Lesson 24: Genesis 38; Genesis 39; and Genesis 40
Read Genesis 38:1-11
The sordid story of Judah’s sin with Tamar serves to magnify the grace of God when we remember that the Lord Jesus was descended from Judah (Luke 3:33). Tamar is one of five women mentioned in the genealogy in Matthew 1; three of them were guilty of immorality—Tamar, Rahab (v. 5), and Bathsheba (v. 6). The others are Ruth, a Gentile (v. 5) and Mary, a godly virgin (v. 16). There is a deeper and typological meaning to this story of moral failure. Genesis 37 closes with an account of Jacob’s sons selling their brother Joseph unto the Midianites, and they in turn selling him into Egypt. This speaks, in type, of Christ being rejected by Israel and delivered unto the Gentiles. From the time that the Jewish leaders delivered their Messiah into the hands of Pilate, they have (as a nation) had no further dealings with Him; and God, too, has turned the focus from them to the Gentiles. Hence it is that there is an important turn in our type at this stage. Joseph is now seen in the hands of the Gentiles. But before we are told what happened to Joseph in Egypt, the Holy Spirit traces for us, in typical outline, the history of the Jewish nation, while the antitypical Joseph is absent from the land. It is no accident that the story of Joseph is interrupted by chapter 38. The disreputable behavior of other members of Joseph’s family makes his conduct, by contrast, shine like a bright light in a sordid world. Continue Reading Here
The Book of Zephaniah
“If anyone wishes all the secret oracles of the prophets to be given in a brief compendium, let him read through this brief Zephaniah.” —Martin Bucer (1528)
We know very little about Zephaniah the son of Cushi. His name means Jehovah hides, i.e., “protects” or “treasures.” He liked to put dark against light and light against dark, painting a very gloomy picture of the Day of the Lord, yet giving a very bright foreglimpse of Israel’s coming glory and the conversion of the Gentiles to the Lord. As Bible Commentator Hewitt points out, the Prophet Zephaniah minced no words: There is no compromise in the language used. He denounces sin and announces judgment with perfect fearlessness and closes his book with a song full of inspiration and hope looking forward to the inauguration of the Millennial Kingdom.
Zephaniah ministered during the reign of Josiah (640–609 B.C.). The book was probably written between 621 and 612 B.C.
Zephaniah probably prophesied from Jerusalem (“this place,” 1:4). The historical background of his prophecy will be found in 2 Kings 21–23 and the early chapters of Jeremiah: Continue Reading Here
“Habakkuk was not a self-centered person concerned only with the comfort and safety of himself and his family. As a true patriot, he was deeply distressed by the moral and spiritual conditions about him. He loved his nation, and knew it was moving ever closer to the precipice of destruction by continuing to break the laws of God. Therefore two anguished questions burst forth from his lips: How long? and Why?” —Richard W. De Haan
Habakkuk 2:4 has the distinction of being quoted three times in the NT. In Acts 13:40-41 the Apostle Paul ended his sermon in the synagogue at Antioch, Pisidia, by quoting Habakkuk 1:5, another illustration of how an apparently obscure and short OT book can have rich doctrinal content. Also, compare Habakkuk 3:17-18 with Philippians 4:4, 10–19. Both the prophet and the apostle could rejoice in their God no matter what the outward circumstances of life might be. Continue Reading Here
The Book Of Nahum
The prophecy of Nahum, written by a Hebrew against the capital of a Gentile world power (Nineveh), is a denunciation of rampant militarism and tyranny, especially as it affects God’s people. Although God uses pagans to punish His people’s apostasy and sin, the tool itself is also liable to punishment.
As R. K. Harrison puts it:
“In this small prophecy of doom the author demonstrated in vigorous and memorable language that the God of the nation whom the Assyrians had despised was in fact the controller of all human destiny. To His justice even the greatest world power must submit in humility and shame.” Continue Reading Here
The Book of Joel
“Joel, … was probably the first of the so called writing prophets; so this book provides a valuable insight into the history of prophecy, particularly as it furnishes a framework for the end times which is faithfully followed by all subsequent Scripture. God started a new work with the writing of Joel, that of preparing the human race for the end of this temporal era, and thus gave an outline of His total plan. Later prophets, including even our Lord, would only flesh out this outline, but in keeping with the divine nature of true Scripture, never found it necessary to deviate from this, the initial revelation.” Montague S. Mills
The prophecy of Joel is short but certainly not lacking in beauty or interest. The prophet uses many literary devices to produce his vivid style: alliteration, metaphors, similes, and both synonymous and contrasting parallelism. Continue Reading Here
The Book Of Hosea, Part 2
GOD’S CONTROVERSY WITH HIS PEOPLE (Chapters. 4–10)
The Sins of the People (4:1-5)
God contends with Israel because of the people’s unfaithfulness, unkindness, irreligion, swearing, lying, killing, stealing, adultery, and murder. Five of the Ten Commandments are summarized in verse 2. Violations of these commands were the reasons for the condition of the land. Even the wildlife would waste away because of the coming judgment. Continue Reading Here