirit from Heaven, and they were able to speak in other languages. There were people from all over the world there, who were all greatly surprised to hear them by the Holy Spirit speaking in the native language of each one. They said. How is it? At Babel it was God's great power that scattered. Now it is God's great power that makes them all able to understand and hear the good news of Salvation. In Heaven, we shall use only one language. Each will understand the other because there all will have been born again into one great family. Are you of the family of Heaven?

Chapter 12

God Calls Abraham

Genesis 12

Every day the people grew worse. They left God, the Creator and bowed down, and worshipped idols made by men's hands of wood, stone, brass and iron. These are not God at all: their eyes cannot see; their mouths cannot speak; their limbs cannot move. How foolish and bad! As they were not willing to change and be sorry, God let them go their own way. Even today, men, women and children go to temples to burn incense to idols instead of to worship the living God. But God is not yet punishing them. He waits long for them to turn to Him.

The LORD called one man, Abram, (whose father worshipped idols), to leave his father's home, his family, and his country, to serve the true God alone, and to go to a place that the LORD would choose for him. He would give this land to him and to his children as a gift. Abram believed God, obeyed, and started for the place not knowing where he was going.

His father, Terah, took Abram and his wife, and nephew Lot, to go to Canaan, but they stopped in Haran till Terah's death. Then Abram remembered how the God of glory had appeared to him; and so left Haran and went to Canaan as God had said.

Let us think. From the time of Adam to Abram is about two thousand years. Methuselah could possibly have listened to Adam telling these wonderful stories for 243 years, and later told them to Shem for 98 years, and Shem lived at the same time as Abram for 150 years. In Ur of the Chaldees, where Abram and his father lived, many things such as books and libraries of Abram's time have been found.

Chapter 13

Abram and Lot

Genesis 13

Abram had a tent and an altar. The tent tells us that he was a stranger looking for that city which had a foundation built by God. The altar was to worship the true God. We who believe on the Lord Jesus are also strangers here; our home is in heaven. And we have the Lord Jesus as our sacrifice and altar.

When there was very little food in Canaan, Abram went down to Egypt and took Lot. I suppose Abram forgot that God could feed him in Canaan. Yet God blessed Abram and Lot as He had promised. He gave them many cows, sheep, camels and servants. When they came back to Canaan they had so many cattle that there was not enough grass for them. One day Abram's servants found a nice place of grass for his cattle, but when Lot's servants brought his cattle there, they fought over it. Abram was sorry, for he saw there was trouble between God's people. They should love each other. So Abram told Lot that as they were brothers there should be no quarrel and he might choose; if he wished to take the part on the left for his cattle, then Abram would take that on the right; or if Lot chose the right, then he would go to the left. This was Abram's kindness, for he was an old man. Lot should have said, "No, you choose first, please." But Lot did not say that; he looked at all the plain of the river Jordon, — plenty of water and grass, like Egypt. So Lot chose the part with the grass and pitched his tent toward the very bad city, Sodom.

After Lot was gone, the LORD spoke to Abram, "Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever." Then the LORD told Abram to walk through the land, the full length and breadth of it, to see how large and good it was. Then Abram moved his tent to the plain of Mamre, and again built his altar, unto the LORD.

Chapter 14

Abram and the Kings

Genesis 14

Abram, at Hebron in the plain of Mamre, was far from the bad city, Sodom. He had plenty of servants and cattle. Later on, four kings came and fought against the kings of Sodom, and of four other cities. At last these four kings won the battle and took the people captive, with Lot and all the goods.

Abram heard about Lot. Abram had faith in God. He gathered his 318 trained servants and with some of his friends went after the four kings, till he caught them one night. They fought these kings and beat them, and brought back Lot and the people and goods to Sodom.

Just as he returned, the very noble king of Salem named Melchizedek came to meet him. His name means "King of righteousness". His city means "Peace". This noble king was also a priest, not of idols in a temple, but priest of the most high God. There is only one most high God, the true God of heaven. At Abram's return, this noble king brought him bread and wine. He blessed Abram saying. "Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand." And Abram gave him one tenth of all the goods.

The king of Sodom was very happy as he saw his people brought back in peace. So he said to Abram, "Give me the persons and take the goods to thyself." But Abram said, "I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich."

How good when One who owns heaven and earth is a man's friend! If you have a very rich friend with many fields and houses who loves you, would you be afraid of being poor? You know that he will always help you, and you can tell him directly the things you need. How happy! Do you need to take one cent from anyone else?

The Lord of earth and heaven, the richest of all, is willing to be your Friend. Wonderful! Who? The most high God. He has shown His love for you by doing what no one else could do. He sent down His Son to die for your sins, so that you may be at peace with Him, have grace and get blessings. Have you ever heard of such love? Have you thanked His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of righteousness and the King of peace, because He left His heavenly Home and came to this earth to die for your sins?

Chapter 15

Can You Count the Stars?

Genesis 15

Because Abram did not take a reward from the King of Sodom, the most high God was very pleased. He said: "Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward." And Abram said, "Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless?" Abram thought that, as he had no children, his servant would be his heir, and have his goods. But God told Abram, "This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir." Abram was old then, about 85 years old. God brought him out and said to him. "Look now toward heaven and tell the stars if thou be able to number them;" and He said unto him, "So shall thy seed be." Abram believed God; he did not ask: "How can it be? I am 85 years old and my wife is 75. How can we have a son?" Abram just simply believed God, so God counted it to him for righteousness.

How plain it is! How easy it is! Abram was not a righteous man himself. Abram was a sinner like you and me. But just because he believed God's word, God counted him righteous. As if God said, "Abram, you are a sinner, but because you believe Me, I count you a righteous man." God had not told him to act as a righteous man, nor to do something, or keep the commandments and the law, or to be a good man. He just simply and plainly said that Abram BELIEVED GOD, AND GOD COUNTED IT TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (see Rom. 4:3) God counts sinners righteous when they believe God's word, not because of works they may do.

People ask, "Though this is very plain, "What is the use of it for me?"

Listen! God says, This was not written for Abram alone but for us too. The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, died on the cross for our sins, and afterwards he was raised again. If you believe this fact, God counts you just, the same as He justified Abram. (Rom. 4. 23-25) . Some say, "I think I may depend on my good works to be made just." Friends! This is not the way God justified Abram. "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." (Rom. 4:5)

Are you a sinner or not? Do you want God to justify you or not? Do believe God. The Lord Jesus died for our sins and was raised again to justify us. Only believe, accept this work for yourself, and you will be justified by God. (Romans 3:24, 28; 4:5, 25; 5:1, 9).

Chapter 16

The God Who Hears

Genesis 16

We have learned how God had said that Abram's children should be like the stars. He believed God's word and God counted his faith to him for righteousness.

After Abram had lived in Canaan about ten years and had no son, his wife Sarai, instead of waiting for God's promise, said to Abram, "Go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her." Abram listened. But he was wrong in this for he believed, at first, that God could make Sarai have a son. He should have waited. A Christian should not take more than one wife.

Now, you can see the sad result in Abram's household. When Hagar, the maid, saw that she would have a child, she did not honour Sarai. Sarai hated Hagar and was hard with her, so Hagar ran away from her mistress Sarai, and went to the desert by a fountain of water. Then God's angel said unto her, "Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go?" Hagar said, "I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai." The angel said, "Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands." And he said, "Thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name, 'Ishmael'," which means 'God has heard'. And Hagar called the name of the LORD 'Thou God seest me'. Can idols hear, or can they also look after men? No, the true God of heaven alone could hear and see when Hagar had run away. He is the same today. He hears you and sees you in the way you go. And not only that, but He loves you too. Can idols of wood and stone love you? No. Does the devil love you? No! The devil wants to harm you, but the true God never forgets to love you.

When Ishmael was thirteen years old, the LORD said to Abram, "I am the Almighty God: walk before Me and be thou perfect." He said again, "Thou shalt be a father of many nations." God changed Abram's name to Abraham, which means a father of many nations. God further promised to give to his children the land of Canaan for all time, and that He would be their God.

God gave Abraham a mark of the promise, called circumcision. He commanded that his son Ishmael and all the males in his house should have that mark. When God spoke these words to him, Abraham was ninety-nine years old. God also changed Sarai's name to Sarah, which means "a princess."

Have you ever seen a Jew? Jews are Abraham's children, their land is Canaan, which we call Palestine or Israel. Because they sinned against God, worshipped idols, and afterwards killed God's Son, He broke down their city Jerusalem, and scattered them nearly 1900 years ago to every country of the world, and now there are many Jews in many countries. In the last few years many Jews have gone back to their own country. God said that at the end He would gather the Jews to their own land. He also tells us that the Lord Jesus will come again from heaven for His saved people. Are you ready to meet Him?

Chapter 17

The God Who Sees All Things and Hears All Things

Genesis 18

One day while Abraham was sitting at his tent door, he looked and saw three men. He went to meet them, and brought water to wash their feet; and he and Sarah prepared a meal. Abraham stood by while they were eating under the tree.

As the men were eating, one said to Abraham, "Sarah, thy wife shall have a son." Sarah was just behind in the tent door. As she heard this, she laughed within herself. Not a word did she say, yet the One who had promised her a son was the God of heaven. He was there in the form of a man. He knows all our thoughts. The LORD asked Abraham, "Wherefore did Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the LORD?" Again He said, "Sarah shall have a son." This makes us know that God is almighty, — nothing is too hard for Him. Those idols in the temple are not like this. An idol is nothing, can do nothing, but God can do everything. As soon as Sarah knew that God could see her heart, she was afraid and said that she did not laugh. Such a lie is no use before God. So He said, "Nay, but thou didst laugh." Oh, friends! please remember that God can see your inner hearts. Yet He loves you. He wants to take away your sins and to give you everlasting life.

Afterwards these three men walked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them. The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?" The LORD said again that because the sin of Sodom was very bad He would go down to see if that city was as bad as its cry. When Abraham heard that God might punish Sodom, where Lot lived, Abraham was sorry. But Abraham knew that God is love; and would hear his prayer, so he came and said, "Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?" Perhaps there are fifty righteous within the city, wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? He asked too: "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" The LORD said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes." Abraham went on asking, Perhaps there shall lack five of the fifty righteous; wilt thou destroy all the city for the lack of five? The LORD said, "If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it." Abraham prayed for Sodom again, and again, that perhaps there might be forty . . . thirty . . . twenty found there. The LORD said every time, "I will not destroy it." Still he prayed, "Oh let not the Lord be angry," perhaps "ten shall be found there;" and the LORD said, "I will not destroy it for ten's sake." Then Abraham stopped and the LORD went His way.

