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Strength in Weakness

Hello again!

Yesterday we finished up with Hebrews, so now we’re going to take a leap back in the books of the Bible, to the Gospels, to look at the two (Matthew and Luke) that we didn’t read before. – This is what God gave me today in His word:

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, (Matthew 1:1-5)

Well, this is quite an interesting way to open up a book. What could we possibly learn from a string of names, like this one here? — Well let’s take a closer look at them:

Jesus is the son of David the adulterous, of Jacob the deceiver, of Judah, who was also adulterous, and of Ruth, the Moabite. Not exactly the most impressive heritage ever. – Though, granted, He was also the son of  God almighty… – So, why did God chose people such as these to be the ancestors of the Savior of the World? Wouldn’t it have been better for Him to choose the best of the best?

Well, no, in fact, it would not have been better. God uses weakness to show His glory for fully. When Jesus died on a cross, it seemed like He was defeated, rather than victorious. Yet that was how God chose to save the entire World, and because of it, His power is shown even more clearly (i.e. He has power to use even a cross). God also used those specific people, to give us hope. – He used even them; He used even a cross, so, in spite of our weaknesses and failings, perhaps He’ll use even us.

The point is this: yes, we’re weak, and yes we have failings, but so did Jacob, and look where he ended up. So, rather than worry about what we don’t have; whether it’s courage, ambition, or something else entirely, let’s focus on what God can do. – Use even us to spread His word.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
 

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Transquotation: Genesis 49:8

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

“Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you. (Genesis 49:8)

Transquotation:

Praise to God, Jesus has put His hand on the necks of His enemies! He has overcome, He has conquered! Let us worship Him! Let us, now called “His brothers, sons of God” worship Him!

Explanation of the transquote:

Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment of the promise that Jacob makes to Judah here: “Your brothers will praise you.” Just to give you a little reminder here, we are sons and daughters of God now; thus we’re brothers and sisters of Jesus. Thus, so long as we praise Jesus (which is something we should be doing all the time, ‘whether we eat or drink, we should do all to the glory of God’), we’re fulfilling Jacob’s blessing.

“Your hand will be on the necks of your enemies;” Through the piercing of Jesus’ hands (and feet, and heart), He destroyed His enemies; and saved us. — He has conquered! He has shown His dominance over His opponent, and has gained dominion over Satan and all He owns. I’d dare to say that’s He’s “put His hand on Satan’s neck”, wouldn’t you?

Now that we’ve explained the transquote, let’s verify it with the New Testament, and with its context:

New Testament confirmation:

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

Context confirmation:

Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? (Genesis 49:9)

Jesus is the fulfillment of this blessing Jacob gave to Judah as well, as we can clearly see in this verse:

5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, (D)the Lion (E)of the tribe of Judah,(F)the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5)

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquotation: Genesis 44:33

Hello again!

Just to give you a bit of context, the following verse is at the point where Joseph has had his servant plant his cup in Benjamin’s sack of grain, has had his servant capture them for their “misdeed”, and is threatening to throw Benjamin in prison. — This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. (Genesis 44:33)

Transquote:

We were standing trial before God because of our sin, waiting for our conviction, and eternal imprisonment sentence. But Jesus came, taking our place; pushing us behind Him, putting Himself on a cross. And in this way, we are saved.

Explanation of the transquote:

Jesus took all the shame that, by right, belonged to us. He took all our sin onto Himself, and, going still further, died on a cross to save us. Now, while Judah never died for Benjamin, he did offer to, in essence, give up his life for him. Jesus, a long time later, went a couple thousand steps further, doing what we just discussed (i.e. died for us).

New Testament confirmation:

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

Context confirmation:

For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ (Genesis 44:32)

Jesus made His life “a pledge of safety” for our’s. He died, so that we wouldn’t have too: I’d call that “keeping us safe,” wouldn’t you? — This supports the transquote by strengthening the connection, in this passage, between Jesus and Judah.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquotation: Genesis 38:29-30

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” (Genesis 38:15-16)

But as he drew back his hand, behold, his brother came out. And she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” Therefore his name was called Perez. Afterward his brother came out with the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah. (Genesis 38:29-30)

Transquotation:

We sinned; we fell short of the glory of God. And through that sin came a breach between us and God. Yet then came grace! Then came a rising of the light and a receding of darkness when Jesus saved us by dying for us on the cross!

Explanation of the transquote:

I’ll say this as bluntly as possible: you have sinned, I have sinned, your neighbor has sinned, your best friend has sinned, and the person who lives on the other side of the world from you has, you guessed it, sinned. Ever since Adam and Eve fell all people have sinned; all have become separated from God. It’s a simple and sad fact of life… And then came the “rising of the light.” Through the same sin that sent us running from God and God running from our vile evilness, came Jesus. Because we were sinful, God became merciful. He sent his one and only son down to Earth to take our sin upon His shoulders and die for us. And so, what Satan intended for Evil, God used for good; the good of us now being able to have a personal relationship with Him. Before, God was an imposing force who we needed to appease, now He’s our friend, or confident, the one we run to when we’re scared. Now He’s Abba, Father, and all-mighty, all-powerful, God.

Now the cries of, “What a breach you have made between yourself and God!” have turned to shouts of, “Praise God that He has seen fit to send His son to repair the breach!”

You may have already guessed this by now, but here are the meanings of the names of the two sons which Tamar and Judah had:

Perez: A Breach

Zerah: Rising of Light

New Testament confirmation:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Context confirmation:

About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” (Genesis 38:24)

Through our sin we were to be burned (in Hell). That’s one comparison. Another would be that neither of us ended up actually getting burned; though, granted, for very different reasons… — This supports the transquote by supporting the connection between us and Tamar.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transnaming: Genesis 29:31-35

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing. (Genesis 29:31-35)

Transname:

God looked down on our troubles, and He saw that man was overtaken by all sorts of troubles and was suffering; people were wearied of trying to resit. And so He sent His son; He who hears our suffering, one who would join us to God and God to us, and so all praised His name.

Explanation of the transname:

I really love verses like this: verses were the Gospel is so clear I can’t really miss it, it makes studying the Bible very enjoyable. — Anyway, here are the meanings of the names:

Leah: Wearied – She and Jacob had four sons:

Reuben: Behold A Son

Simeon: He Who Hears

Levi: Joined

Judah: Let Him (God) Be Praised

New Testament confirmation:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

God listens and He understands how we feel because He’s felt the same way. “He who listens.”

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. (Mark 15:38)

Meaning we now have complete access to God; now we can be “joined to” God; something which means God now lives in us.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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