i've been reading in the old testament this past week and it's been awesome. i am always struck, particularly in genesis, about God's provision. it is amazing and humbling, the depths in which he provides for his people. another thing that stuck out to me time and time again, is that God is in the details.
so allow me to tell you a story of such things.
jacob (of jacob and esau) had a son named joseph who he loved. he even made joseph a coat of many colors, because he loved him. his brothers were jealous of the favour joseph had found with jacob, and became especially jealous when one day, joseph came to his brothers and told them dreams he had about ruling over them. his brothers trapped him in a pit and then eventually decided that it was best to sell him into slavery with the egyptians, rather than killing him. the returned the coat to jacob, having dipped it in goat's blood, to tell him that joseph had been surely eaten by a wild animal.
as joseph says several times, what his brothers meant for evil, God meant for good. eventually joseph was thrown in prison by the egyptians because of false accusations. even there he found favor with the prison guards and inmates.
one day, the pharaoh began to have dreams about seven healthy cows and seven sick cows coming up from the nile. he also had a dream about seven healthy stalks of wheat and seven dry and sickly stalks of wheat coming up from the nile. in both dreams, the sickly of the two overtook the healthy. and he didn't know what it meant. he sent for magicians and fortune tellers from all over the land, to come and interpret his dream, and no one could. one day, pharaoh heard about joseph and sent for him, out of the prison.
joseph told pharaoh his dreams were a sign of seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. pharaoh was so grateful for joseph's interpretation and recognized this was from the Lord. joseph found great favor with pharaoh, who put him in charge of the whole land...everyone must answer to joseph and do as he says.
the egyptians prepared during their seven years of plenty, for the seven year famine, by storing grain in large warehouses. when the famine hit, israel (jacob's people) were not prepared and taken by surprise. jacob heard that the egyptians had much grain stored and sent his sons (the ones who had sold joseph into slavery) to buy grain. after much exchange the brothers learned that the man who was selling them grain, was in fact, their brother, and joseph pleaded with
pharaoh to allow jacob and his people (israel) to come and live among them.
after the first few years, when they had no more money to buy grain, the egyptians allowed israel to purchase grain by giving jewels and gold and silver. then, they gave their livestock. lastly, they gave of themselves and became slaves to the egyptians and worked for their grain. this is how israel became enslaved to pharaoh.
years and years later, a boy, moses came along. he grew up and was called by the Lord to free His people (israel) from egypt. God told moses to take aaron and go to the pharaoh, who's heart would be hardened by the Lord, and ask them to release His people. pharaoh's heart was indeed hard, so the Lord began to send many plagues upon egypt. time and time again, pharaoh would plead with moses and aaron for the plague to stop and he would agree to release israel, but once the plague stopped, he would change his mind.
finally, God created the passover. the plague where all the first born sons of humans and animals would die, by His hand. he commanded israel to observe this night in a particular way and to put blood over their door so the angel of death would pass them by, and His people would be spared. pharaoh then agreed to let israel go, and they fled, after ransacking the egyptians of their jewels and gold and silver.
after moses and his people began to flee, through the wilderness towards the red sea, pharaoh changed his mind and sent and army after them. God gave israel favor and went as far as to slow the wheels of the chariots of the egyptians, and make them heavy. when they got to the red sea, the Lord commanded moses to reach out his staff and the sea parted, making way for israel's people to cross. the egyptians saw this and began to follow, but were overtaken by the water.
what a cool story! and that's not even a fraction of them. whoever says the old testament is boring, or full of boring family lineage, needs to read the whole thing. i mean, this could be a movie...just sayin. it's so cool how God is in all of the details...even down to making the chariots of the egyptians have heavy wheels. how crazy is that?? there were some six hundred chariots with heavy wheels just barkin' along, trying to get the israelites.
well thanks for reading! i hope to practice storying more so get ready for more old testament!