Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 30 - Genesis 46:34

all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians
Genesis 46:34
The Jews used sheep for both food and sacrifice.
The Egyptians, with a different religious system, didn’t need livestock for sacrifice. And their taste buds didn’t care for the sheep as food. Furthermore, most shepherds were dirty; they were hairy nomads while Egyptian ideal was to be as clean-shaven as the court priests.
In Genesis 46 and 47, the Egyptians’ abhorrence of shepherds led to a simple solution. We Egyptians will stay in Egypt-proper, while you all can stay over there. That’s how Jacob’s family wound up settling in the separate province of Goshen.
And it worked well for a while — Egyptians here, Israelites there — but as the years advanced (see Exodus 1), this divide caused suspicion. And then persecution. And then slavery. And then judgment.
We can fall into the same trap as the Egyptians whenever we judge by our standards rather than by God’s standards.
God, for example, had a very different view of these keepers of the sheep. Israel’s greatest king, David, began his "career" as a shepherd, writing poetry beneath the night sky. The first recipients of the Gospel were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Jesus, himself, became our Good Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep.
We all tend to look at others through the eyes of our culture. So … maybe … who do you need to look at through God’s eyes instead?
In Christ’s Love,
a guy who used to
help his grandpa
feed the sheep

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