This week’s reading marks the end of an important era in Bible history as both Joseph and Jacob pass away. However, before his death, Jacob blesses his sons, and in this blessing we glimpse the role Judah’s lineage will play in God’s plan.
This week’s reading details the origins of the twelve tribes of Israel, the name that God ultimately gives to Jacob (Genesis 32:28 and 35:10). Having been sent by his father, Abraham, to find a mate among his own people, Jacob travels to Haran – and stays much longer than I’m sure he anticipated!
Sadly, the list of man’s failures and bad decisions continues to multiply. God is forced to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Then Lot’s daughters behave badly. And Esau trades away his birthright. Clearly, left to our own devices, we cannot help but pursue that which is sinful and destructive.
The first several days of reading provide a panorama of concepts that will encompass the entire Scripture. In the first few chapters of Genesis we encounter creation, the Holy Spirit, covenant, sin, death, worship, renewal, selfishness, and much more. Perhaps the most distressing observation is that man’s selfishness can very quickly lead to his own destruction – a theme that will play out again and again in the Scripture.