Friday, January 29, 2010

The Journey of Faith

Exodus 4

Moses drew near the bush on fire and there he received God’s call.
It wasn’t a task he deeply desired, for He didn’t feel qualified at all.
“Why should Pharaoh listen to me? How can I bring him around?”
God said, “Take the rod that’s in your hand and throw it on the ground.”

The rod he tossed became a serpent crawling through weeds and grass.
But when he grabbed it by the tail, it changed back into a staff.
Then he put his hand in his shirt; drew it back for his eyes to see.
Behold his hand was white as snow covered with leprosy.

One more time he inserted his hand and pulled it back again.
It came forth whole and strong as clean as it ever had been.
“Now if they still refuse to listen, pour water upon the land.
When the water turns to blood, they’ll know it was by My hand.”

Moses tried mightily to excuse himself from service.
He told the Lord, he didn’t speak well, especially when nervous.”
But God would send his brother, Aaron, to speak on his behalf,
Told him to go at His command and handed him the staff.

So after receiving the blessing of Jethro, they were set to depart.
It wasn’t exactly a pleasant thing in the depths of Zipporah’s heart.
When Moses sought to follow the Lord, his son to circumcise,
Zipporah called him a bloody spouse as anger flashed in her eyes.

Just then an act of grace occurred as to Egypt they drew near.
Moses rejoiced and thanked his Lord as Aaron suddenly appeared.
Aaron took Moses to Israel’s elders; he related to them the story.
They saw the signs and worshipped God giving Him the glory.

This is how the ministry began with power and wonder indeed.
As he continues this journey of faith, God will meet every need.
Now if you’re walking the road of faith and challenges bring dismay,
Persevere in prayer; trust in His grace, and in His presence stay.

If in your journey you lose your nerve, just remember this:
The God who calls His people to serve will see that they are equipped.
There will be folks like Zipporah who will be sure to call you names,
But the God of heaven, whom you serve, will ever remain the same.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Call to Ministry

Exodus 3
Forty years he lived in Egypt, a highly accomplished guy.
Then forty more in Midian where pride and arrogance died.
He may have thought the wilderness was where he would retire,
But then one day he saw a bush burning bright with fire.

Moses turned aside that day and travelled to see the sight.
Something about this burning bush didn’t seem quite right.
Everyone knows a fire burns until only the ashes remain, but
Though it burned a considerable time, the bush remained the same.

He heard the Lord call out his name as he was drawing near.
Moses responded to the flame by saying, “I am here.”
“Take off your sandals; bare your feet, for this is holy ground.
I am the God of Abraham. It’s time to turn things around.”

“My people are slaves in Pharaoh’s land and I have heard their cry.
I’m sending you to deliver them; you’re my chosen guy.
The burdens they carry are numerous, too many to even name them,
So you will lead them out of Egypt back to the land of Canaan.

Now Moses was feeling a bit insecure and needed some affirmation.
“Who am I to perform this task and declare such information?
And whom will I say is sending me when I say these words to them?”
The voice replied, “Tell them this: You’re sent by the great ‘I Am’.”

Carry this message to Israel from the God of Abraham:
Their cup of misery is more than full, but their God will deliver them.
Say unto the King of Egypt, “You must let My people go.”
Then place your trust in “the Great I Am” signs and wonders to show.

Now put yourself in this situation. Wouldn’t you be afraid?
Wouldn’t you rather someone else would lead this grand parade?
Are you troubled by fear and doubt because of what you face?
Have faith in God to work it out trusting His love and grace.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Transformation in the Wilderness

Exodus 2

Pharaoh’s daughter adopted the babe and hired his mom as a nurse.
And though he grew up in Pharaoh’s home, he was an Israeli first.
When young Moses became a man he observed the burdened Israelis.
It didn’t take long to see first hand the injustice inflicted daily.

There was an occasion when Moses saw an Egyptian beating a slave.
Looking both ways the prince responded by killing the evil knave.
He buried the Egyptian in the sand, turned and walked away.
He attempted to calm two countrymen on the very next day.

The fighting Hebrews shouted out as he tried to make them stop,
“Are you going to kill us too like you made the Egyptian drop?”
Moses was startled to hear the remark. He didn’t know it was known.
A target of Pharaoh’s murderous rage, he fled his palatial home.

Moses escaped from Pharaoh’s wrath and came to a distant land.
There at the well some maidens came to water their flock by hand.
The local bullies came to the trough and began to chase them away,
But Moses put a stop to that and helped them water that day.

The daughters of Reuel returned to their father telling him the story.
They told how Moses saved their day showering him with glory.
The father said, “Go get the man before we sit down to bread.”
And that is how Moses married his wife and lived in Midian instead.

The desert has been a special place when God prepares a servant.
From the desert the Baptist came forth with a message strong and fervent.
Jesus went to the desert as well defeating Satan’s temptation.
The desert was where the Apostle Paul received his revelation.

