Category Archives: Bible Bites [Exegesis]

This category includes all posts that are primarily about exegesis (biblical interpretation), except for posts already included in the Church Chat category.

Seeing the face of God

(Old Facebook Post)

Reflections on Jacob’s encounter’s with God and Esau in Genesis 32-33:

Until you experience the shock of actually surviving a solitary “face-to-face” encounter with God where you admit your true character as a heel-grasping, selfish, deceiving wretch, you may never get over your fear of facing your brother against whom you have sinned. But if you do survive such God-wrestlings, and even come out with the gift of a divine blessing, then seeing your brother’s face may feel like seeing the face of God.

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“Ran… embraced… kissed”

(Old Facebook Post–Revised)

Compare Luke 15:20 with Genesis 33:4. The father in the Prodigal Son parable “ran… embraced… kissed” his younger son; in Genesis the older son Esau “ran… embraced… kissed” the younger son Jacob.

Perhaps Jesus is saying prodigals and sinners (see Luke 15:1) are the typological fulfillment of Jacob–and are therefore the true Israel! The Pharisees and scribes (Luke 15:2), on the other hand, aren’t even as good as foolish, non-elect Esau (or the scoundrel Laban; see Genesis 29:13), who had the decency to welcome his younger brother.

Note: These are the only Bible verses where all these key words occur.

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Wisdom versus revelation – James 1:5

(Old Facebook Post)

Wisdom is the God-given ability to make decisions when faced with complex situations. Revelation is a voice from heaven–God speaking his wisdom directly to me.

So when I am faced with a complex decision and pray for wisdom, in response to James 1:5 (“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God…”), why am I often waiting, not for wisdom, but for revelation?

And by the way, wisdom comes by persevering faithfully through trials (cf. James 1:2-4), which means it might not come instantly.

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