Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Joshua (1) by Jim McGuiggan

Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Joshua (1)

As you might know, the first five books of the Bible are called the “five books of Moses” because the Jewish nation always believed that God wrote them through Moses. (They believed that some men guided by the Spirit did some structuring of Moses’ words after he died—see Deuteronomy 34:5-8). The Jews called those books the torah, which is usually translated “law” though it doesn’t mean “law” in the sheer legal way that we normally do. These books are filled with history and promises and explanations as well as commandments and that’s not the kind of “law” you find in our law-books is it?
Genesis through Deuteronomy rises out of Israel’s relationship with God under Moses so while the story begins with Creation it is written to teach Israel who their God is, what he is like and what he has in mind for them and the world. It’s as if a stunned nation watched God dismantle oppressive Egypt in the plagues (see Exodus 1—14) and asked Moses, “Who is this God and what does he want?” In Leviticus 18:1-5 God said they were not to think of him or serve him as the Egyptians served their gods. And he was taking them to Canaan and they were not to think of him or serve him as the Canaanites served their gods. They were to commit to God and serve him in the way he would make clear and they would enjoy fullness of life with him. That’s what Genesis through Deuteronomy is about. Getting to know and love God and work with him to fulfil his purposes.
The gods of Egypt and the true God
Israel had lived in Egypt for something like 400 years and everything in Egypt was a god or a manifestation of a god. The soil, the river, the animals, the sky, the desert, the crops, the sun, moon and stars and the king himself were all gods. That’s what the Egyptian priests taught the children in school. If a child wanted to know why the sea didn’t come up over the whole land of Egypt, if he wanted to know how you could bury a seed and a plant come up, why the sun came up every day or why there was desert--if he wanted to know anything he was told stories about gods. He was told about gods fighting each other, marrying, dying, lying and so forth.
Moses wrote Genesis to explain that the creation and all the things in it are servants of the one true God. He teaches Israel that these elements were not gods to be feared and they were not to be worshiped. He shows that they were the creation of one God and that they were not his enemies that he had to overcome (as the stories of the gods said). No, Genesis 1 is written to say there is one God who created and so provided all things and that that one God is to be worshiped and served in love.
Genesis and the Fall and God’s redeeming purpose
Moses wrote Genesis to explain why everything is in a mess and what God had undertaken to do about it. If God had made everything and it all worked together in harmony (the sun and moon doing their jobs, the fish in the sea and the birds in the heavens etc) and man and woman rejoicing as lord over it in God’s image how come there was bedlam and oppression and desert now? Moses records the Fall in Genesis 3--11 (these chapters are to be taken as one continuous description of humanity’s rebellion against God and his judicial curse on humanity).
Our sin fragmented us and the result was loss of relationship, peace and home. The loss of home is shown in the expulsion from the garden (Genesis 3), Cain’s loss of home (Genesis 4) and the flood and the scattering of the nations in chapter 9--11. But these judgements by God were redemptive in purpose, that is, he wasn’t washing his hands of us. Sin would be our utter destruction so he moved in judgement to redeem us. Since Israel descended from these nations Israel should resists the later temptation to think that she was some elite nation, she had come from sinful stock like the rest of us.
Immediately following our Fall and scattering (chapters 3--11) God called Abram to be the father of Israel and the one in whom he would work to bring humanity back to himself (end of chapter 11 and into chapter 12). As Adam represents us well on our way from God so Abram (later Abraham) represents us well as on our way back to God. God sent us away in Adam and brings us back to himself in Abraham (see Genesis 12:1-3). Abraham and his seed (Israel) were the elect (not elite, they were no better than the rest of us!) through which God would bless the world and not just Abraham and Israel. Genesis was written to teach Israel that she was not an end in herself and that God was the God of all nations and was working through Israel to bless them all.
Redemption is God’s work and not man’s
Genesis 11:1-9 shows our anger with God and our refusal to accept his judgement. In our arrogance we said we’d make a centre for ourselves, built a reputation for ourselves and make a home for ourselves and put an end to our wandering. Everything we said we’d do for ourselves God put a stop to! Then he called a man with a prematurely old body and with a barren wife and said he would give to them all that he refused to let us make for ourselves (see Genesis 12:1-3 and Read Romans 4:16-22). Abraham and Sarah were incapable of all God had in mind and that is precisely what God wanted to make clear. Throughout Genesis this same note is sounded. Abraham, the other patriarchs all had their flaws and got in trouble and God delivered them and brought good out of evil. All the stories develop the one Story: God is faithful and we are faithless, we are helpless against the powers and forces we have set loose but God is able, we fight and cut one another off and God works to reconcile us all to him and one another.
(You might find my Genesis & Us helpful. See McGuiggan books on the home page.)

