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“And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine” (Genesis 48:5 NKJV).

January 24, 2020

THE ORIGIN OF THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL Jacob, who was called Israel, spoke a word over each of his sons from his death bed. He bestowed a double portion to Joseph, giving his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, equal standing to his own sons. And so, when the twelve tribes of Israel move out

‘And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.”’ (Genesis 47:9 NKJV).

January 23, 2020

WE ARE PILGRIMS HERE When Pharaoh asked Jacob his age, he responded that the years of his “pilgrimage” was 130 years. A pilgrimage is a journey taken by a pilgrim, who is steadfastly and intentionally traveling towards a sacred destination. That’s how Jacob saw his life. He considered his life a brief and difficult journey

‘Then Judah stepped forward and said, “Please, my lord, let your servant say just one word to you.”‘ (Genesis 44:18 NKJV).

January 22, 2020

WHEN JUDAH STEPPED FORWARD When Judah, the fourth son of Jacob’s twelve, stepped forward to act as his brother’s representative, the future of his tribe began to unfold. For this is an early indication of Judah’s rise to leadership.   Reuben, the eldest, lost his birthright through sexual misconduct with Jacob’s concubine Bilhah (Gen. 35:22),

“Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt” (Genesis 37:28 NKJV).

January 18, 2020

JOSEPH IS A CHRISTOLOGICAL TYPE Jacob’s sons were jealous of their brother, Joseph. He was the favored son of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel, who had died giving birth to Benjamin, the youngest. Joseph had made things worse with his brothers by giving their father a bad report of their shepherding. He also had shared his

“Then he erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel” (Genesis 33:20 NKJV).

January 16, 2020

IS YOUR FAITH, YOUR FAITH? As he entered the Promised Land, Jacob built an altar to God near Shechem, just as his grandfather Abraham had once done (Gen. 12:7). However, Jacob no longer referred to the Lord as the God of Abraham and Isaac. Here for the first time, Jacob referred to the Lord as

“I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies.” (Genesis 32:10 ESV).

January 15, 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER HOW YOU BEGAN WITH GOD? As Jacob returned to the land of Canaan with his wives, children, servants and flocks, he remembered how he had left there with only the clothes on his back and the staff in his hand. His prayer reflected that it wasn’t only the outward blessings that were

“I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family” (Genesis 31:13 NKJV).

January 14, 2020

REMEMBER THE PILLAR MOMENTS YOU’VE HAD WITH GOD Jacob had arrived in Haran empty-handed, but now he had wives, many children and flocks of sheep, goats and camels. The Lord had made him wealthy. Yet, he was fearful for his life, for his father-in-law and his sons were jealous of Jacob and were beginning to

“Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God” (Genesis 21:33 NKJV).

January 9, 2020

THE BIBLE IS PRIMARILY A BOOK ABOUT GOD As Abraham grew in his relationship with God, more and more was revealed to him concerning the nature and character of God. Often these revelations took the form of a new name of God. When most English translations of the Bible encounter the covenantal name of God,

“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14 NKVJ).

January 7, 2020

NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR THE LORD The three men that visited Abraham were from the “LORD” (All caps means God’s covenant name “Yahweh” is being translated). The two silent ones were angels (Gen. 19:1), and the third was a physical manifestation of the LORD, possibly the preincarnate Christ, or what is called a Christophany.

“to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord” (Genesis 13:4 NKJV).

January 5, 2020

RETURN TO THE FIRST PLACE AND CALL ON THE LORD After God rescued Abram from Pharaoh, having gone down to Egypt because of the famine, he returned to the old altar he had built near Bethel and Ai. There he once again called on the name of the Lord.   Abram had a habit of