Category Archives: Genesis

Genesis 50 — Truly forgiven

Joseph had many reasons for tears in his life.  His being sold to Egypt as a slave.  Being falsely accused and thrown into prison.  Being confronted with his past as the brothers who had sold him into slavery came before … Continue reading

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Genesis 49 — How to lose a blessing

The idea of blessing is a very prominent one in the book of Genesis.  The word is mentioned over 60 times, usually in the context of God blessing someone, or in fathers blessing their sons with God’s blessing.  It’s fitting, … Continue reading

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Genesis 48 — God’s blessing, God’s will

Very interesting interaction between Joseph and his father Jacob here.  His father is dying and calls in Joseph and his sons in order to bless them.  But Jacob can’t see very well, so Joseph puts Manasseh, his older son, on … Continue reading

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Genesis 47:13-26 — Bought

“It’s my life!” “It’s my body!  I have the right to do whatever I want.” We often hear these phrases as people try to justify sin in their lives.  But is it true? The people of Egypt went through a … Continue reading

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Genesis 46:28-47:12 — Separate from the world, and yet touching it

One of the more interesting scenes in Genesis is aged Jacob, standing before Pharaoh, the most powerful man in a powerful nation. What would you have done  in that situation?  If you were standing before the president of the United … Continue reading

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Genesis 46:1-4 — God’s silence through our suffering

There are many stories of God’s people suffering throughout the Bible.  I don’t know that any of them suffered any more than Jacob.  Oh sure, Job’s suffering was far more intense.  But it was over a far shorter period of … Continue reading

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Genesis 42-45 — Forgiveness

As I read the story of Joseph dealing with his brothers, this is yet another time when I wish we could look into the mind of a character in the Bible.  What was Joseph really thinking throughout this entire episode … Continue reading

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Genesis 41:50-52 — A powerless past. A fruitful future

Joseph went through a lot in 13 years.  Sold off to be a slave in Egypt by his own brothers.  Made the head of one of Pharaoh’s official’s household, only to be framed for rape and thrown in prison.  And … Continue reading

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Genesis 40-41 — Telling it like it is

“REPENT!  YOU’RE ALL GOING TO HELL!!!” Sounds kind of like the thing you’d hear from one of those street preachers on a soap box in the States.  But one day I was walking with a Christian friend in Kobe, and … Continue reading

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Genesis 39 — Faithful under fire

If there was someone that had a right to be bitter, it was Joseph.  His biggest crime was that he had a loud mouth.  And for that “crime” he was thrown into a cistern and left there for a few … Continue reading

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Genesis 38 — Unwanted and unloved

As I read Genesis, I’m struck by how many ugly stories there are, and how many involve women.  Leah and Tamar come to mind.  Leah got married to Jacob only through the deception of her father Laban.  And as a … Continue reading

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Genesis 37:12-36 — Cold hearts

In Japan, the divorce rate is way lower than it is in the States.  However, the number is going up.  I read a while back that divorces by people in their 60s are on the way up, especially since a … Continue reading

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Genesis 37:1-10 — Learning when to keep your mouth shut

I kind of wonder if Joseph was just really cocky or really naive when he told his brothers about his dreams.  Did he say it like, “Hey guys!  Listen to this cool dream I had!  I had this dream where … Continue reading

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Genesis 35 — New names

When my wife got pregnant, we were debating what to call our new child.  We threw around a lot of names.  I was kind of thinking of Emily, but that kind of got tossed to the side when my cousin … Continue reading

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Genesis 34 — But I have a right to be angry!

The Bible relates a lot of ugly incidents and sometimes people wonder why.  Basically, it’s to show us just how bad things get when people walk away from God and his ways. Chapter 34 is ugly in more ways than … Continue reading

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Genesis 33:18-20 — The god of Me. The God of me.

Jacob had come a long way in his relationship with God during his journey from Canaan to Haran and back to Canaan again.  He started out having only heard stories about God from his grandfather and father, but never really … Continue reading

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Genesis 33 — Am I really forgiven?

Jacob’s reaction to Esau’s forgiveness makes me think of how some people react to God’s forgiveness in their lives. Here is Jacob, trying his best to buy off his brother’s anger, when he finds out that God had already taken … Continue reading

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Genesis 32-33 — Wrestling with God

I admit it.  I’m a pro wrestling fan.  Yes, I know it’s not “real.”  I know all the matches are predetermined.  But it’s still kind of fun to watch. Well, in this passage, we see the very first wrestling match.  … Continue reading

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Genesis 30-31 — How to wreck your relationships

Several months ago, I watched an old “Alfred Hitchcock Hour” show called “How to get rid of your wife.”  It was a black comedy about the lengths one man went through to get rid of his wife.  Essentially, he convinced … Continue reading

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Genesis 29-30 — Using people? Loving people?