Bible Reading, Jan. 25

Jan. 25
Genesis 25

Gen 25:1 Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah.
Gen 25:2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
Gen 25:3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba, and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim.
Gen 25:4 The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
Gen 25:5 Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac,
Gen 25:6 but to the sons of Abraham's concubines, Abraham gave gifts. He sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, to the east country.
Gen 25:7 These are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived: one hundred seventy-five years.
Gen 25:8 Abraham gave up the spirit, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years, and was gathered to his people.
Gen 25:9 Isaac and Ishmael, his sons, buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron, the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre,
Gen 25:10 the field which Abraham purchased of the children of Heth. Abraham was buried there with Sarah, his wife.
Gen 25:11 It happened after the death of Abraham that God blessed Isaac, his son. Isaac lived by Beer Lahai Roi.
Gen 25:12 Now this is the history of the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bore to Abraham.
Gen 25:13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to the order of their birth: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,
Gen 25:14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa,
Gen 25:15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.
Gen 25:16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their villages, and by their encampments: twelve princes, according to their nations.
Gen 25:17 These are the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred thirty-seven years. He gave up the spirit and died, and was gathered to his people.
Gen 25:18 They lived from Havilah to Shur that is before Egypt, as you go toward Assyria. He lived opposite all his relatives.
Gen 25:19 This is the history of the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son. Abraham became the father of Isaac.
Gen 25:20 Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Paddan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian, to be his wife.
Gen 25:21 Isaac entreated Yahweh for his wife, because she was barren. Yahweh was entreated by him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Gen 25:22 The children struggled together within her. She said, "If it be so, why do I live?" She went to inquire of Yahweh.
Gen 25:23 Yahweh said to her, Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples will be separated from your body. The one people will be stronger than the other people. The elder will serve the younger.
Gen 25:24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
Gen 25:25 The first came out red all over, like a hairy garment. They named him Esau.
Gen 25:26 After that, his brother came out, and his hand had hold on Esau's heel. He was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
Gen 25:27 The boys grew. Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field. Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents.
Gen 25:28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he ate his venison. Rebekah loved Jacob.
Gen 25:29 Jacob boiled stew. Esau came in from the field, and he was famished.
Gen 25:30 Esau said to Jacob, "Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am famished." Therefore his name was called Edom.
Gen 25:31 Jacob said, "First, sell me your birthright."
Gen 25:32 Esau said, "Behold, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?"
Gen 25:33 Jacob said, "Swear to me first." He swore to him. He sold his birthright to Jacob.
Gen 25:34 Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils. He ate and drank, rose up, and went his way. So Esau despised his birthright.

