An incubation and a meal

I am onto the last portion of the book of Genesis as I read R. Kent Hughes book on it. It felt like I was moving into the excitement that you get when you come to the closing of a historical saga. I did say that I can only take a chapter of Hughes' book a day, since every chapter is like a sermon with insights into the given passage and life application points. But today, I read six chapters at one go! It was like, "What next? What next?" And Hughes certainly has many great insights in this most favourite historical account of mine.

There is no doubt that I have learnt so many lessons today, but two of them have left a stronger imprint in my mind.

First is a statement that he quoted from John Walton's Genesis, NIV Application Commentary. It refers to the time when Jacob and his entire household was to move into Egypt in order to survive the great famine, and I quote, "the time in Egypt is not an interruption of the covenant but an incubation of the covenant people."

I love the word "incubation". It reminds of certain periods of my life when all is quiet and peaceful only to have problems and troubles piling in one after another. God gives us times and periods of incubation. I am reminded that I must use these times to enjoy the presence and the holiness of God, and then I can stand strong beneath his wings when trials come, which will definitely come in this broken world. I can even say that life here on earth is like an incubator for us to grow in God and be fed by his goodness and his Word before we are reunited with him in his full presence in the day to come.

Moreover, Hughes highlighted that "astonishingly, Israel would not become a great nation in the land of promise but on the pagan Nile!" Even so for the Christians in this broken world of ours, where hatred, revenge, murders, lies and slanders thrive.

The second truth that I am now holding close to my heart refers to when Joseph invites his brothers into his home for a meal, when his brothers have not yet realised who Joseph really was. Hughes was quoting Westermann, "the meal was not just an expression of communion (Gemeinschaft), but engenders and preserves this commonality. The acceptance of a guest into the fellowship of the meal is therefore simultaneously the granting of participation in one's own existence" (Claus Westermann, Joseph: Eleven Bible Studies on Genesis, 1996).

I shall remember this the next time I attend the Lord's Supper and with that I look forward with hope to be eating with my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ in the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Rev 19:9)



  1. you are invited to follow my blog

  2. Again I invite you not to follow my blog, but to follow: John Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative. Top book!

  3. I view this "life" or number of years we have here on earth the same as the time in the womb before birth. Every step is needed for our completion and yet we "think" and count our lives from our birth date. We also do not remember that very important, necessary time in the womb. I believe that is how it will be when we enter our heavenly life. I shared this thought and belief often with my Suzette during those months of her cancer battle but I did not arrive at that conclusion with her illness but have always held that view.

  4. Thanks again Odysseus! I will surely look it up. Too bad the book is not available in I have not visited the physical bookstore in a loooong while :)

  5. Hi Susan, thanks for the reminder and yes, that is a biblical analogy that is so rich for our understanding of the world we live in and the world to come. And the birth pangs will soon come.

    I still wonder but I am more convinced about my thoughts of the One Grand Plan of God :)


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