This is by far one of the more bizarre stories in the Bible.  And sad.  Jacob falls in love with Rachel, and her father Laban says, “If you work for me for 7 years, I’ll let you have her.”  That’s … Continue reading

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Genesis 28:10-21 — Encounter

I grew up in a Christian home, so I’ve gone to church all my life.  I became a Christian at the age of 7 or so, but while I grew in head knowledge, I never really grew as a Christian.  … Continue reading

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Genesis 28:1-9 — Not enough

It strikes me that Esau’s response to his parents in this passage is very similar to people’s response to God sometimes.  Esau married some Hittites, who didn’t believe in God, and it deeply upset his parents.  Esau didn’t even realize … Continue reading

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Genesis 27 — Do the ends really justify the means?

There are a lot of questions I’d love to ask God about this passage.  First, how much did Isaac really know?  When God told Rebekah that Esau was to serve Jacob, did she pass that on to Isaac?  And if … Continue reading

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Genesis 26:12-33 — But it’s not fair!

I had a dormmate once when I was living in Osaka.  To say that we didn’t get along that well would be an understatement.  One thing that particularly bothered me was that he wasn’t very good at keeping his word.  … Continue reading

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Genesis 26:1-11 — Afraid

It’s amazing how Isaac could do the exact thing to Rebekah that Abraham did to Sarah:  deny that she was his wife, and say that she was his sister instead.  Amazing because Isaac wasn’t even born when Abraham had his … Continue reading

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Genesis 25 — Nearsighted

I remember being a kid and seeing everyone in my family wearing glasses.  It made me kind of jealous, believe it or not, and I wanted glasses too, so I didn’t really take care of my eyes.  I needed glasses … Continue reading

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Genesis 24 — No turning back

When I came to Japan, I had no idea how long I would stay here.  My initial plan was to stick it out for two years, and see how I felt after that.  During that time, I started visiting a … Continue reading

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Genesis 23 — Aliens and Strangers

In Japan, I’m considered to have come from another planet.  I can prove it.  I have my own “alien registration card.”  I heard that not long ago, when people came into a Japanese airport, when passing through immigration, there was … Continue reading

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Genesis 22 — God is good

At some churches I’ve been to, the worship leader will start by saying, “God is good!”  And the people all reply, “All the time!”  Then the worship leader calls back, “All the time!”  And the people reply, “God is good!” … Continue reading

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Genesis 21:1-20 — Letting go of “My way.”

Abraham faced a difficult choice after the birth of Isaac.  Sarah caught Ishmael mocking Isaac, and demanded that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away.  It seemed pretty harsh.  After all, Abraham was still Ishmael’s father, and even in their culture, … Continue reading

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Genesis 20 — No excuses

“But I didn’t know.  I have a clean conscience.” Those were the words of Abimelech when he took Abraham’s wife to be his own.   And he was right.  Abraham and Sarah both lied to him, saying that she was Abraham’s … Continue reading

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Genesis 19:30-36 — At what cost?

Last night, I chatted with a student, and he talked about how he loves fishing.  His family lives in Mie Prefecture, but he lives in Osaka prefecture most of the week because of his job.  He apparently goes back to … Continue reading

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Genesis 19 — Holding on to what you shouldn’t

Several years ago, I was working at an English conversation school called NOVA.  It was one of the largest schools in Japan, and I had worked there for seven years or so.  In my last several years I noticed some … Continue reading

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Genesis 18:16-33 — Mirroring the heart of God

It’s scenes like this one that show why God would choose someone like Abraham in spite of all his faults and failures.  Because in this interaction, you see in Abraham’s words and pleas what I believe was in the heart … Continue reading

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Genesis 18, 21 — Bitterness and joy

There are times in the Bible that I wish we could’ve caught people’s reactions on video.  How exactly did they say the things they said.  For example, when Abraham and Sarah laughed at the words of God in Genesis 17 … Continue reading

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Genesis 17 — The God of the impossible

It’s been a trying the past week or so.  Not that I’ve had a lot of stress or anything, but for whatever reason, I’ve been struggling with insomnia.  Never had it before.  But last Tuesday and Wednesday, I couldn’t sleep; … Continue reading

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Genesis 16 — The God who sees; the God who hears

“God sees what you’re doing!  God knows!  You can’t hide from him!”  All of these words can have an ominous tone behind them.  It’s as if God is just waiting in heaven, looking for the next person to mess up … Continue reading

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Genesis 16 — It may be normal, but is it right?

