Bible Reading Forecast

Week Four | Jan. 24-30

Posted by Bradley Patton

This year as a church, we’re walking through the Chronological Bible Reading Plan. We’ll be posting a weekly blog on Sunday mornings so you have a guided daily look and question prompts for each day of your reading.

*You can begin this plan at any point throughout the year. Simply begin at week one and follow the plan for a year!

Weekly Preview

  • We continue our journey through Genesis, covering seventeen chapters and the wild family dynamics that come with the territory. This week is particularly contentious among the family of promise. 
  • We finished last week with a foreshadowing of growing tension between Rachel and Leah. We’ll see those tensions play out this week. 
  • We’ll also see the death of the second generation (Isaac), the prosperity and turmoil of the third generation (Jacob/Israel and family), and finally we’ll see all the promises of God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob begin to take root in the heart of Joseph.

Daily Look

Sunday, Genesis 30-31

The child-bearing battle between Rachel and Leah continues. Pay particular attention to all the footnotes as each child is named – these are brilliant plays on words in Hebrew. In the “mandrake episode” between Rachel and Leah in Genesis 30, notice some familiar themes from Jacob and Esau’s "birthright stew." Finally, we always want to keep God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in our minds as we read Genesis. The Lord remains faithful to his promise to bless this family – even though other family members try to undermine God’s blessing. 

  • Is there any jealousy lingering in your own heart somewhere?

Monday, Genesis 32-34

Today, the family drama from a few decades ago comes back to create tension for Jacob, who rests in the promises of God (32:9-12). If we’re attentive readers, we may be expecting another Cain and Abel situation between Jacob and Esau (because so many things repeat in their family history). Yet, we see grace and forgiveness. We might believe Jacob is in the clear when he arrives peacefully in Shechem, but we quickly see the depravity of the inhabitants of Canaan, whose prince rapes Jacob’s daughter, Dinah. It’s a dark passage. We might be tempted to ask how this ended up in Genesis, but we should also note God’s conspicuous silence. But if we’ve learned anything from Job – it doesn’t mean he’s absent. And it also doesn’t mean he approves. For further reflection, here are two articles (article 1article 2) discussing Dinah and Genesis 34. 

  • The seeds of such depravity still exist in each human heart. Ask the Lord to give you a clean heart and conscience today.

Tuesday, Genesis 35-37

If it hasn’t sunk in already, names really do matter in Genesis – so it’s significant that the Lord renames Jacob in Genesis 35 and restates his promise in 35:11-12.  Don’t miss the place where Rachel is buried in 35:19! The mother of Joseph, the favored child who sojourns in Egypt and saves his people from death, dies on the way to Bethlehem. Perhaps we should be on the lookout for another ruler who does make it to Bethlehem and also saves his people from death? 

  • Do you let the Bible surprise you anymore? If so, how? If not, why not?

Wednesday, Genesis 38-40

What a BRUTAL week of Bible reading. If we’re tempted to think that Judah is “righteous” for sparing Joseph’s life from his brother, we’re given a rude awakening in Genesis 38. In the words of Dr. Ken Mathews (a Shades church member and Beeson professor), “Chapter 38 shows that the purposes of God for Jacob’s family and, from a historical perspective, for the nation of Israel, overcame human obstacles … Judah exhibits the worst and best of the brothers as a whole … Chapter 38 shows him at his worse.” Even still, the line of Judah will lead us to the Lion of Judah and Tamar will be included in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. 

  • Why is it important to see the total depravity of humanity?

Thursday, Genesis 41-42

Genesis 41-42 continues Joseph’s sojourn in Egypt. He started from the bottom, now he’s here. Joseph remains insistent that the glory goes to God because he has revealed what will happen and gave wisdom to Joseph. Again, we see the purposes of the Lord cannot be thwarted. The one who suffered is again the one who is an agent of salvation. 

  • How can you give glory to God for your success in life and work?

Friday, Genesis 43-45

We’re again presented with another opportunity for a Cain-and-Abel-like rematch between brothers, but mercy and compassion prevail again. Joseph is still insisting on God’s guidance and providence in preserving life (45:5-7). I thought 43:32 was an interesting note about Egyptians eating with the Hebrews being an abomination to the Egyptians. It’s interesting because that will be reversed in Exodus. 

  • Do you need to show compassion or mercy to someone you’ve had conflict with this week?

Saturday, Genesis 46-47

A few very interesting things happen in today’s reading. First, God himself promises to go with Israel to Egypt and also to bring him up again. Lest we believe God is only a regional deity, he shows us that he is Lord over all the earth. Second, we’re given a first-glimpse at the nations being blessed through Abraham’s family when “Jacob blessed Pharaoh” (47:7). Third, we see Israel’s steadfast trust in God’s promise when he commands Joseph to carry him out of Egypt and bury him with his fathers (47:30). 

  • God still goes with his people by the Spirit. How can you keep in step with the Spirit today?