Jan. 25, 26
Matthew 13

Mat 13:1 On that day Jesus went out of the house, and sat by the seaside.
Mat 13:2 Great multitudes gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat, and sat, and all the multitude stood on the beach.
Mat 13:3 He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, "Behold, a farmer went out to sow.
Mat 13:4 As he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and devoured them.
Mat 13:5 Others fell on rocky ground, where they didn't have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of earth.
Mat 13:6 When the sun had risen, they were scorched. Because they had no root, they withered away.
Mat 13:7 Others fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and choked them.
Mat 13:8 Others fell on good soil, and yielded fruit: some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.
Mat 13:9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Mat 13:10 The disciples came, and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
Mat 13:11 He answered them, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.
Mat 13:12 For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn't have, from him will be taken away even that which he has.
Mat 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don't see, and hearing, they don't hear, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says, 'By hearing you will hear, and will in no way understand; Seeing you will see, and will in no way perceive:
Mat 13:15 for this people's heart has grown callous, their ears are dull of hearing, they have closed their eyes; or else perhaps they might perceive with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and should turn again; and I would heal them.'
Mat 13:16 "But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.
Mat 13:17 For most certainly I tell you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see, and didn't see them; and to hear the things which you hear, and didn't hear them.
Mat 13:18 "Hear, then, the parable of the farmer.
Mat 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom, and doesn't understand it, the evil one comes, and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown by the roadside.
Mat 13:20 What was sown on the rocky places, this is he who hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it;
Mat 13:21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
Mat 13:22 What was sown among the thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
Mat 13:23 What was sown on the good ground, this is he who hears the word, and understands it, who most certainly bears fruit, and brings forth, some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty."
Mat 13:24 He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field,
Mat 13:25 but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds also among the wheat, and went away.
Mat 13:26 But when the blade sprang up and brought forth fruit, then the darnel weeds appeared also.
Mat 13:27 The servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where did this darnel come from?'
Mat 13:28 "He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and gather them up?'
Mat 13:29 "But he said, 'No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, "First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn." ' "
Mat 13:31 He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
Mat 13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches."
Mat 13:33 He spoke another parable to them. "The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, until it was all leavened."
Mat 13:34 Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the multitudes; and without a parable, he didn't speak to them,
Mat 13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world."
Mat 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitudes away, and went into the house. His disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field."
Mat 13:37 He answered them, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
Mat 13:38 the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one.
Mat 13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.
Mat 13:40 As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age.
Mat 13:41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity,
Mat 13:42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:44 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.
Mat 13:45 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls,
Mat 13:46 who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Mat 13:47 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind,
Mat 13:48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away.
Mat 13:49 So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous,
Mat 13:50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth."
Mat 13:51 Jesus said to them, "Have you understood all these things?" They answered him, "Yes, Lord."
Mat 13:52 He said to them, "Therefore, every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things."
Mat 13:53 It happened that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed from there.
Mat 13:54 Coming into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Mat 13:55 Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother called Mary, and his brothers, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?
Mat 13:56 Aren't all of his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all of these things?"
Mat 13:57 They were offended by him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and in his own house."
Mat 13:58 He didn't do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Jonah - Messenger To Nineveh (1:1-4:11) Mark Copeland

                    "STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"

                Jonah - Messenger To Nineveh (1:1-4:11)


1. We now come to the most well known of "The Minor Prophets":  Jonah,
   whose name means "Dove"

2. His book does not contain prophecy per se, rather it contains the
   history of a prophet...
   a. A prophet reluctant to fulfill the mission God assigned him
   b. A prophet who complained when his mission proved successful
   -- What kind of prophet is that?  Perhaps one that reveals what may
      be true of ourselves!

3. This short book of "Jonah" easily falls into four sections...
   a. "Running Away From God" (chapter one)
   b. "Running To God" (chapter two)
   c. "Running With God" (chapter three)
   d. "Running Ahead of God" (chapter four)

4. In this brief survey of the book, we will simply read our way
   through it...
   a. Making observations as we go along
   b. Offering lessons that can be glean from each section

[With the first chapter then, we soon find Jonah...]


      1. God commissions Jonah to preach in Nineveh - 1:1-2
      2. Jonah rebels against God's plan - 1:3
      3. God has a plan for Jonah - 1:4-17
         a. He sends "a great wind on the sea" - 1:4-16
         b. He prepares "a great fish" - 1:17

      1. Jonah is also mentioned in 2Ki 14:23-25
         a. He prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam II (ca. 793-753
         b. He was from Gath Hepher (4 miles NE of what was later
            Nazareth in Galilee)
      2. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria
         a. It was located about 220 NNW of the present city of Baghdad
         b. The Assyrians were noted for their cruelty, especially to
      3. The city of Tarshish
         a. A Phoenician outpost in SW Spain
         b. On the edge of the Mediterranean world, Jonah was running
            in the opposite direction of Nineveh
      4. In retrieving Jonah, God gained some converts (the sailors)
         - cf. 1:14-16

      1. God concerns Himself with the wickedness of heathen nations
         - 1:2
      2. One cannot run away from God! - cf. Ps 139:7-11
      3. God is able to use incidents in the lives of His servants for
         His glory - cf. 1:5 with 1:14-16

[With the end of chapter one, Jonah is now in the belly of the great
fish.  Having run away from God, we now find him...]