He had not been angry for his praying; He was glad to listen. If you pray aright to God, He will never be angry: He sees and hears and loves and He promises "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." If you are not saved, come to God through Jesus and receive forgiveness by the work which Jesus did on the cross to wash your sins away.

Chapter 18

A Terrible Judgment

Genesis 19

In the beautiful plain where Lot lived there was nice grass to feed cattle, and also five cities, among them two named Sodom and Gomorrah. Those people were very bad. God had said He would go down to see. Two angels in the form of men came to Sodom one evening when Lot was sitting in the gate. Seeing the angels he arose and asked them into his house for the night. At first the angels said, "No." But Lot pressed them. As the people knew that these men were staying in Lot's house, they came, wanting to break down the door to hurt them. Lot went out and said, "I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly." Do you think those bad men would stop doing such things? No. So the men pulled Lot back into the house, and made their eyes blind, so they could not find the door.

"And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law." (Gen. 19:12-14) . They did not believe, nor leave Sodom. They thought Lot was jesting.

In the morning, the angels hurried Lot and told him to get up, take his wife and two daughters or they would be destroyed in the city. And while he was slow, these two angels took their hands, for God was kind to him, and led them outside the city, and said, "Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain." But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. "Remember Lot's wife." (Luke 17:32)

After Lot was saved, God rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire out of heaven. The people of Sodom had seen the angels, but they did not know that judgment would come so soon. And although Lot's sons-in-law were told, they did not believe. In the morning people ate, drank, planted and built as usual, until suddenly they were destroyed.

Think of Lot's sons-in-law, as they saw the sulphur and fire falling from heaven, how did they feel? Then, even though they believed Lot's word, it was too late! Dear friends! there is a more terrible judgment coming for those who neglect the gospel of the Lord Jesus. There is no other way. (John 3:16) If Lot's sons-in-law had believed they would have had life, but they did not believe, so they were burnt up.

Today you may choose. Tomorrow may be too late.

Chapter 19

An Aged Man, One Hundred Years Old, Has a Son

Genesis 21

As God promised years before, God gave Sarah a son; when Abraham was one hundred years old. She was glad and said, "God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me." And his name was Isaac, meaning "hearty laughter."

The boy grew and the day he was weaned, Abraham made a great feast. That day Sarah saw the son of Hagar, who was perhaps fifteen years old, mocking. So she said to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac." Abraham did not like to cast them out, but God said to Abraham, "In all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice, for in Isaac shall thy seed be called." God then promised to make Ishmael a great nation also.

So Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and sent them away. They wandered in the desert; the water of the bottle was gone, the day was hot, Ishmael was very, very thirsty, he could walk no more, and Hagar could not bear to see her son die of thirst before her, so she put him under a shrub and went away from him, a good way off. While Ishmael was under the shrub, what do you think he did? He cried to God. He was a boy of 14 or 15 years old. Do you think God was willing to hear his cry? Yes. He sent an angel to Hagar to say, "God hath heard the voice of the lad;" and he showed her a well of water. Hagar took the water to Ishmael. God took care of Ishmael, and made him live in the desert where he grew and became an archer.

Remember, "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth." Also, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Chapter 20

The Offering of the Only Begotten Son

Genesis 22

After Isaac had grown, one night God tried Abraham's faith. God said to him, "Abraham," and he said, "Here I am." God said, "Take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." Abraham was very rich, and Isaac was the heir of everything. God had promised that Abraham's children would spread over the whole land where he lived, so all his hope was put on Isaac alone. After all, could Abraham trust and obey God in this one thing or not? Yes, even so, he obeyed God, and rose up early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and the wood for the burnt offering, and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham said to his young men, "Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you." How do you think Abraham knew that he would come back with Isaac? Because he believed that God could raise Isaac his son from the dead. So Abraham took the wood and laid it on Isaac: just as God's beloved Son bore that heavy wooden cross. And Abraham took the fire in his hand, and a knife and they went, both of them together. And Isaac spoke to his father and said, "My father." And Abraham said, "Here am I, my son." Isaac said, "Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Abraham said, "My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering." And when they came to the place which God had told him of, Abraham built an altar, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. Suddenly the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham." He answered, "Here I am." The angel said, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him, for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me." How glad was Abraham, so he set his son free. Then he saw a ram caught in the bushes by his horns, and Abraham took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. Afterwards Abraham called the name of the place Jehovah-jireh, that is, the LORD will provide; for God provided a burnt offering for Himself instead of Isaac. So Abraham returned to his young men with Isaac, and they went home together.

Because Abraham obeyed God and offered his son Isaac, God was greatly pleased. God promised to give him great blessing, and all the nations of the earth should be blessed in his seed. This has been fulfilled because the only hope of the whole world is the Seed of Abraham — that "Seed" is the Lord Jesus Christ whom God "spared not, but delivered Him up for us all". (Rom. 8:32) Thus we see in Abraham and Isaac a beautiful picture of God the Father and His Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the spotless Victim, the perfect Sacrifice, who bore our sins in His own body on the cross and put them forever out of God's sight. Will you accept Him as your Saviour?

"God spared the son that Abraham offered: but He would not spare His Own."

Chapter 21

The Bride of Isaac

Genesis 24

We know that Abraham was a stranger in the land of Canaan, so when Sarah died, Abraham had no place to bury her. Abraham talked with the people of the land, and from them bought a cave in a field, with all the trees. Though the Lord Jesus is God and also the King of Glory, yet when He was on earth He said, "The foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Luke 9:58) He was really poor. When He died His friend lent a grave to bury Him. Like the grave of Sarah it was a cave, and it was in a garden: for God cared for His beloved Son.

God has not promised that all who believe on Him will be rich; but He tells us that we are strangers in the earth, because our home is in heaven, and that we shall have trials and suffering in this world.

Isaac was lonely after his mother died, so his father called his oldest servant who ruled over all his household, and told him to go far away to his own people to find a wife for his son Isaac. Long before, God had told Abram to leave his home. He obeyed and God had led him to Canaan. Now, because its people were bad, Abraham did not wish his son to have a wife of Canaan.

Think of it, the servant would go to a very far place to find a girl, call her to leave her own family, and travel the long way in the desert to marry a stranger. This is not easy. The honest servant said to Abraham that perhaps the woman would not want to follow him to Canaan; then should he bring his son back to his native land? Abraham said, "Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. The LORD GOD of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me saying. Unto thy seed will I give this land; He shall send His angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again." (Gen. 24:6-8) So the servant promised.

We see Abraham as a picture of the Heavenly Father, Isaac laid on the altar a picture of God's Son in His death on the cross. When Isaac returned home, it is like the Lord Jesus being raised from the dead, and returning to Heaven. And the servant is like the Holy Spirit.

Isaac was lonely after his mother died. The Lord Jesus said, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24). He spoke this about Himself, which means that if He stayed in heaven, or even if He just came to earth and did not die, He still would be alone. Just think, the Lord Jesus would be lonely in heaven if He does not have us. Wonderful! So He left His bright heavenly home, came to the earth, died, and was buried: then He rose again and went back to His heavenly home again. Then God sent the Holy Spirit to this earth, just as Abraham sent out his trusted servant.

Why did he send him? Because he wanted to find a wife to live with Isaac all her life. Why did God send the Holy Spirit? He wanted to find a bride, a companion, for the Lord Jesus to live with Him in heaven always. It is true, the Holy Spirit came to this earth long ago. He also invites you all to heaven together to form the bride for the Lord Jesus Christ. His bride is not just one person, but all believers in the Lord Jesus are, together, His one bride and will be His wife always with Him in heaven.

Chapter 22

Isaac Marries Rebekah

Genesis 24

Abraham's servant, with ten camels, travelled across the desert until he came to Mesopotamia. Then he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water and he prayed, saying, "O LORD GOD of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that Thou hast shewed kindness unto my master." (Gen. 24:12-14)

Just then a very pretty girl, Rebekah, came with a pitcher, or jug. She went down to the well to fill her pitcher. He ran to meet her, saying: "Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher." She said, "Drink, my lord." She hurried to let down her pitcher on her hand, and gave him drink. After he drank, she said, "I will draw for thy camels also, until they have done drinking." And she hurried to empty her pitcher into the trough, and ran to the well to draw water for all his camels. Those camels would drink a great deal of water — much more than a horse.

He was sure then that she was the one God had chosen to be Isaac's wife. When the camels had finished, the servant took a beautiful gold earring, and gold bracelets, and gave to her, and asked her father's name. When she told him, he knew she was the niece of Abraham. Then he bowed his head and worshipped the LORD thanking God for His leading and help. The girl ran home and told her family about the man, and showed the gold earrings. Her brother ran to the well and brought the man home saying, Come in, . . . I have prepared everything for you. When the servant came into the house, he loosed the camels and gave them straw and food. There was water to wash their feet, and food to eat. But the servant said that he would not eat until he first told what he came for.

Then he told them of the riches of Abraham, and of his son Isaac, and he said that Abraham sent him specially to find the girl. And when he was by the well and had not finished praying, Rebekah came to draw water from the well, and how all she had done was just as he had prayed. Now he wanted her to be Isaac's wife. "Now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; and if not tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left."

As Rebekah's brother and father heard this wonderful story, they said, "The thing proceedeth from the LORD: Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife." As the servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. He gave valuable gifts to Rebekah, to her brother, and to her mother. That night they ate, and drank, and slept there. The next morning the servant said, "Send me away unto my master." Rebekah's brother and mother said she should stay a few days, at least ten, after that she should go. But the servant asked them not to hinder him, as the LORD had helped him. "Send me away that I may go to my master." So they asked Rebekah, "Wilt thou go with this man?" Oh! what an important question! Would she leave her parents, brother, friends, idols, and her home and become a stranger's wife, right now? Did she say, "Let me think about it", or "I may go in ten days". What would she say? Rebekah said, "I will go." She had heard the servant and believed the story. Her heart was warmed, she had no doubts, and she said, "I will go."