I was chatting with a middle-aged English student recently, and he talked about how he met his daughter’s boyfriend recently.  While they were chatting, the boyfriend mentioned that he and the daughter would be going off on an overseas trip … Continue reading

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Genesis 15 — Believing God

Sometimes, believing God can be pretty difficult.  We know God’s promises.  We know what he has said.  And yet, our circumstances can sometimes make it difficult to hold on to these things. In Japan, for instance, the population of Christians … Continue reading

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Genesis 14 — Where blessing and success come from

“Abram and the battle of the kings.”  Sounds like some kind of movie set in the middle ages or something like that.  🙂 Anyway, after Abram and his allies gained victory over the kings that had captured his nephew Lot … Continue reading

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Genesis 13 — Not worth arguing about

Every once in a while, my wife and I will have a disagreement.  Generally speaking, they tend to be small things, but our conversation can get heated at times.  It’s very strange to me how stubborn I can get (dare … Continue reading

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Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-18 — To be a blessing?

Well, as I’ve mentioned before, even the godly people in the Bible aren’t perfect, and Abram proves this in spades here.  Because of a famine, Abram and his wife go to Egypt and stay there, but Abram is so lacking … Continue reading

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Genesis 12:1-3 — To be blessed, and be a blessing

I suppose one of these days, I’ll actually get off of these verses.  Maybe even tomorrow. It’s very interesting here that God actually offers Abram what he denied the people of Babel.  A great nation, and a name that would … Continue reading

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Genesis 12:1 — Get out!

Generally speaking, I like reading out of the NIV, but today I happened to read out of the New King James, and two words jumped out at me.  “Get out!”  Somehow, it sounds much stronger than “Go from” (NIV) or … Continue reading

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Genesis 12:1-4 — Holding back

My decision to move to Japan was not an easy one.  I grew up in Hawaii, and went to school there all the way through college.  All my family and friends were living there, and quite frankly, I was just … Continue reading

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Genesis 11:10-32 — Something queer is going on here

It’s often said that there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.  But that wasn’t always true.  Taxes certainly were not always around.  And neither was death.  In the beginning, Adam and Eve were created as eternal … Continue reading

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Genesis 11 — Life without God

Okay, I skipped a chapter.  So sue me.  I suppose it had to happen sometime.  I’m sure there will be other chapters in the future that I’ll skip too.  For the most part it won’t mean I didn’t read it, … Continue reading

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Genesis 9:20-21 — Saints, but sinners

When I was in university, I took a world religions class.  When we came to Judaism, one of the things taught was the story of Noah.  And towards the end of the story, my professor noted that in another flood … Continue reading

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Genesis 9 — A covenant of mercy

Steak for dinner!  Well, maybe not.  It’s a bit pricey in Japan.  Anyway, it occurs to me that we probably won’t have steaks in heaven.  And any barbecues we may have will probably be vegetarian.  At least, that’s what life … Continue reading

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Genesis 8 — When it’s hard to wait

Several years ago, when I was traveling to Hawaii from Japan, I decided to save a few yen and go through Korea.  Bad choice.  As we arrived in Korea, there was a fog, and the plane couldn’t land.  After circling … Continue reading

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Genesis 7 — The judgment of God

The last few verses of chapter 7 end with a few poignant words.   “21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on … Continue reading

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Genesis 6 — Grieving God, pleasing God

Verses 5-6 really strike me in this chapter.  “5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD … Continue reading

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Genesis 5-6 — Walking with God

Admit it.  You usually skip over these sections in the Bible where so and so gave birth to so and so who gave birth to so and so. So do I.  But from time to time you can glean some … Continue reading

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Genesis 4 — Hardened hearts

It sure didn’t take long after Adam and Eve sinned for hearts to become hardened to God.  Cain tried to worship God on his own terms, and God rejected it.  When Cain got angry, God said, “Why are you angry? … Continue reading

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Genesis 4 — By faith

Gotta start with this passage in verse 1, “Adam made love to his wife Eve.”  The NIV sure has become a little more…shall we say…blunt, recently?  Whew.  Next thing you know, the Bible translators will start using the word S-E-X. … Continue reading

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Genesis 3 — Broken

I watched a documentary recently on a couple of basketball players, Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic, called “Once Brothers.”  If you haven’t seen it, you should watch it on YouTube.  It documents the friendship between these two men and how … Continue reading

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Genesis 2:25 — No shame

I suppose I could have titled this post “Naked” but it seemed a little too racy.  On the other hand, maybe it would get more people to read it.  Hmm…Maybe I should experiment. When I look at this passage, I’m … Continue reading

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Genesis 1:27 — So God created man in his own image

I’ve read these words a thousand times, so it’s easy to just read right past them without thinking about it.  But apparently, they’re words that God thought were so important, he took the time to have it written twice in … Continue reading

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The power and wisdom of God — Genesis 1

As I read Genesis 1, God’s power and wisdom really strike me.  With a word, God created.  “Let there be light,” and bang!  There is light.  “Let there be plants and animals,” and bang!  They appear. I kind of wonder … Continue reading

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Genesis 1:1 — In the beginning, God…

Hmm…I think I said earlier that this wouldn’t be a verse-by-verse commentary.  Yet here I am, and I can’t get past the first four words.  But I gotta say that those words brought me to a complete stop as soon … Continue reading

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