Discovering God’s army (Genesis 32:1-12)

Jacob was petrified of facing Esau, until he found he had a bigger fight on his hands.

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I hope that reading the Bible as the story of the God’s kingdom is helping unfold its core message to you. It really does make a huge difference. Even those who write commentaries on the Bible have difficulty making sense of the text if they miss this perspective. Continue reading “Discovering God’s army (Genesis 32:1-12)”

When running is bad for your health (Genesis 31)

Run, or reconcile?

Jacob has a history of running instead of sorting things out. Remember how he ran from Esau? Well, it’s happening again. It tends to do that when you don’t resolve things. Continue reading “When running is bad for your health (Genesis 31)”

Jacob in exile: hope in difficult times (Genesis 29–30)

Despite Jacob’s failures, YHWH establishes the foundation of his kingdom.

In the third generation, the promises God gave to Abraham hang on a knife-edge. Jacob is the sole person who can advance the vision of descendants in the land (YHWH’s nation), but he has splintered the family and abandoned the land. The whole kingdom project dangles like a thread. Continue reading “Jacob in exile: hope in difficult times (Genesis 29–30)”

Jacob’s new direction (Genesis 28:18-22)

What turns someone around? A revelation of who God is.

Jacob’s alone. In the dark. Fleeing with nothing. With no one. His greed destroyed his family. He hopes Esau doesn’t find him.

None of this changes the sovereign’s plans. The God who promised land and descendants and blessing to his father and grandfather reveals himself to Jacob. Yes, Jacob goes into exile for his sins, but he does not go alone: Continue reading “Jacob’s new direction (Genesis 28:18-22)”

How Bibleview works

How does the Bibleview reading app decide which two chapters to provide each day? Here’s the inside story.

Have you read through the whole Bible? How do you decide which bits to read? Need a bit of help with some of the Old Testament?

Haydn Nelson (senior pastor of Riverview Church) wanted to provide a way to help people read Scripture well in today’s busy world. The result was an app for iOS or Android, or from a website if you prefer. Continue reading “How Bibleview works”

Jacob’s dream: a portal between heaven and earth (Genesis 28:10-17)

Jacob dreamed of a ladder linking God’s two realms. We’d probably call it a portal. What is the connection between heaven and earth?

Jacob is fleeing for his life. He’s leaving the land God promised to Abraham. He has no reason to come back. His father is dying. He’ll never see his mother again. For his own safety, he hopes he never sees his brother either. Continue reading “Jacob’s dream: a portal between heaven and earth (Genesis 28:10-17)”

Good News for God’s World (course)

You’re invited to a free course at Riverview Church in Perth, over the next six weeks.

What do you feel when you hear gospel?
Good news, or guilt-news?

For the next six Mondays, come and bathe in the good news of who Jesus is, what he’s done for his world, and how it changes everything. We’ll talk about how we share his good news with people. In fact, we’ll talk about how to be good news people.

You know what? It’s really hard not to share genuinely good news. Continue reading “Good News for God’s World (course)”

Abraham’s family disintegrates (Genesis 27)

How can God’s rescue plan work when the problems that shattered humanity in the beginning threaten to destroy Abraham’s family?

You’ve advertised for help with a bakery in a country town. Two people apply. The first asks prying questions about your business model, disquieting questions that leave you feeling you can’t trust him. The other doesn’t bother showing up for the interview. You have to call him and remind him. So, who do you hire? They one you can’t trust? Or the one who couldn’t care less?

Continue reading “Abraham’s family disintegrates (Genesis 27)”

Jacob Neusner (1932–2016)

Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner died yesterday. His writings gave many of us a better understanding of Judaism.

According to The New York Times and The Times of Israel, Jacob Neusner died yesterday. He was a Jewish scholar who “transformed the study of American Judaism, becoming one of the most influential 20th-century scholars of the religion.” Continue reading “Jacob Neusner (1932–2016)”

Isaac: the next kingdom representative (Genesis 26)

The Isaac narrative is all about the way Abraham’s descendants must follow in his footsteps.

Since Abraham laid the foundation of the nation that would restore the blessing of divine reign to the earth, what Abraham’s descendants must do is to follow in his footsteps. The Genesis narrator makes this point in the way he recounts Isaac’s life. Continue reading “Isaac: the next kingdom representative (Genesis 26)”

Visit Israel with us

Like to see the places where the Bible’s stories took place? Join me for a tour of Israel.

Update 2016-10-11: Okay, we had lots of interest for the information night. Applications close 25 November 2016, or sooner if we have 40 applicants. Contact me if you need a copy of the info booklet.

Riverview Church is planning its first trip to Israel 11–27 May next year, and I will have the pleasure of joining you and explaining the significance of the places we’ll visit. The information night is this Monday (10 Oct), 6pm, in the newly opened Riverview Church building (Burswood, Western Australia).

Continue reading “Visit Israel with us”