Now, let me ask, "Will you go with this Man?" Today the Holy Spirit, sent from the Heavenly Father, brings you the same message. You know the Lord Jesus is God's only begotten Son; the whole world is His; all things were made by Him, and made for Him. You know His honour, His love, and how He died on the cross to buy you back to Himself. You have heard how He wants you to live with Him in glory always. Now let me ask you, "Will you go?" "Will you receive the Lord Jesus as your own Saviour?" People have said, "Yes, I will, but wait a little, at least ten days", yet they did not go, and have perished. I ask you, "Will you go now?" "Will you receive Christ as your own Saviour now?" Trust in Him now and joyfully say, "I will go."

Chapter 23

To Meet the Bride

Genesis 24

The Holy Spirit left His heavenly home and came to earth to seek a bride for the Lord Jesus. He will soon take all who believe to heaven to live with the Lord Jesus always, just as the servant brought Rebekah through the desert and came to Isaac's tent.

Many days they were in the desert, travelling the road to Canaan. I think he must have told Rebekah many stories about Isaac, — that once Abraham bound Isaac and laid him on he altar for an offering to God.

Reader, do you know that the Son of God, the Lord Jesus, is God's Lamb who became the sacrifice for our sins, because He wanted to save us? He can forgive you now and bring you to heaven.

When the Holy Spirit hears a lost man answer, "I will go", then that man is saved, and he does not belong to this world; then his home is with the Lord in Heaven, even though he has not reached Heaven yet.

Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening. He saw camels coming and went to meet them. Rebekah asked the servant, "What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us?" He answered, "It is my master." So Rebekah got down off the camel and took a veil to cover herself. What a happy meeting! And Isaac brought her into his mother's tent, and took her as his wife, and he loved her.

The Lord Jesus will come, we do not know when, but soon. He has said, "Surely I come quickly." "For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry." (Heb. 10:37) Those who are ready will enter heaven with the Lord and partake of the marriage supper. Then the door of grace will be shut. Are you ready? Will you be inside with the Lord?

The Bride
Midst the darkness, storm, and sorrow,
One bright gleam I see;
Well I know the blessed morrow
Christ will come for me.
Midst the light, and peace, and glory
Of the Father's home,
Christ for me is watching, waiting,
Waiting till I come.

Long the blessed Guide has led me,
By the desert road;
Now I see the golden towers,
City of my God.
There amidst the love and glory
He is waiting yet;
On His hands a name is graven
He can ne'er forget.

Who is this, Who comes to meet me,
On the desert way,
As the Morning Star foretelling
God's unclouded day?
He it is Who came to win me,
On the cross of shame;
In His glory well I know Him
Ever-more the same.

There amidst the songs of Heaven,
Sweeter to His ear
Is the footfall through the desert
Ever drawing near.
There, made ready, are the mansions,
Glorious, bright and fair,
But the Bride the Father gave Him
Still is wanting there.

O the blessed joy of meeting,
All the desert past,
O the wondrous words of greeting
He shall speak at last!
He and I together entering,
Those fair courts above;
He and I together sharing
All the Father's love.

Where no shade nor stain can enter,
Nor the gold be dim,
In that holiness unsullied,
I shall walk with Him.
Meet companion then for Jesus,
From Him, for Him, made —
Glory of God's grace for ever
There in me displayed.

He Who in His hour of sorrow
Bore the curse alone;
I who through the lonely desert
Trod where He had gone;
He and I, in that bright glory,
One deep joy shall share —
Mine, to be for ever with Him;
His, that I am there.

Chapter 24

Despising The Precious Promise

Genesis 25

You know how Abraham believed God's promise of Canaan. He gave to his other children goods and sent them away, but gave all that he had to Isaac, for he was the son God had promised. And God had told him that the children of Isaac should get that land; so Abraham believed God's precious promise. Abraham lived 175 years. He died and his sons, Isaac and Ishmael, buried him in the cave where Abraham had buried his wife.

Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, and they had no son for about thirty years. So Isaac prayed to God and He gave Rebekah two sons, twins. The one born first was named Esau, (that means, Red); the other was called Jacob, (that means Supplanter, or, Cheater). In some countries people pray to idols for a son, but idols cannot answer, — the true God can. Being born first Esau had the better place; but God told Rebekah that the older would serve the younger.

When Esau grew up he became a hunter. Jacob loved his home, and lived in the tents. One day Esau came back from hunting, and felt tired. At that time Jacob was boiling red beans. Esau asked for some because he was hungry. Jacob said, "Sell me this day, thy birthright." So Esau sold his better place for a bowl of red beans. We learn later what God thought of this. (Heb. 12:16, 17). God tells us that when Esau wanted to get his father's blessing, he was refused, and he found no way to change his mind, though he tried carefully, with tears, to get the blessing. To look down on God's promise of blessing is very bad. Now, God promises that if you, a sinner, believe on His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, God will forgive your sins and give you peace, joy, and everlasting life. If you despise this, not only do you lose this greatest gift, but later even if you seek with tears, you may not get it, but weep and grind your teeth always. If you seek God now, you will find Him. But if you turn away from the Lord now, later, when you try to find God, He may have turned away from you, as with Esau.

Are you like Abraham who valued God's promise; or like Esau who sold God's blessing for a bowl of food, a cigarette, or some dirty dollar bills? Oh, be wise, and take God's gift at once.

Chapter 25

The Promise of Blessing

Genesis 26

After this, there was very little food in that land, but God took care of Isaac and his family. God showed Himself to Isaac and told him to live in that land as before. He said, "I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." "Thy Seed" means one child. That means that all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Gal. 3:16)

The most important thing is the promise of the true, living God; for His promise is given to us too. His promise means this: In the Lord Jesus Christ, many people in all countries shall be blessed. Today, many countries are passing through troubles, as floods, high taxes, war, and other troubles. Although many people ask for "Blessing", yet every day there are more troubles. Why? Because people have not gone to the right place for real blessing. God made the promise, but who listens? And so, the troubles. If you want real blessing, you must get it in the Lord Jesus. He calls all countries, all day long, wanting to bless all who will believe Him.

God blessed Isaac greatly and made him a very rich man; he had many sheep, cattle and servants, so other people envied him. Isaac's servants dug wells for water, and others filled them with earth, or took the wells for themselves, but he did not fight for them; he just dug a well in another place. Then they stole that one. Isaac moved away and dug another well, and as they did not fight for it, Isaac named it Rehoboth, (meaning "Room") for he said, "Now the Lord hath made room for us and we shall be fruitful in the land." When we get the blessing of the true God, we need not fight with others; God will look after us. Isaac knew that God would give him the land and all the wells, so he waited for God. He moved again, and the LORD appeared to him saying, "Fear not". So Isaac built an altar there and called upon the name of the LORD, and put his tent there. He was a stranger. He dug a well there also for water for his cattle. We, the believers of the Lord Jesus, should be like Isaac. The first thing is an altar, that means to worship and to call upon God. The second thing is a tent, that means we are pilgrims, strangers, in this earth. Lastly, we need a well, that is God's word, the holy living water of life to drink every day.

Chapter 26

The Deceiver

Genesis 27

God blessed Isaac, made him rich and gave him two sons, the older Esau, the younger Jacob. In those times the older would be greater and get much more than the younger. God had told Isaac that his older son would work for the younger, and you heard how Esau sold his birthright for red beans.

Isaac was old and could not see. Though he knew God wanted the younger son, Jacob, to be the greater, yet he loved Esau very much, because he was a hunter, and made nice food for his father.

Isaac said to Esau, "Now I am old, I know not the day of my death: now therefore  go out to the field" and hunt for me, "and make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die." Rebekah told Jacob that she heard his father ask Esau to make savoury meat for him to eat, that he might bless Esau before his death. So Rebekah told Jacob to obey her and get two little goats and she would make the savoury meat, so Jacob would bring it to his father, and so get the blessing instead of Esau. Jacob said to his mother, "My brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: my father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver: and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing." But his mother said, "Obey my voice." She took the skin of the goats and put it on Jacob's neck and arms, also put on him his brother's clothes. Then Jacob took the savoury meat to his father. His father thought him to be Esau, so he blessed him! It was very bad that Jacob cheated his father. Both Jacob and his mother valued the promise of God to give them the whole land, and, in his seed bless the whole world. But did God need their help? They forgot that God is almighty and could, and would, do what He promised. What a difference when Abraham looked on God's promise. "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, He was able also to perform." (Rom. 4:20, 21) Was God able to keep His promise to bless Jacob? Did God need their lies? This brought Jacob many years of sorrow. He had to run from his home to save his life. His uncle cheated him, and when he was old his sons deceived him, just as he had cheated his brother, and deceived his father. God says, "Be not deceived . . . . whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." (Gal. 6:7) . Jacob reaped a heavy harvest. This is true for every person. Did you ever tell a lie? Did God hear it? Remember, what you have sown, you will reap! Sin will take one down to hell forever. Not only in this life will you get a painful harvest, but have pain always. But, is there no way to escape? Was Jacob sent to hell forever for his deceit? No, thank God! He has made a way of escape for every sinner. We read Jacob truly believed God, years later. Now God promises that He offers salvation to every sinner. God said, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (1 Tim. 1:15) The word "sinners" means deceivers, murderers, and doers of all bad things. It means you. Salvation is for you. "He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24) Do you believe that He is able to do this? Or do you, like Jacob, want to help God to give you everlasting life? How foolish! Be like Abraham and trust God's promise. He does what He says. God gives you the promise of eternal life. Believe His word, Take it and thank Him.

After Isaac had blessed Jacob, Esau came in bringing savoury meat for his father and wanted his blessing. Then Isaac asked, "Who art thou?" He answered, "I am thy first born son, Esau." Then Isaac knew that Jacob had cheated him, and Isaac shook all over.

When Esau knew what Jacob had done, he cried aloud. But it was too late! He had not valued his birthright, and had lost his blessing. All who despise the gift of eternal life which God gives will certainly lose their blessing. Many people outside the door of grace will be crying when it will be too late. Though Isaac gave Esau another blessing, still he lost the blessing of Abraham; he lost everything which Jacob valued, and he never again had a chance to get it.

Chapter 27

So Great Grace

Genesis 28

Esau was very angry that Jacob had cheated him and said he would kill him. His mother heard this and wanted Jacob to go away, so she said, "Arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran, and tarry with him a few days." But I fear she never saw Jacob again! Having blessed Jacob, Isaac sent him away to his mother's old home, to seek a bride. Abraham did not let his son return there, but Isaac had forgotten this.

