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 …

Family Life

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Genesis 24-25 If the Christian faith is to be passed on to the next generation, strong family life must be developed. This can only occur when both husband and wife are believers. Likewise, Abraham in his day was rightly concerned that his son should marry someone who believed in the one true God. He therefore took steps to do what he could to cause this to happen. What an important lesson for us. The servant Abraham sends to …

Faith Tested

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Genesis 20-23 Again Abraham is brought into a situation where he is tempted to tell a half-truth (which is a lie). We are all so slow in learning a lesson. Again, the result of sin is tragedy. Yet in spite of sin, God graciously fulfills his promise and finally the long-awaited son is born to Sarah. And again the consequences of a lack of faith bear their bitter fruit. Tension in the home results from the mistake of …

Sodom and Gomorrah

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Genesis 17-19 Here is the first use of a very important biblical word: covenant. God makes a covenant, a contract, between himself and Abraham in which he makes certain promises to Abraham and commands faithful obedience on Abraham’s part. The Old Testament is the story of the old covenant that God made with Abraham and his descendants. The New Testament is the story of the new covenant that God made with the church of Christ. Names have great …