II. "RUNNING TO GOD" (2:1-10)

      1. Jonah's prayer - 2:1-9
      2. Jonah's deliverance - 2:10

      1. The prayer is written like a psalm; its present form may have
         been composed after the fact, looking back
      2. Jonah realized that what happened was God's doing - 1:3
      3. It is interesting to note that his prayer is more of a
         THANKSGIVING, than a petition

      1. "Someone has observed that there are times when we must be
         made to go into the lowest depths that we may regain a living
         faith" (Hailey)
      2. Prayers in time of need should be made with an attitude of
         thanksgiving as well as petition - cf. Php 4:6

[Having learned his lesson, Jonah is now ready to do God's will; so we
next see him...]


      1. The Lord again commissions Jonah to preach in Nineveh - 3:1-2
      2. Jonah obeys and proclaims God's message - 3:3-4
      3. The people of Nineveh are moved to repent, including the king
         - 3:5-9
      4. The Lord takes notice, and relents of the disaster He had
         intended to bring - 3:10

      1. Jonah's message was brief, yet clear - 3:4
      2. An unusual fast is proclaimed  - 3:5-7
         a. Three days without food AND water
         b. For both man AND beast
      3. With sackcloth for both man and beast, the king calls for a
         true change of behavior - 3:8-9
      4. The king of Assyria reasons like the prophet Joel - cf. 3:9
         with Joel 2:14
      5. Nineveh's example of repentance is a rebuke of Israel...
         a. Israel in Jonah's own day - cf. 2Ki 17:13-14,18; 2Ch 36:15-16
         b. Israel in the days of Jesus - cf. Mt 12:41

      1. Such preaching of condemnation is often conditional - cf. Jer 18:7-10
      2. The least likely prospects might be the ones who will convert
         - e.g., 1Co 6:9-11
      3. We see the place of fasting and prayer, as one seeks to
         petition God - e.g., Ezr 8:21-23

[Jonah's mission was a success!  Souls headed for destruction were
saved!  You would think that Jonah would have been elated.  But in the
final chapter we are surprised to see this prophet...]


      1. Jonah vents his anger - 4:1-4
         a. Angry because he knew that God would relent - 4:1-2
         b. So angry that he desires to die - 4:3-4
      2. God uses a plant, a worm, and a hot east wind to teach Jonah
         - 4:5-11
         a. A plant to provide shade for Jonah - 4:5-6
         b. A worm to destroy the plant - 4:7
         c. A vehement east wind that with the sun exhausts Jonah - 4:8
      3. God uses the plant to teach Jonah an object lesson - 4:9-11
         a. Jonah is angry about the plant - 4:9
         b. Shouldn't he have similar pity on Nineveh? - 4:10-11

      1. We find Jonah manifesting a sectarian spirit
         a. Perhaps there was an underlying racism in Jonah's heart
         b. This may explain why he fled to Tarshish in the beginning
      2. He possessed the same spirit as:
         a. The elder brother of the prodigal son - cf. Lk 15:11-32
         b. The Pharisees toward Jesus eating with sinners - Mt 9:10-11
      3. Jonah is shown to have more compassion for a plant, than for
         innocent children!

      1. We learn the danger of a sectarian spirit
         a. It makes us to be petty
         b. It blinds us to matters of greater importance
      2. We see God's nature
         a. He is gracious, merciful, slow to anger
         b. Abundant in lovingkindness, He is willing to relent when
            there is repentance


1. The book of Jonah is of value to PREACHERS...
   a. Never prejudge an audience
   b. Don't try to avoid the responsibility God has placed on you

2. The book of Jonah is of value to ALL CHRISTIANS...
   a. Don't have a selfish, narrow-minded, sectarian spirit
   b. Be concerned for all the wicked, whoever and wherever they are

3. The book of Jonah is of value to SINNERS...
   a. God loves you
   b. Destruction is coming...
      1) But He sent Christ and the apostles to reveal His will and
         save you
      2) Today He has His preachers and teachers to warn you
   c. Salvation is available wherever there is true repentance and

Finally, may the example of Nineveh's repentance remind us of what
Jesus said:

   "The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this
   generation and condemn it, because they repented at the
   preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here."
                                                   (Mt 12:41)

Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah; have we repented at the
preaching of One (Jesus) Who is much greater?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011