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August 2019

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Genesis 50:1 - Exodus 2:10

All day I couldn’t get out of my mind what would it have felt like to grow up in a country that you are a stranger in? Even though you were born there and possibly died there, you were still a stranger in the land... Clustered in a designated part of the country, you keep your customs, your language and your belief system. Yes, a few might venture off into the other part of the land and may even assimilate into the predominant culture, but most are grouped together within the same community unchanged for hundreds of years. Imagine being a stranger in the land of your birth. Imagine having to be removed from your promise in order to maintain your identity to receive that promise.

Israel/Jacob is called the church in the wilderness (Acts 7:38), the called out ones, the ek-klay-see'-ah. The church was called out to be in the world but not of or apart of the world.

What happened to Israel back in the day, is what we are experiencing in this day. We are the called ones, the ones given the promise yet separated from that promise while we mature in becoming Christ like. We are strangers in a strange land given a mandate to separate, not isolated, from the world. While strangers in a strange land we are to be to those we live amongst, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a chosen people (1 Peter 2:9).

The pressure and resentment those who are born in a country where they are estranged, “aliens,” to assimilate is undeniably strong. Just think of how nuts people who live in the United States get when they think that a group of people are not becoming “American” enough for their taste. We cry out for closed borders, we demand that these immigrants/aliens get on board, learn the language, and stop consuming “our government programs,” without contributing anything to society and the tax roles. Think about it, that more than likely was spewed out on Israel while she grew to be a mighty number in Egypt. Do you think they might have had a “Egyptian” only cry when creating directional signs and such like?

The same pressures exerted on Israel to confirm, the same pressure we in the United States exert on the foreign born, even when they are born here to confirm is the same pressure Believers are met with while trying to keep on the path God has predestined all those that call on His name to walk.

Israel, the church in the wilderness: what things can we learn from her, what “type” and “shadow” can we find in her that we can relate to the messed up churches we find ourselves attending?

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Hi, I'm back after a couple year absence. I read the whole Bible the first year, and then only the NT, Psalms, and Proverbs the past two years....along with the "What Now" read along (which I so enjoy/use). Anyway, I'm back to reading the whole Bible through again. I missed it...the power...the strength...of seeing the whole picture. I had stopped because I read before going to bed at night and it has become too much for these old eyes and mind to take in. I now read the NT; etc. at night as usual (the night before) and read the OT the next morning before doing anything else. I really appreciate and enjoy your commentaries on the OT. Thank you!
Carol :)

From today's reading in the "One Year Bible Companion", it says "Believing that the dead went to the next world in their physical bodies, the Egyptians embalmed bodies to preserve them so they could function in the world to come." This is very different from Jacob's belief. I don't understand why Jacob's family allowed Jacob to be embalmed. Even as a sign of courtesy and respect to the Egyptians, wouldn't it make God angry that they followed the pagan custom?

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