It was a long journey. There was no train or boat. He had to walk. At night there was no house. He had no pillow, so he took a stone instead, lay down on the ground, and slept. That night he had a wonderful dream. He saw a ladder set up on the earth, with the top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God going up and down. "And behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." (Gen. 28:13-15)

God did not say, "If you repent and never deceive again, then I will do this for you." God did not once say, "If". All was wonderful kindness, grace beyond men's thoughts. But Jacob was very much afraid. He said, "How dreadful is this place! This is the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven" Jacob did not believe these promises, so he said, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God." (Gen. 28:20, 21). Jacob arose, and took the stone pillow and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it, and he called the name of that place Bethel ("House of God"), and promised saying, "This stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give a tenth unto thee." Oh! Jacob! God did not say "If" to you, why did you say "If" to Him? Why did you not believe God's true word, and say 'Thank God'?

God's grace is very great; Jacob knew what a sinner he was; he also knew he had deserved much suffering; but instead God gave him a promise. Are we like Jacob? He saw a ladder to heaven. So God also made for you and me a way to heaven. The veil of the temple had closed the way to God for many years, but when the Lord Jesus died, that veil was at once torn in two. The way to heaven has been opened. God waits for you. Jesus says, "Come unto Me." But are you like Jacob or not? Have you deceived others Have you told lies? Are you a great sinner? Have you said, "Others may have a way from earth to heaven, but I have not, because I am so great a sinner!" God says, "He that believeth." (John 3:36) No matter whether a great sinner or a small sinner, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." (John 6:47). Do you believe His Son? Perhaps you say, "If God gives me everlasting life, I shall " Stop! God has not said "If"; "The gift of God is eternal life." (Rom. 6:23). God's grace is greater than your sins. Today God gives you "forgiveness of sins", "everlasting life", and "eternal blessing". Please do not say "If" but say "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." (2 Cor. 9:15)

"Lo, I am with thee, safely guarding thee in all the way, wherever thou mayest go; and I will bring thee back unto this land, because I will never, never let thee down, until I have done all things that I said unto thee." (Gen. 28:15: From the Greek Old Testament).


"Lo, I am ever with thee!"
With me, whose name is "Cheater"?
O Lord, That could not be!
With Isaac, Yes, my Father!
But never, Lord, with me!
Yes, "I am ever with thee!"

"I'll always guard thee safely!"
Guard me, who robbed my brother?
Who now for life doth flee!
Guard me, they call "Deceiver"?
Thou'lt never, Lord, guard me!
Yes, "I will guard thee safely!"

"And to thy home I'll bring thee!"
Bring me, 'the worm called Jacob'?
O Lord, That this might be!
And give me food and raiment!
Then GOD Thou'lt be to me!
Yes, "To thy home I'll bring thee!"

"For 'let thee down' I'll never!
Nor ever thee forsake!
I'm Jacob's GOD for ever!"
Those blessings each may take,
I say to each believer: —
"No, Let thee down, I'll never!"

Chapter 28

Far From God

Genesis 29

You remember Jacob was afraid to be near the gate of heaven and house of God. People now are like this; they forget they are sinners until near the gate of heaven; then they know it, so when a man is going to die, he is afraid. All his sins, like a black cloud, are before him. He knows that he will soon be near the gate, but because of his sins he cannot enter. I knew a child who was fishing, but suddenly fell into the river and sank. At that very moment, all his sins came quickly before his eyes, many he had forgotten, one by one, as clear as in a book. He was so afraid, he did not think of being drowned; he thought of his many sins, — how to meet God. A man was to be put to death; at eight o'clock the next morning he would be shot. That night a Christian visited him. The prisoner, a very brave man, walked up and down all night. The Christian asked, "Are you afraid to die?" "No, I only fear what comes after death; the Bible says 'after death the judgment'." You and I will both meet God. He says, "Prepare to meet thy God."

Jacob did not believe God could love a bad sinner, so was afraid. But God loves us and He tells us that Christ died for us, when we were yet sinners. (Rom. 5:8) The Lord Jesus says, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." However, sinners think they must become better first. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God's thoughts higher than ours. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (1 Tim. 1:15)

"If you wait until you are better, you will never come at all." So come now, because the precious blood of the Lord Jesus can wash away all our sins.
"Just as I am — without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And now Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!"

Jacob went a long way, and came to his mother's old home; there he saw flocks of sheep lying by a well. The well's mouth was covered by a great stone. The shepherds waited until all the flocks of sheep came, then they drew water for the sheep. Jacob asked them where they came from, and whether they knew his mother's brother, Laban. They said, "We know him." And they told him, "Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep." Jacob was very happy to see his cousin Rachel, so he went and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered her sheep. Then he kissed Rachel, and told her that he was her Aunt Rebekah's son. She ran to tell her father, and Laban came out and brought Jacob to his house. He told Laban about his father, mother, and home, for at that time there was no post office for letters.

Jacob kept Laban's sheep for one month. Laban asked, "Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou serve me for nought, tell me what shall thy wages be?" Laban had two daughters; the older, Leah, had bad eyes, but the younger, Rachel, was beautiful. So Jacob said, "I will serve thee seven years for Rachel." And Laban agreed. Because Jacob loved Rachel so much these seven years seemed to him like a few days. At the end, Laban cheated Jacob, and gave his older daughter, Leah, for his wife. Jacob had deceived his father. Now he reaped what he had sown. Jacob was very angry, but Laban said that if he would work another seven years, then he would give him Rachel too. And Laban gave his daughters two maids.


"This man receiveth sinners"
"This Man receiveth sinners",
The Pharisees once said.
"This Man receiveth sinners,
And with them eateth bread."

"This Man receiveth sinners",
Oh, Praise the Lord indeed:
Praise God, it was for sinners
He came to earth to bleed.

"This Man receiveth sinners".
Yes, Thank the Lord that He
Is still receiving sinners,
And so receiveth me.

"This Man receiveth sinners,
And with them eateth bread".
He, Who receiveth sinners,
Is now those sinners' food.

"This Man receiveth sinners".
Glory to God above!
It was to poor lost sinners
He shows His matchless love.

"This Man receiveth sinners".
He is the "sinner's Guest".
The sinner who receives Him
Finds joy, and peace, and rest. (Luke 19:7)

"This Man receiveth sinners ".
The Pharisees spake true.
Because He loveth sinners,
He loves and welcomes you.

"This Man receiveth sinners".
He is "the sinner's Friend!"
With sinners all around Him,
Eternity He'll spend. (Matt. 11:19)

Then, to "The Man Christ Jesus",
Those sinners sing aloud:
"He loves us, and He washed us
In His own precious Blood!"

Chapter 29

Jacob's Return Journey

Genesis 30, 31.

Jacob loved Rachel more then Leah; so God gave Leah sons, but Rachel had no son. These years were sad years for Jacob; he had no altar; he lived with Laban who bowed down to idols; his wife Rachel loved the idols. When they left Laban, Rachel stole her father's idols. When a man leaves God, his heart is without peace. But God is full of grace; He never left Jacob. Poor Jacob had no altar; had he forgotten God? But God never forgot him. Jacob thought out tricks to deceive Laban, and Laban did the same. But God remembered His promise to Jacob, so He gave him ten sons, and also a son, Joseph, by Rachel. God gave him many servants, maids, cattle, camels and asses. After twenty years Jacob was rich.

Jacob may be a lesson to every believer: — a picture of a man who has faith yet forgets God, — a Christian who chooses a place of his own, as Jacob left Canaan for Padan-aram, and lost his altar. Our home is heaven, but some Christians when in the world forget heaven. I have a friend, who when asked his country says, "My honourable country is heaven." — not my poor country, — he values heaven. True, we forget, yet God never forgets us. "God is faithful". Laban saw that Jacob had very much cattle: he wished they were his, and he did not treat Jacob as before. Laban's sons said, "Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's."

Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred, and I will be with thee." So, while Laban was gone to shear sheep, he set his sons and his wives upon camels, and took all his servants and cattle and left quietly. On the third day it was told Laban that Jacob had run away. Laban and his brethren went after Jacob, and in seven days found him at Mount Gilead. But God in a dream warned Laban not to hurt Jacob. Laban asked Jacob why he had ran away, and not allowed him to kiss his sons and daughters: he also asked, "Why hast thou stolen my gods?" Jacob told Laban he was afraid of him; and also "with whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live." So Laban searched in all Jacob's tents, but could not find the gods, for Rachel had hidden them. These were not living gods. Yet Rachel worshipped these idols — images of gold or silver, instead of the ever living God who took care of her husband and blessed them! He is the only true, almighty, eternal God.

Jacob was angry and told Laban how hard he had worked for him. Afterwards, they set up a stone for a pillar, and both promised not to pass over this stone to hurt each other. Then Jacob offered a sacrifice, and called his brethren to eat with him, and they stayed all night in the mountain. The next morning Laban arose early and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters, and blessed them, and went back to his home.

Chapter 30

Jacob's New Name

Genesis 32

Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. Jacob saw them and said, "This is God's host."

You remember Jacob had deceived his brother Esau and stolen his blessing. Now Jacob was afraid, for he knew soon he would meet Esau. Twenty years before, Esau had promised to kill him. Would he kill his wives and children too? Jacob did not know. So he sent messengers to meet Esau first, to tell him that he was coming back. The messengers returned and told Jacob, "We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee and four hundred men with him!" Then Jacob was greatly afraid, for he remembered his past. He knew too that he had never followed God closely. What trouble!

What could he do? Nothing! A man with several women, eleven children, a multitude of cattle, and a few servants, could not face those four hundred strong, angry men! Jacob could not escape except by God's power.

For many years Jacob had trusted his own strength and plans, but now he could do nothing. Yet he still planned, so he sent a very large gift to Esau. He sent many sheep, camels, and cattle. He divided his other cattle into two bands, in case one band was killed, he hoped the other might escape. He sent his wives and children over the river first. Yet, he knew his only hope was in God. So Jacob prayed to God as he had never prayed before. He had bargained with God. Yes. But this time, — how different, he prayed! Have you ever really prayed? A man in great trouble can really pray. Have you ever seen that you are losing your precious soul, on the way to hell, and God only can save? Then cry, "God be merciful to me, a sinner!" "Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow," and trust on the Lord's precious blood to take away all your sins. Jacob prayed to God truly. He told God that He Himself had told him to return home, and had promised: "I will deal well with thee." He confessed, "I am not worthy." The Lord Jesus says, "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." If you plead God's promises, and confess you are not worthy, but only a lost sinner, He will hear your prayer. Tell Jesus you are coming to Him, just as you are, and He promises, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

Jacob said to God, "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of the truth which Thou hast shewed unto thy servant." False and crooked, he had been, but Jacob was now before God, and he saw himself in the light of heaven; he saw how he had deceived his old father; cheated his brother; made bargains with God, and deceived his uncle. You and I are not worthy, but God shows His mercy and truth to us bad, crooked sinners. Let us come and tell it all to God.

