Joseph the Slave

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Genesis 37-39 The Bible is a constant story of humanity’s sin and God’s grace. Once again we see tragedy resulting from the sin of parents showing favoritism toward one child over another. Joseph’s dreams were from God, but one must ask whether Joseph was not guilty of “rubbing it in” to his brothers. The brothers were certainly sinful in the hatred they allowed to grow in their hearts toward Joseph and in the way they expressed that hatred. …

Back to Bethel

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Genesis 34-36 Outward circumstances may be very different, but the problems of every generation are similar. Here was a case of rape. This is certainly a terrible way for one person to sin against another. We also find a case of revenge. Revenge only leads to more sin. And we find a case of fear. Jacob is afraid of the consequences of the sin of his sons, and rightly so. Once again, problems with the people around him …

Relationships with Others

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Genesis 31-33 Sensing that Laban’s sons are growing angry with him, Jacob hears the voice of God calling him to leave. However, when Laban pursues him, Jacob works out an agreement with Laban. They are both conscious of the fact that though they cannot really trust each other, the fact that God is watching their actions will help to keep them from breaking their promises to each other. In our society, relationships of trust have broken down in …

Poetic Justice

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Genesis 28-30 What a price Jacob pays for his cheating. He must now leave the home he loves and sleep in the wilderness with a stone for a pillow. But how gracious is God, who appeared to this scoundrel and promised to bless him. This is a deeply moving experience for Jacob, who calls the place Bethel, that is, the “house of God.” Yet how imperfect Jacob’s response. He begins with the “if” of doubt. If God will …

More Heroes with Warts

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Genesis 26-27 Can you believe it! Abraham told a lie concerning his wife because he didn’t have the faith to believe that God could take care of him. Then he does the same thing again. And now his son does the very same thing. Again the results are tragic. Will we never learn? But when it comes to conflict with the neighbors, Isaac takes the high road. Instead of fighting, he moves elsewhere to try again. And in …