January 18 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 37:1-38:30:

  • 3 – Joseph was also the firstborn of his beloved wife Rachel.
  • 4-11 – Joseph was, to some extent, set up for failure, but he also did not help himself by sharing a dream that indicated that he would rule over his brothers.
  • 13 – The response, “Here I am” runs throughout the Bible. It is a response of willingness and honor.
  • 18-24 – Reuben, the oldest brother keeps the other brothers from killing Joseph out of envy and anger. They throw him into a cistern, a deep pit meant to collect rain water, which was important in such an arid climate.
  • 28 – Through a long series of events we will soon read about, Joseph is taken to Egypt, where all the Israelites eventually end up enslaved. It is amazing how the brothers’ sin ends up in the enslavement of the whole nation.
  • 1-30 – This is a series of Judah and his family being sinful and facing the consequences. Two of his sons were killed for not doing right in the sight of the Lord. He was unfair to Tamar and she ends up pregnant by tricking him. Overall, it sounds very dysfunctional.

Matthew 12:22-45:

  • 22-28 – Jesus makes a good point of how he couldn’t possibly cast out demons by the power of a demon. This would clearly not work. But if the Pharisees admit that Jesus works by the power of God, they have to acknowledge his connection to God and ultimately that he has the same authority as God.
  • 31-32 – This is a difficult section, but the best explanation I’ve heard is: many people denied that Jesus was the Son of God when Jesus was alive. They, however, had another chance to be forgiven when the Holy Spirit was sent after Jesus died. Those who continued to denounce Jesus and the Holy Spirit once the Holy Spirit came, had no other option for revelation and would not get another chance to believe.
  • 35 – This is why we can’t expect to ingest all the evil things of this world and still produce good fruit. We will produce what we consume.
  • 38-41 – Even the Ninevites, who were considered extremely wicked, repented when Jonah brought a message of repentance. The people of Jesus’ day had a far greater witness in Christ than Jonah and yet they still didn’t believe.

Psalm 16:1-11:

  • 1 – David knew what it was to be protected or to take refuge in the Lord. This requires a great deal of vulnerability and trust.
  • 5 – David also realized that God was his provision. We often try to provide for ourselves.

Proverbs 3:27-32:

  • This is a variety of ways to live in harmony with those around you and to treat them with kindness and dignity. We are called to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

January 12 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 26:17-27:46:

  • 1-29 – Rebekah and Jacob tricked Isaac to bless him instead of Esau. Jacob had already tricked Esau out of his birthright and now he attempts to steal his father’s dying blessing. Jacob is sneaky and a liar and yet, he seems to be blessed over and over.
  • 30-42 – When Esau lost his birthright, it was, in large portion, his own fault. In this case, however, he was simply obeying his father and due to his mother and brother’s trickery, he loses his blessing as well. Esau’s anger is understandable.
  • 46 – Jacob has to flea because of his and his mother’s deceitfulness. Rebekah is afraid Jacob will marry a Hittite woman while he is among them, but if that were to happen it would be a consequence of her sin.

 

Matthew 9:1-17:

  • 1-8 – The Pharisees think Jesus is blaspheming because they don’t realize his divinity and think forgiveness is not something he can offer.
  • 10-13 – The Pharisees were far more concerned with the practices of holiness while Jesus was focused on redemption. Jesus quotes the prophet Hosea saying, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” In other words, God desires for us to offer love and grace that lead to change rather than simply going through the motions.
  • 16-17 – The new emphases of the faith Jesus brought could not be contained by the constraints of the old law and practices.

 

Psalm 10:16-18:

  • 17 – There are a number of times when Scripture mentions God hearing the cries of the afflicted. Most notably, God hears the cries of the Israelites in Egypt, which starts the process of a mass exodus.

 

Proverbs 3:9-10:

  • 9 – It is easy to give from the leftovers of our abundance, but it takes real trust to give God your first and bust.