Jacob kept on, "Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother Esau; for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children." And, "Thou saidst I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea which cannot be numbered for multitude." Did God hear that prayer? Surely!

That night Jacob was alone. An angel wrestled with him. That angel really was God Himself. Jacob wrestled all night in his own strength. Afterwards, the angel touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh, so it was out of joint, and strength was gone. The angel said, "Let me go, for the day breaketh." Jacob said, "I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me." The angel said, "What is thy name?" He said, "Jacob" ("Supplanter" or, "Cheater") . The angel said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel" ("a prince of God").

That was the best night of Jacob's life; he really prayed; he lost his old name and got a new name. Have you had such a night? Have you lost your own strength? Have you lost your old name, and got a new name — Christian? If so, it was the best day of your life.

"O Happy day, that fixed my choice On Thee, my Saviour and my God! Well may this glowing heart rejoice And tell its raptures all abroad!"

Chapter 31

Jacob Meets Esau

Genesis 33

Jacob saw his brother Esau coming with his four hundred men. Very much afraid, he divided up the women and children to meet Esau. Jacob bowed seven times and Esau ran forward to meet him; they embraced each other and wept, and kissed each other. Esau asked Jacob, "Whose are those with thee?" and he said, "The children which God hath graciously given thy servant." And he said the cattle were a gift. Esau said, "No", but Jacob pressed him, so he took it. Then Esau said, "Let us go together", but Jacob did not want to. Was he still afraid? So he said that he and the cattle would move very slowly, so the cattle would not die, till he would go to Esau's place. But he did not really wish to be with Esau, instead, he went to Succoth where he built a house. Neither his father Isaac nor his grandfather Abraham had built any house. God called Jacob to be a stranger and a pilgrim in Canaan. Would a stranger build a house? Where was his tent? Then Jacob moved to Shechem and bought a field; for a stranger, was this wise? No, a real pilgrim only stays a little while, not thinking of fields and houses. But Jacob forgot. Yet he built an altar and called it El-elohe-Israel ("God, — the God of Israel") .

We Christians are strangers on earth; our home is heaven; but how do we act? Are we now like true pilgrims and strangers content with a tent and an altar to please God?

Chapter 32

Jacob Becomes Friendly with The World

Genesis 34

At Shechem Jacob's daughter Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land. Jacob knew the people were very wicked; also that his father and grandfather kept away from them. But if Jacob had a house and a field, no wonder his daughter made friends with the people about. "The friendship of the world is enmity with God; whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4)

The ruler of Shechem was Hamor, and his son was Shechem. When Shechem saw Dinah he said to his father, "Get me this damsel to wife." So Hamor asked Jacob. Jacob and his sons all knew they should not agree, but they spoke deceitfully. Hamor also promised to give Jacob many things, and suggested they might be one people and live in the land and trade, and marry together. Just like the world of today; they want Christians to be one with them — no difference. O Christians, be careful! The Lord says, "Come out from among them and be ye separate." (2 Cor. 6:17.) The world says, "We may be one." The Lord says, "Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Tim. 2:19.)

Jacob's sons said, "We will dwell with you, and we will become one," if they would all be circumcised. Then they would live and trade with them. If not, they must take back their sister. Hamor and Shechem agreed, and they urged all the men of that land to be circumcised. On the third day, when they were all sore, Jacob's two sons, Levi and Simeon, came upon the city boldly, and killed all the men, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house. They also took all the sheep, cattle, asses, and everything in the city and in the field, all their money, their children and wives, even all that was in the house.

How sad was the end of Jacob's effort to make friends with the world! Many years later, at the end of his life, he was still sorry. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever." (1 John 2:15-17.)

Chapter 33

Jacob Goes to Bethel

Genesis 35

Jacob feared now they would all be killed. Then God said to him, "Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there." Many years before, God had spoken to Jacob at Bethel, at the time when he deceived his brother, and left home and was running away. There Jacob had seen a ladder to heaven with angels. How good were God's promises to Jacob then! But Jacob had gone his own way, not by faith, so sorrow came. God had faithfully blessed him, yet Jacob had never truly trusted God as he should.

Jacob got up at once to go to Bethel, as God said. Now he thought of the idols in his family, unclean things; he knew these were not fit for God to see. So he said, "Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went."

How sad, to find in our home things which do not please God. Perhaps we, or our wife, or children may have them. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1 John 5:21). Besides the idols of gold, silver, wood, stone or paper, there may be idols inside our hearts, — money or knowledge, or the idols of drinking, eating, and pleasures — anything that takes the place of God in our eyes. God wants us always to put Him first.

When Jacob wanted to build an altar to God, or if we Christians want to be near God, then all that would defile our lives must be put away. If we are dirty with idols, what shall we do? "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word." (Psa. 119:9; 2 Cor. 7:1) If unclean, we must go to God and tell Him. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

Jacob's mother's old nurse had gone up to Bethel with him, and she died there. They left Bethel, and when near to Bethlehem, Jacob's wife Rachel had a baby boy, named Benoni, "Son of my sorrow". And then she died. But Jacob called him Benjamin, "Son of my right hand."

For the Jews, the Lord Jesus is "The Son of their Sorrow," because when they crucified Him, God drove them from their land, and they were scattered. But for God His Father, the Lord Jesus is "The Son of His right hand."

Jacob saw his father Isaac again; Joseph and his brothers saw their grandfather now for the first time. Truly, God kept His promise to Jacob. Later on Isaac died, and Jacob and Esau buried him in the cave with Abraham. Some day, they will rise up to that heavenly city which Abraham looked for.

Chapter 34

Joseph

Genesis 37

Jacob's ten sons were now grown to be men, though Joseph was only seventeen years old, and Benjamin, just a child. Joseph lived with his father in Hebron, a beautiful valley on a mountain. The ten sons were all bad. They fed the sheep, and Joseph told his father of their bad ways. Jacob loved Joseph most, therefore his brothers hated him. Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colours, and they hated him more.

One night Joseph had a strange dream. He told his brothers that they were binding sheaves in the field, and Joseph's sheaf stood straight up, and all their sheaves stood round, and bowed down to his sheaf. Then they hated him still more. Again Joseph dreamed. He saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bow down to him. How strange! His father asked, "What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" His brothers hated him all the more, but his father thought about it. God had given these dreams. Later on, we will see how God made them come true.

Jacob had many sheep and cattle. His sons fed the sheep at Shechem (the city where they had killed its people). Hebron, high on a mountain, makes us think of heaven: but Shechem, of sin, deception and murder. Jacob's sons left Hebron and their father, to feed the sheep down at Shechem. Have we not all left our heavenly Father and chosen this bad world?

Jacob said to Joseph, "Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee unto them. Go, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again." So he sent Joseph out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

Think of our heavenly Father. The Bible says, "The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." (1 John 4:14) . And "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:17) . As Jacob sent his beloved son, so God sent His beloved Son to save us.

He found they had gone to Dothan, so he went there. His brothers said, "Behold, this dreamer cometh: Let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say 'Some evil beast hath devoured him:' and we shall see what will become of his dreams."

They stripped him out of his coat of many colours. They wanted to kill him, but his oldest brother Reuben said, "Let us not kill him," but "cast him into this pit." Reuben wanted to take him to his father. So they threw Joseph into a pit. Joseph cried and begged them to let him go, yet they would not listen. There was no water in the pit. Then they sat down to eat. Joseph was hungry, thirsty, and in trouble. But did these brothers care? God saw how bad they were. He also saw and took care of Joseph.

While his brothers were eating, they saw Ishmaelites coming, riding on camels. They were also Abraham's children, so these people really were the cousins of those bad men. They were taking spices, balm and myrrh down to Egypt. Judah said: "What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh." The brothers agreed. They drew up Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites. Do you remember that the brethren of the Lord Jesus — the Jewish people — sold Him for thirty pieces of silver? Joseph is a picture of the Lord Jesus, and that pit is a picture of His grave.

Joseph's life was spared, but the life of the Lord Jesus was not spared. They nailed Him to the cross. We read in the Psalms of His grief and the pain He suffered for us. "Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none." (Ps. 69:20). God did not leave Joseph when he was in trouble but God turned away from the Lord Jesus. Hear Him crying, "My God! My God! Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Ps. 22:1). You and I know why God forsook Him, — because of our sins. God put my sins on the Lord Jesus Christ. When He was nailed on the cruel cross, God saw my sins borne on His body. No man can fully understand the pain He suffered. We can know how Joseph suffered, but we can never know how deeply the Saviour suffered. Have you ever thought, "He suffered so much just for me?" Have you ever taken that work for your own self and thanked Him? If not, do so now, because He died for sinners.

When Jacob sent Joseph, he did not know that he would meet trouble. But when God sent His Son to save us, He knew that He would be crucified. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." We can say, "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift."

Do you remember that they stripped Jesus of His clothes? When Joseph's brothers stripped off his coat, they killed a little goat and dipped the coat in the blood. Then they sent it to their father saying that they had found it, and asked if he could tell if it was his son's coat. It was very, very bad to so deceive their old father. Even so, God saw all those things, and did not forget. He says, "They consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness." For more than twenty years, they kept it quiet about the goat's blood on the coat, so nobody knew it, but GOD.

You have heard how the Lord Jesus came into the world and what the people did to Him. Some people talk about the Lord Jesus' birthday, but do not want to think about His death, because it was for sinners He was nailed to the cross. What does His death mean to you?

Chapter 35

Joseph in Egypt

Genesis 39

The Ishmaelites brought Joseph to Egypt and sold him as a slave to Potiphar, captain of the guard. The LORD was with Joseph and made everything go well. Joseph's master saw this, so he made Joseph rule his house; and put all he had into his hands. Then the LORD blessed all that he had in the house and in the field. Joseph was a good looking man and his mistress often cast her eyes upon him, but he refused her attractions. So she told a lie about Joseph before her husband. Then he put him in prison for a long time, but God was with him. As Joseph so truly feared God, we might wonder why God allowed these troubles, but at the end we will understand. We often see true Christians who have many troubles. Though they suffer now, yet they need not be afraid that God has left them. God says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."

