The story of Balaam is one of the most unusual in the Bible. Evidently, like Job of an earlier age, Balaam was not a part of the covenant people of Israel; nevertheless, he enjoyed a relationship with God. That relationship is reflected by the fact that he knew (yadah) God. This means that his relationship was based on a very real interactive experience with God that went far beyond just knowing aboutGod. Indeed, Balaam possessed a very unique God-given gift. [Read more…]
As soon as the covenant between God and Israel was consummated, God immediately instructed Israel to build a special house that He could dwell in.
“And let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8).
Later God declared that He had brought Israel out of Egypt for this very purpose. [Read more…]
It is always interesting to consider what the Bible tells us and what it does not. The end of Genesis focuses on the life of Joseph after the death of Jacob. The beginning of Exodus focuses on the people of Israel almost 400 years later (The gap between Joseph’s death and Moses’ birth is estimated to be 279 years). No account is given of events between these points. Even though extremely interesting, these events are evidently not necessary for us to understand God’s redemption process, therefore, the Bible is silent on this era. [Read more…]
As noted in previous studies, the latter section of the book of Genesis (chapters 37-50) is prophetic in nature. The future leadership of the nation of Israel is described hundreds of years before the fact. Joseph is a unique type of Messiah. His descendants, Ephraim and Manasseh will become leaders of the northern tribes of Israel. Judah, on the other hand, will be the dominant tribe in the south. Through Judah, God will preserve a remnant to complete His purpose of redemption. Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah. Even though the division of Israel between Judah and Joseph is only temporarily healed from time to time during the First Kingdom Era (1447 – 586 BC/BCE), the unification of the whole house of Israel will be accomplished in the Diaspora. Ezekiel prophesied of this unification (Ezekiel 37:15-23). [Read more…]
The book of Genesis is prophetic in nature. A major theme from Genesis 12 through 36 is God’s interaction with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: God established His election through these three witnesses. Later, when God called Moses at Mt. Sinai, He declared that His eternal, memorial name was, is and will be “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:15). From Genesis 37 through 50, God’s elect vessel shifts to the infant nation of Israel from the individual patriarchs. The book is prophetic in nature because it outlines the leadership within the nation of Israel for the future. In these chapters, we have an account of events in the lives of Judah and Joseph. The descendants of these two men would become the leading tribes of the nation of Israel. The prophetic promises and hence God’s work of redemption would be carried out primarily through these two tribes. [Read more…]