Friday, November 2, 2018

McGee and Me #3 Genesis 34-50

Thru the Bible: Genesis 34-50. J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 180 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Frankly, Jacob made a mistake by stopping in Shalem, for there is going to be a scandal at this point in the family of this man.

I recently bought a complete set of J. Vernon McGee's Thru the Bible commentary series. These books are loosely based on his popular radio program. I have read a handful of his commentaries in the past--including this one--but I plan on reading and/or rereading all of the commentaries (again). 

His commentary on Genesis is broken down into three volumes. The first volume covers chapters 1-15. The second volume covers chapters 16-33. The third volume covers chapters 34-50. 

Readers continue learning about Jacob--Israel--and his sons and daughter. The focus is primarily (though not exclusively) on Joseph. McGee points out Joseph's many similarities to Christ. At one point he lists over twenty ways the two men are similar. 

I appreciate his casual, reader-friendly approach. Not many commentators would begin chapters by saying "this chapter is as necessary as a fifth leg on a cow." Yet I believe McGee has done that at least twice in his Genesis commentary. (I can't remember if they're both in this third volume or if it's one in the second volume and one in the third.) 

  • Sin needs to be spelled out. There was a time when sin was sin, but now they’ve taken the “s” off of it, and you’re in the “in” group if you’re a sinner.
  • But that’s not the way God spells sin. He still spells it S-I-N. And you will notice that “I” is right in the middle of the word—that’s where all of us are.
  • God have mercy on Christians who shape their lives by those who are around them and who are constantly looking for the effect their conduct is going to have on others.
  • It is a wonderful thing to stand for the truth, and when you stand for it, then you don’t have to compromise. How wonderful it is when we will do that.
  • Many expositors say that it was a tragic thing for Jacob to stop in Shalem, and I must say that I have to go along with that partially. But I have one question to ask: Was Jacob ready for Beth-el? Was he ready for the experiences that God was going to give him?
  • No, I think that the tragic things that took place in chapter 34 were the result of a man who had been walking in the energy of the flesh. There had been a deflation of self, but there was no discernible faith in God. Because he did not have faith to go on to Beth-el, he stopped at Shalem.
  • There are too many folk who six days a week are serving some other god, and on Sunday they try to serve the Lord. Many Christians, even fundamental believers, have their strange gods, and then they wonder why their service in the church on Sunday is not a thrilling experience.
  • My friend, you are going to have to put away your strange gods. I don’t know what yours might be. It could be covetousness.
  • You have to deal with sin in your life. You cannot come to church on Sunday and dismiss the way you have lived during the week that has just passed.
  • After all, you take a physical bath and use a deodorant before you come to church, and yet there is spiritual body odor in our churches because there is no confession of the sin, no cleansing.
  • Sin ruins lives, and sin ruins families; sin ruins communities, and it ruins nations. This is the problem with our families and cities and nations today. There is just one cause: God calls it sin.
  • There is no one in Scripture who is more like Christ in his person and experiences than Joseph. Yet nowhere in the New Testament is Joseph given to us as a type of Christ.
  • May I say that the Word of God makes good sense if you just let it make good sense. We are the folk that don’t make the good sense.
  • This is another chapter [Genesis 38] that seems to be about as necessary as a fifth leg on a cow.
  • Our Lord came into a sinful line. He was made in all points like as we are, yet He Himself was without sin. He came into that human line where all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
  • You wonder why this chapter is in the Bible. It is in the Bible as a warning to us. It is in the Bible to let us know that God did not approve of sin, and it explains why God took Israel out of the land of Palestine and down into the land of Egypt.
  • Today we hear that if we are going to witness to this generation and if we are going to communicate to them, we’ve got to get down to their level. I disagree with that. God has never used that method to witness. God has always, under all circumstances, asked His people to live on a high and lofty plane. 
  • Maybe God has called us to witness to a few. But I have news for you: If you give out the Word of God, it will have its effect.
  • He [Joseph] is the Old Testament example of Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
  • Even our misfortunes, heartbreaks, and sufferings are for our good and His glory.
  • There is a hedge about every child of God, and nothing gets through it without the permission of God.
  • Dr. Torrey used to say that Romans 8:28 is the soft pillow for a tired heart. And someone else has put it like this: “God nothing does, nor suffers to be done, but what we would ourselves, if we but could see through all events of things as well as He.”
  • Discouragement is one of the finest weapons Satan has—discouragement and disappointment.
  • Anything you or I do for the Lord should be done to the praise of God. Make sure that God gets the glory for it.
  • If we could recognize God’s hand in our lives today, it would give us a different outlook on life!
  • I want you to note that Joseph never misses an opportunity to give a testimony for God.
  • Jacob’s life in Haran typifies the man of God who is living in the flesh. Jacob’s life in the land of Canaan typifies the man of God who is fighting in his own strength. Jacob’s life in Egypt typifies the man of God who is walking by faith.
  • Why are these lists of names given to us in the Scriptures? Doesn’t God have more important information to give to us? My friend, there is nothing more important than our Lord Jesus Christ, and this is the genealogy that leads to Him.
  • Have you heard of the Lamb’s Book of Life? The question is: Is your name written there?
  • How important are you? Well, I don’t know you—probably have never heard of you—but God knows you. In fact, He has numbered the very hairs of your head! 
  • He delighted in putting their names down because they were His. This again causes me to ask you the question: Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?
  • He chooses no man because of his natural ability. How don’t misunderstand me. God can use talent, but it must be dedicated to Him!
  • It is the grace of God that has transformed us sinners into a kingdom of priests, my friend. All believers are priests today.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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