Chapter 36

The Dreams of the Butler and The Baker

Genesis 40

We have seen that although Joseph had not done anything wrong, yet he was put into prison. They hurt his feet with chains, and he was laid in iron. (Ps. 105:18), but God was with him and showed him mercy. He gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison who put into Joseph's hand all the prisoners. He did not look to anything that was under his hand, because God was with Joseph and made all that he did to go well. Before this in Potiphar's home, God made everything go well. Now while Joseph was in the prison, God did the same. It is much better to live in a prison with God, than to live in a king's house without Him.

The king of Egypt put his butler and his baker into prison. We do not know what they had done, but the king of Egypt was very angry and put them where Joseph was.

One night they both dreamed and in the morning Joseph saw they looked sad, so he asked, "Wherefore look ye so sadly today?" They said that they both had a dream but nobody could tell them the meaning. Joseph asked if they knew that God could tell the meaning. Perhaps Joseph thought of the dreams he had had. And Joseph knew that God was able to make his own dreams come true. So Joseph said to tell him the dreams, then the chief butler told his dream. (Read Gen. 40:9-23)

The butler who pressed the juice of the grapes into the king's cup was set free to live, but the baker who made the cakes was put to death. The juice of grapes is red, a picture of blood. At the Lord's supper the fruit of the vine is a picture of the blood of the Lord, which was shed for us. But the cakes made by the baker do not tell us of blood or death, so the baker himself died. The butler poured out the wine, which pictures blood, and tells of somebody to die in his place, so he could live. WE all have sinned against God, but he who comes to God trusting only in the precious blood of Jesus has everlasting life. The baker may have worked very hard, but his work could not take away his sins. But the juice of the grapes made the butler go back to the king's house, as the blood of the Lord Jesus will make those who trust His precious blood live in the heavenly home with Him. Joseph said to the butler, "Think on me, when it shall be well with thee." This makes us remember the night in which the Lord Jesus was betrayed, He took the cup and gave unto His disciples saying, "This do in remembrance of Me." (Luke 22:19) That cup is a picture of His blood. He wants us, who have eternal life by believing on Him, to remember Him in His death. The butler should have thanked Joseph, and remembered his goodness. But he forgot Joseph. Have you got everlasting life by trusting in His blood, yet forgotten His last words "Remember Me"?

Chapter 37

Joseph and the King of Egypt

Genesis 41

The king of Egypt, Pharaoh, hanged the chief baker on the tree, but brought back the chief butler to his palace. Egypt is one of the oldest countries in the world. This story happened over three thousand years ago. Even now, the buildings and temples of Egypt are the greatest and most wonderful in the world. The Pyramids, thousands of years old, are still the strongest and greatest. We think that some were built soon after Joseph. Egypt was then the greatest country in the world. The Egyptians were clever, wise and rich. Two years after the chief butler got out of prison, the king had a strange dream. He could not understand it, nor could all the wise men of Egypt. He was greatly troubled, for it seemed a message. Pharaoh did not know the true God. All his people bowed down to idols, — many kinds, such as calves, beetles, and other animals. Could the true God explain the dream? Was there a man in all Egypt who knew God? Yes, one, but he was in prison. When Pharaoh could find nobody to explain his dream, the chief butler said, "I do remember my faults this day." Then he told the story of his dream in prison, and how Joseph explained it. The king sent a man to call Joseph. He quickly changed his prison clothes, shaved, and came to the King. He now was thirty years old. From the time he was a little boy up to seventeen years old, he was with his father in Canaan. Then he was sold as a slave into Egypt. Perhaps he was in prison about ten years. Now this poor rejected shepherd boy, the slave, was brought from prison to stand before the greatest king in the world. Wonderful! This surely makes me think of the Lord Jesus. He was a little more than thirty years in the world, despised and rejected of men, the "Man of Sorrows." He came down to the very lowest place. Joseph was just sold for a slave, but the Lord was sold and died. Joseph had a good end when he was old, but the Lord Jesus did not die peacefully, but on a cross! His death was cruel and shameful: more terrible than any other death. Besides the pain and shame, God also put our sins on Him. None can say how great was the Lord's suffering! Oh! Why did He suffer so much? For you and for me! The king of Egypt called Joseph out from the dark prison to stand before him. So God took the Lord Jesus out of the grave and after forty days the Lord went up to heaven and now sits at the right hand of God. Truly, God has now highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11)

Chapter 38

Joseph Explains Pharaoh's Dream

Genesis 41

Egypt's palaces were very grand. Everything was the best. But why did such a mighty king need a prisoner, Joseph? Because God wanted to speak to Pharaoh. Only Joseph knew the true God, so he only in all Egypt could help Pharaoh. In Pharaoh's dream he stood on the bank of the River Nile. In Egypt there is no rain. Without the Nile all Egypt would be dry like the desert. The Nile has a great flood every year, so that both sides are watered. The Egyptians always plant their crops at the place where the flood water has been and so get good crops. Therefore the Egyptians did not worship the true God in heaven, but they worshipped the River Nile, and crocodiles from it, and such things. Pharaoh saw in his dream seven cows come up out of the river, good looking and fat-fleshed, and they fed on the nice green grass. Then seven other cows came up after them, bad looking and lean-fleshed, Pharaoh had never seen such poor cows. Then what? The thin cows ate up the first seven fat cows and when they had eaten them, they were still just as thin and bad looking. Again Pharaoh slept and dreamed. This time he saw seven ears of grain come up in one stalk, full and good, then seven ears of grain, thin and empty, sprung up after them. Then the thin ears which sprung up last ate up the seven full ears, but they were still as thin as before. What strange dreams! Who could ever think what these dreams meant? Yet God told it to Joseph. So Joseph told Pharaoh that the two dreams are one, and that God had shown Pharaoh what He was going to do. The seven cows are seven years, and the seven ears are seven years, too; the good ones are seven years of good harvest, the bad ones are seven years of famine, when the fields would not give crops. So the whole land would be in great trouble, but because God is kind, He told Pharaoh.

Then Joseph told Pharaoh that it would be best to gather much food in these seven good years, so in the bad years they might not be starved. And he advised Pharaoh to find a wise man to manage this. Let him save up in storehouses one part out of five of the grain of the land in the seven good years. This was very good advice. Pharaoh took Joseph's advice and said, "Can we find such a man in whom the Spirit of God is?" So he made Joseph the chief man to rule over all Egypt. One day Joseph was in prison, the next he was the greatest ruler in all Egypt, except Pharaoh. He wore beautiful clothes and had the king's ring. Now Joseph had a fine house and a chariot to ride in. Men ran before him, and cried, "Bow the knee!" and all bowed down before him.

God has given us, not a dream, but the Bible. In it, He tells of coming judgment. Pharaoh knew he had seven years to get ready, but we do not know how long we have to get ready, and then we shall never have another chance. "A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished." (Prov. 22:3) Let us be wise like Pharaoh! "Behold, now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2) Pharaoh got a man who had the Spirit of God in him, he trusted him for everything. We should trust a Person, that is the LORD Himself. The Lord Jesus Christ "gave Himself a ransom for all." (1 Tim. 2:6) If we trust Him Who died for our sins we need not fear judgment, but we will live with Him.

Chapter 39

Seven Years of Famine

Genesis 41

Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife, and God gave Joseph two sons, the oldest was named "Manasseh" ("Forgetting"), for God made Joseph forget his work and sorrow. The younger was named "Ephraim" ("Fruitful"), for God caused him to be fruitful in the land of his trouble.

This story makes us remember the Lord Jesus Christ. He suffered great trouble for us; now God has highly exalted Him. And God has given Him a bride who will live with Him always. Who is His bride? His bride is everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. And the bride is the true church of God, of which every believer is a part. We see many different churches, but they are all set up by man. In them there are some who are not true Christians, but in God's Church there are only those who have been truly cleansed by the blood of Christ.

Joseph worked very hard to get together so much food that it could not be measured, like the sand of the sea. When the last year of the seven good years was ended, the famine began and spread over all lands. At the present time, I know every country in the world has its own fear; this looks as if the beginning of the seven bad years is very close. We can see trouble ahead and many Christians believe judgment is coming soon.

The Egyptians were happy because they could buy wheat. They came to Pharaoh, but he said, "Go to Joseph." Today, before the judgment comes, if we ask God for salvation, God will surely say, "Go to Jesus." "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved," (Acts 4:12).

Chapter 40

Joseph's Brothers Go Down to Egypt

Genesis 42

Everywhere people were hungry, even in Canaan. Joseph's old father Jacob lived with his eleven sons in Canaan. Years before, you remember, Joseph's brothers had sold him into Egypt. Jacob did not know this. He thought Joseph was dead. But his sons knew. When Joseph was sold, he was seventeen, but now he was about thirty nine.

The food in Jacob's home was almost gone, so he said to his sons, "I have heard that there is corn in Egypt; get you down thither and buy for us from thence; that we may live and not die." But Jacob did not send his youngest son Benjamin, for he thought that some danger might come to him.

When the ten brothers came to Egypt, they were told to go to the ruler of all Egypt, so they went and bowed down to him. None of them knew who he was, for in twenty-two years he looked very different. He spoke Egyptian, and a man translated to them.

When Joseph saw his brothers he knew them. When they bowed themselves, he remembered his dreams in Canaan — his brothers' sheaves and the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowing down before him.

Joseph did not tell them who he was. He wanted them to remember and be sorry for their sin of years ago. So he said they were spies and had come to see the weak places of the land. They said, "Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come; we are all one man's sons." They said they were honest men and not spies. Joseph said, No, you are spies. They said, "Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not." They were not willing to speak of Joseph whom they had sold. Then Joseph told them they must bring their youngest brother to Egypt to prove what they had said, or else truly they were spies. Joseph put his brothers in prison for three days, — (perhaps the same prison where Joseph had been!) to think about their sin. After three days Joseph said to them that he feared God: If they were honest men, let one of them stay bound in prison, but the others might go with corn to their home. They said one to another, "We are verily guilty concerning our brother in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear, therefore is this distress come upon us." And Reuben said, "Spake I not unto you, saying, 'Do not sin against the child;' and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required." Joseph heard all this and understood, but they did not know he understood. Joseph turned away from them and wept. Then he took his brother Simeon and bound him before their eyes. They remembered what they had done to Joseph years before! Joseph sent them home, except Simeon who went to prison. Also he put their money into each one's sack.

How bad to try to cover up sin! God says, "Be sure your sin will find you out." But you must thank God if He makes your sin find you out now, or else it will find you out when you stand before God's judgment throne. God says, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Prov. 28:13) Now, God has made a way to cover all the sins of those who confess them. There is no other way. Only the Lord Jesus' precious blood can cover men's sins. They told Joseph's brothers to 'go to Joseph', now God tells you, "Go to the Lord Jesus." Trust in His precious blood to cover your sins, then you shall have God's forgiveness.

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." (Ps. 32:1.)

Chapter 41

Benjamin Goes Down to Egypt

Genesis 43

The brothers went home and told their father what had happened. When they opened the sacks of corn they were surprised to find the money they had paid, put back in the sacks, and they were afraid.

Soon the corn was eaten up. Jacob said, "Go again, buy us a little food." But Judah said, "The man solemnly told us 'Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.' If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy the food; but if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down." Jacob was very sad and said, "Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin." But they would all starve unless they got corn from Egypt, so at last Jacob let Benjamin go.

Then they started for Egypt again, and Jacob said to them, "God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send back your other brother, and Benjamin, If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."

Had Jacob known that Benjamin was going down to his dear brother Joseph, he would have feared nothing; he would have been glad. But Jacob did not know. Are we sometimes like Jacob? Joseph was the picture of the Lord Jesus in glory. But although Joseph was so great, yet he had not forgotten his little brother Benjamin and his old father. If Jacob had only known that the most honourable man in all Egypt so loved him!

The brothers came to Egypt and stood before Joseph. Joseph saw Benjamin amongst them, and he said to the ruler of his house, "Bring these men home." But they were afraid to go. Why? Because of their sin covered up so many years. Why do you not get peace? Your sins. The brothers told the man about finding the money in their sacks, for they thought that because of that he might seek a quarrel against them and hurt them, so this time they brought double money. But he said: "Peace be to you, fear not, your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money." And he brought Simeon out of prison to them. The brothers had made ready a present for Joseph, while waiting for him to come home. When Joseph came in, they offered the present and all kneeled down before him. Remember Joseph's dream of the eleven sheaves bowing down before him! Then Joseph asked them of their father's health. When he saw Benjamin he asked, "Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me?" And he said, "God be gracious unto thee, my son." Joseph loved his brother Benjamin so much that he went into his room and wept. The Lord Jesus once wept over a city, but those people would not trust Him. Have you ever thought that the Lord Jesus loves you very much and could weep for you? Have you trusted Him? Joseph washed his face and came back to his brothers and told them to sit down to dinner. Then he did a wonderful thing. He made his oldest brother Reuben sit in the best place, Simeon the second, and he sat each one by his age. They could not understand. It is because Joseph knew them; he knew their ages and everything else. And he gave Benjamin five times as much as the others.

Once a bad woman met the Lord Jesus, and after she left, she said to her friends, "Come, see a Man which told me all things that ever I did." The Lord Jesus knows everything we do, yet He loves you and waits to forgive you. The brothers were happy with Joseph, but their sin was still covered. How very hard it is to confess sin!

Chapter 42

The Silver Cup in a Corn Bag

Genesis 44

After dinner Joseph told his servant to fill the men's sacks with food, and to put each man's money in his own sack, and "Put my cup, the silver cup, into the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn money." Next morning, as soon as it was light, they started for home. When they were just out of the city, Joseph told his servant to run after them, and ask why they had taken his cup. The man caught up to them, and asked why they had stolen his master's silver cup. They became very angry and said, "With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen." The man said, "He with whom it is found shall be my servant!" he would not blame the others. They quickly took the sacks down. So the man hunted for the cup. He began at the oldest, right to the last — Benjamin's. While he hunted and could not find the cup they were happy, but when they saw him find the silver cup in Benjamin's sack, how did they feel? They tore their clothes, they were so sad! Twenty years before they had sold their little brother for a slave, but now what? Will they turn away and leave Benjamin to be a slave, and go home again? We see how wise and kind Joseph was; he used the same thing to make them remember. What about their little brother and their old father this time? God had worked in the hearts of these ten men, so now they would not let their brother be a slave. Instead, we see this time their hearts were broken, as they all followed Benjamin back to the house. Before, they let their brother suffer, and they sat down to eat bread, but now how different! Before, they had told lies to cover their sin, but now they did not talk about being good; they confessed their former sin — "What shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants." They said they were all his slaves.

This truly was the work of God's Holy Spirit. When God works, we just see our own sinfulness. We do not say that we are good, but all our sins come before our eyes. These ten brothers not only stood before Joseph, but before God. Joseph heard their confession, and said, "God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father." See how he showed up their very thoughts in the old days. Then Judah came near to Joseph, and begged for his father and brother. Please take your Bible and notice what Judah said (Gen. 44:18-34) His heart was full of the "little child," and the "father". Let Judah be a slave, but let the "lad" go back to his "father". Joseph could not hold back. So he told every man in the room to go out, and then he wept aloud, saying, "I am Joseph!" How amazing! "I am Joseph!" How frightening! HE, the one they had sinned against! HE, the one they had sold as a slave! He asked at once, "Doth my father yet live?" Why ask this? Because of love; he wanted to take away their fear at once, so brought to remembrance their father. Then Joseph said, "Come near to me, I pray you. I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt", and he comforted them saying, that this was God's purpose, "For God did send me before you to preserve life." So he embraced them and kissed them, and wept over them. That kiss was the seal of forgiveness.

Pharaoh and the people of Egypt were all glad. The Bible has not told us that any man in Egypt ever knew the sin which Joseph's brothers had committed — that sin was already forgiven.

My reader, has God's Spirit ever worked with you, and made you find out your sins? Perhaps you think you are good; if so, I am afraid that you have not come to a true change of mind like Joseph's brothers. We must all reach that place of repentance. When we get there, we will understand the meaning of "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." (Isa. 64:6) This is the place of receiving forgiveness and blessing. Like Joseph's brothers, take now that low place; confess that you are bad, and receive forgiveness.

Chapter 43

Tell My Father of All My Glory

Genesis 45

Though Judas sold the Lord Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, yet God sent Him, like Joseph to "preserve life." The world hated the Lord Jesus and killed Him, but God sent His Son to die for the sinners in this world — the world which killed Him. Joseph's brothers wanted to kill Joseph, but God used their sin to save their lives. The world committed the sin of killing God's Son, but God used His death to give life — eternal life — to whosoever believeth in Him as their own Saviour.

Joseph said to his brothers, "Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, 'Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not.'"

In a greater way, the Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself, even dying on the cross, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of God the Father." Confess Him now and get salvation. You must confess Him in the future, but then it will be too late, and you will not get salvation, but eternal punishment. Many people hate Jesus' name, but every one of these people will confess that Jesus is Lord, and bow down to Him.

Joseph said, "Tell my father of all my glory in Egypt." How happy our hearts are to hear all the glory of the Lord Jesus! In Revelation 5, we read that He is the only one in heaven or earth who is worthy to open the book. Jacob had never seen, nor understood, all that glory, just as we know some of the glory in heaven, but cannot understand all. The Queen of Sheba said to Solomon, "I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it; and behold the half was not told me." (1 Kings 10:7)

Joseph in his glory and in such a high position wanted his father and his brothers to be with him. Pharaoh said, "Take your father and your households, and come unto me, and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt." And he commanded to take wagons to bring them, and said, "Regard not your stuff;" (that means, "your possessions") "for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours." Here Joseph is a picture of the Lord Jesus, and Pharaoh of God the Father. God the Father's heart is the same as the heart of our Lord Jesus. Pharaoh said, "Come unto me!", just as Joseph said, "Come unto me!" And so the Father and the Son both call us to "Come!" The Lord Jesus says, "In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself: that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2-3) And the LORD JESUS also said: "Come unto Me, — and I will give you rest.

The Lord Jesus in His great glory waits the time when we will dwell with Him; then "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied." (Isa. 53:11) Pharaoh said "The good of all the land of Egypt is yours", but our Lord Jesus tells us the inheritance given to us is in heaven. It is incorruptible and undefiled and it does not fade. (1 Peter 1:4). Dear believers, the good of all heaven is yours, Regard not your stuff; you have better things. Your own things can just weigh you down; you cannot take them with you. Truly, God our Father gives strength for the way to heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit to lead us safely to His house. Pharaoh sent wagons, but they were only for their little ones, the women, and their father; not for the stuff. We should not lay up treasures upon earth, but in heaven. Everyone of Joseph's family was going to Joseph's glory. Joseph sent gifts to his whole family, and food for the desert journey, right to the home he had prepared. The Lord Jesus gives gifts to His Church, and gives everything needed, right to the Father's house. Jacob was glad of those gifts; so are we. (1 Cor. 12) But if there is no love, all good gifts are useless, so Joseph said, "See that ye fall not out by the way". God tells His children of something "more excellent," — which is love. (1 Cor. 13)

When the brethren told Jacob about all Joseph's glory, he, like the Queen of Sheba, did not believe. Are we the same? "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken" (Luke 24:25) — but when Jacob saw the wagons he said, "It is enough: Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die."

"And so Israel," (Jacob's new name) "took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba." O Jacob, did you not hear, "Regard not your stuff"? Just like us! The good of all Egypt was his, and yet to take his own things too! Listen: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." (Matt. 6:19-20)

Now recall Joseph's pressing words, "Haste ye and go up to my father, and say unto him," . . . "Come down unto me, tarry not." "Ye shall haste and bring down my father hither." We see Joseph's hurry to see his loved one. But think how long Joseph had waited for his brothers to repent. For a long time the Lord Jesus has waited patiently to have us with Himself. He says, "I come quickly." Yet He is still waiting because He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9.)
O Jesus, Lord! 'tis joy to know
Thy path is o'er of shame and woe,
For us so meekly trod;
All finished is Thy work of toil,
Thou reapest now the fruit and spoil,
Exalted by our God.

Thy holy head, once bound with thorns,
The crown of glory now adorns;
Thy seat, the Father's throne;
O Lord! e'en now we sing Thy praise,
Ours the eternal song to raise —
Worthy the Lord alone!

As Head for us Thou sittest there,
Until Thy members too shall share
In all Thou dost receive:
Thy glory and Thy royal throne
Thy boundless love has made our own,
Who in Thy Name believe.

We triumph in Thy triumphs, Lord;
Thy joys our deepest joys afford,
The fruit of love divine.
While sorrowing, suffering, toiling here,
How does the thought our spirits cheer,
The throne of glory's Thine.

Chapter 44

Jacob Goes Down to Egypt

Genesis 46, 47.

Jacob in a wagon, like his mother Rebekah on a camel, went a long way through the desert; and we are travelling through a desert too, but we each are made glad on the road by the Holy Spirit telling us (not just of heaven) but of the glories of our Loved One we are about to meet.

For the last time Jacob came to Beersheba where his father and his grandfather had lived and dug a well. Here Jacob had deceived his father and stolen his brother's blessing. But now he offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. Now he knew God's only way to deal with sin; though he had learned also, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Gal. 6:7) Jacob remembered very well that morning, over fifty years ago, when he had fled from his brother to save his life. In Haran he had worked for twenty years. He remembered his cheating there, and all his sins after coming back to Canaan, his faults and his sorrows, but he remembered still more deeply at Beersheba that through a sacrifice God could be merciful, righteous and kind. He knew God's grace; and that the God who was for him in the past, would be for him in the future. And the blood of that sacrifice was a picture of the precious blood of the Saviour, the Lord Jesus, which can cleanse and take away immediately the sins of all your life.
"All that we were — our sins and guilt,
Our death — was all our own:
All that we are we owe to Thee,
Thou God of grace, alone.

Thy mercy found us in our sins,
And gave us to believe;
Then, in believing, peace we found;
And in Thy Christ we live.

All that we are as saints on earth,
All that we hope to be
When Jesus comes and glory dawns,
We owe it all to Thee.

God spoke to Jacob in a dream. "Jacob, Jacob!" He replied, "Here am I." God said, "I am God, the God of thy father, fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will there make of thee a great nation, I will go with thee into Egypt, and I will also surely bring thee up again."

What a good promise! Beer-sheba means "the well of the oath." God is faithful. Fifty years before God gave Jacob a good promise the first night when he ran from home. You remember the stone for a pillow and the ladder that reached to heaven. (Gen. 28). Did he then believe God's promise? Then he said, "If God will be with me." Now, Jacob knew his own helplessness and his sins, and yet he had learned how faithful God was! And now that he was going to Egypt he knew that God was with him. (See Gen. 46:4). He believed God's promise now. Joseph drove his chariot to Goshen to meet his father, and then what a welcome! what kisses, and tears of joy!

Joseph brought his father and five of his brothers to Pharaoh. As Jacob and his sons kept cattle and sheep, Pharaoh sent them to Goshen in the best part of Egypt. Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was; he said that he was one hundred and thirty years old; then Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh was the greatest ruler of the world, but Jacob was greater because he was God's servant, so Jacob blessed the great ruler. (Heb. 7:7).

Chapter 45

The Famine in Egypt

Genesis 47

There were still five years of famine in Egypt. Though the Egyptians planted fields, they got little or nothing. Soon all lands were starving. They went to Pharaoh for help. He said, "Go unto Joseph." By the second year, there was still famine and no money, so Joseph said, "Give your cattle." So Joseph bought the cattle.

Next year, the people said to Joseph, "Our money is spent, my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands. Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate."

So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, and the people too, so Joseph gave them food. And they gave the fifth part of their harvest to Pharaoh. They said to Joseph, "Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants."

The Lord Jesus Christ has saved our lives. Our bodies belong to Him, and not to ourselves. "Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price," (1 Cor. 6:19, 20) and "Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, But with the precious blood of Christ." (1 Peter 1:18, 19). Joseph bought the Egyptians with corn, but the Lord Jesus bought us with His own precious blood. He paid such a great price because He counted us most precious to Himself.

Thus Joseph saved the lives of his whole family, of all the people of all Egypt, and of many people from Canaan. Except Pharaoh, no man was more honourable than he.

When the Lord Jesus will be the king in the Millennium, what a wonderful time that will be! all the people of the world will gladly say to the Lord Jesus. "You have saved our lives."

Asenath was Joseph's wife, a Gentile and a picture of the church. We do not see her much. We see Joseph, yet she and Joseph were one. You and I who are saved do not belong to this world but to heaven.

Jacob lived to the age of one hundred and forty-seven years. Before he died he made Joseph promise that he would not bury him in Egypt, but would bury him in the cave of Machpelah, that was bought by Abraham to bury Sarah. Abraham himself and Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob's wife Leah were all buried there. The reason Jacob wanted to be buried with his forefathers was that he knew God had promised the land of Canaan to his children; he knew that he had the right and blessing of the oldest, so he set his heart on that blessing and promise of God. At first, he had tried to get the blessing by his own planning. Now he trusted God who had promised to him the land in which he wished to be buried, for he loved and valued it.

Today Jacob's grave is still in Canaan; God has looked after it for several thousand years. But a day is coming when at God's command the graves of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all God's people, will be opened; they will enter eternal glory. Will you be there?

Chapter 46

Jacob's Will to Joseph

Genesis 49

You remember Esau sold his birthright to Jacob. When Joseph heard that his father Jacob was sick, he went and took his two sons with him. At that time a father used to give a double portion to the oldest son. Reuben was Jacob's oldest son, but he had sinned against his father, and lost this birthright. Jacob gave the blessing of the first-born to Joseph and told him God's promise, "I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thy seed, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession." And he told him that he was to have two portions. Jacob said, "Thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine." So in Israel we hear of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh rather than of Joseph.

When Jacob wished to bless the two boys, Joseph brought Manasseh, his older son, toward Jacob's right hand, and Ephraim, the younger, toward Jacob's left hand; but Jacob laid his right hand upon the head of Joseph's younger son Ephraim, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, and he blessed them. Joseph did not like this. He wanted his father to change it, but Jacob said, No, the younger son should be greater than his older brother (Heb. 11:21). God chose the younger. "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence." (1 Cor. 1:27-29.) Thus Jacob blessed Joseph, and made him greater than his brothers.

Then Jacob called all his sons together and told each one the things to come. He also blessed them, but in the blessing the sins of the past were remembered of Reuben, Simeon and Levi. Jacob now saw that their sins were really against God and he condemned them. We may cover up our former sins, but "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9.)

You remember how Judah asked Joseph to take him as a slave, instead of Benjamin, because of the silver cup. Judah got his reward; Jacob said to him, "Judah, Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise," and "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh ("the one who gives peace" ), come, and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be."

The King of Israel would be of the tribe of Judah. King David was of Judah. The King of Kings, "Shiloh", the Lord Jesus is of Judah, sent by His Father to this world to die, now seated in heaven.

Jacob spoke of what Joseph had suffered, then he blessed him. And at the end said, "The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren." (Gen. 49:26.)

After Jacob had blessed his sons, he told them to bury him in the cave in Canaan where his fathers were buried. Then, he died. Joseph fell upon his father's face and wept, and kissed him. Joseph told the physicians to embalm the body. Embalming would keep the dead body for hundreds of years. In this matter the Egyptians were very clever. They did not know what we know of resurrection, therefore they kept those bodies. We Christians know that God will raise the dead. "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body."

In Egypt they mourned for Jacob seventy days. Then Joseph and a very great company went to Canaan, there again they mourned for Jacob, and buried him in the cave. They did not know what we know now. We know that the Lord Jesus Christ is already risen. We know that the body is sown in corruption; It is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour; It is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; It is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Cor. 15:42-44.)

Jacob's story is finished. We have seen how he was at first in wickedness and distress, yet at the end he was glorious and faithful. He experienced much distress in his life, yet God led him on into peace. We read that God is the mighty God of Jacob. In the Psalms we many times come across verses where they speak of the "God of Jacob". What a comfort to those of us who are hopeless at heart, because most of us are as hopeless as Jacob, yet God was not ashamed of being called the God of Jacob. How kind God is!

Chapter 47

Forgiveness Doubted

Genesis 50

After their father's death, the ten brothers feared that now Joseph might hate them, and revenge himself on them for all they had done to him: so they sent a messenger to him, to beg him to forgive them. "And Joseph wept when they spake unto him." It nearly broke Joseph's heart to think that after all he had done for them, they still did not trust him, or believe in his forgiveness. Then they fell down before Joseph, and said, See, we are thy servants.

Then Joseph told them once more that it was all God's good and loving hand to save many people alive. He said to them, "Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them."

How often today men and women who truly believe in the Lord Jesus are like the ten brothers, and are afraid to believe that the Lord has truly forgiven them. They are afraid to "take Him at His word." Surely it must make His heart sad to see His own people so slow to really trust Him! And let us never forget that He still lives on high to "nourish" us and our dear ones. Yes, He will never forget us. His love and care will never cease down here, and soon He will have us with Himself in His Father's house, in the Eternal Glory.

Chapter 48

Conclusion

And now we have reached the last chapter of Genesis. How different from the beginning! Indeed Genesis is really like two books in one showing two subjects all through. It begins with one and ends with the other. "In the beginning" the Eternal God Himself, and His works, is the happy subject. And He is always first. "This then is the message which we have heard of Him and declare unto you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." John 1:5.

Now, the second "book" starts. "And the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep." So it begins with light and ends with darkness, weeping, mourning, death — "A very grievous mourning" Gen. 50:10. And Genesis ends with the words: "And they enbalmed him and he was put in a coffin in Egypt."

But Genesis is not all darkness and death for the simple reason that God's first thought in the whole book is to show Himself. So, as soon as the earth is shown in its waste, empty, and dark state, quite apart from heaven, then we read: "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep, and God said, Let there be light, and there was light." We see this often in the words, "And the evening and the morning." God who is light is seen. But the power of darkness comes in. Abraham's faith looked on and "saw" "My day" and was glad. (John 8:56). And so we know that morning follows evening in the six days, when, as the Lord Jesus says: "My Father worketh . . . . and I work". But Genesis is followed by Exodus in God's showing of Himself and the precious knowledge that redemption brings us out from scenes of fighting between good and evil, and into the Seventh day — God's Eternal rest — no death, darkness, tears, sorrows, nor pain! "I bare you on eagles' wings and brought you unto Myself." (Ex. 19:4.)