Perhaps you feel that you are hidden in a place you would rather not be.
You feel your plans have been overridden, a future you do not see.
Remember this when you complain of the place where you’ve been drafted:
The desert and wilds of the wilderness is where godliness is crafted.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Enslavement of Israel and the Birth of Moses

Exodus 1-2:10

Israel lived in the land of Goshen and there they were greatly blessed.
They grew strong in power and number until they were more than the rest.
A new king arose who knew not Joseph, for he had gone to his grave.
Alarmed by their growth he strongly proposed that Israel should be their slaves.

The taskmasters drove them to produce in construction programs rigorous.
Their numbers were strong in spite of abuse, their bodies strong and vigorous.
They continued to labor in hardship and pain, working the whole day through;
Remaining a threat to the king’s domain, for their numbers actually grew.

The king told the midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, “Here is what you will do.
Be present to care for Israelite wives when they ascend to the birthing stool.
Now if the child is a little girl, she will go to her mother’s breast,
But if it is a boy that is born, the babe must be put to death.”

The midwives feared the Lord on high and ignored this invalid command.
They acted with faith and integrity in the face of his evil demand.
And so it was because they feared God, He provided a household for them.
We will see them in heaven someday, saints who were not condemned.

When Pharaoh saw his plan would not work, a new decree he gave:
In the river the males were thrown, but the females they would save.
Such were conditions in the land when a beautiful boy was born.
His parents hid him for several months with heavy hearts forlorn.

The day finally came when his cry was too loud; the secret would be revealed.
His parents made him a homemade ark for the river reeds to conceal.
The daughter of Pharaoh came to bathe and she heard the little boy cry.
Her heart was filled with love for the babe and decided he must not die.

Moses was spared a terrible fate that befell so many others.
God intended to use this boy to deliver Israeli brothers.
God has a plan for your life too. Like Moses you have a part.
So trust in the One who died for you; then serve Him with all your heart.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 25, 2010

Joseph Meets His Brothers

Genesis 42-46

Joseph was thirty when he took power.
He wasted no time in an ivory tower.
He immediately began an ambitious plan
To store up grain in the seven-year span.

The prophesied famine affected all lands.
The people came with their sacks in hand.
Think how cruel would be their fate
If Joseph weren’t there to administrate.

Israel, the elder who lived up North
Called his sons and sent them forth.
Because of the danger they were in
He held back his youngest, Benjamin.

Imagine Joseph’s shock and surprise
When his brothers appeared before his eyes.
Joseph, who knew how God intervenes,
Suddenly remembered his childhood dream.

He said to the ten, “If you’re not spies,
Then one will remain til the others arrive.”
The brothers, convicted by their deed,
Had no option except to agree.

Their sadness changed to total dismay
When later they stopped to camp that day.
There among the grain in the pack
Each brother found his money sack.

Their home life now was in disarray.
With famine severe, they couldn’t stay,
Yet great was their fear about going back
Because of the money found in their packs.

Finally their father heard their voice
Acknowledging there was no other choice
He sent double the money and Benjamin
Pleading with God to return him again.

They came to Joseph deathly afraid
Telling the steward a mistake had been made.
Joseph was gracious when they arrived
He even asked if their dad was alive.

Joseph soon saw his younger brother,
The other son of Rebecca, their mother.
The joy he experienced was so sweet,
He ran to his chambers to privately weep.

When at last they sat down to eat
Five times as much fell at Benjamin’s feet.
Laughing one joked, “He really likes Ben.”
The others joined in saying, “Amen.”

Once more they left with sacks filled up,
But in Benjamin’s sack was Joseph’s cup.
They, of course, could not know
That Joseph didn’t want them to go.

At the close of this incident
Joseph decided to relent
Revealing that he was their brother,
The offspring of Jacob and their mother.

“Don’t be grieved because of your deed,
For God brought me here to meet your need.
This famine still has five years to go.
Go get our father. Here you will grow.”

Now Pharaoh was pleased to hear the report
How Joseph’s brothers had come to his court.
“Send for your father, bring all that you can;
To them I will give the best of our land.”

Note how God used a terrible decision
To become a source of Israel’s provision.
Now that you’ve seen what God can do
Remember this truth: He loves you too!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

From Prison to the Palace

Genesis 41

Joseph remained imprisoned until Pharaoh had a dream.
Up from the river came seven fat cows followed by seven lean.
The cows all stood on the river bank. Suddenly there was a change.
The malnourished cows ate the fat in a dream scene very strange.

Then Pharaoh had a second dream with a similar theme highlighted.
Seven plump heads of grain came up followed by seven blighted.
The seven blighted consumed the plump—in a moment they disappeared.
Pharaoh awoke a troubled grump. There was something about it he feared.

He called for the wise men of his kingdom and his supreme magicians.
They were unable to interpret the dream deficient in spiritual cognition.
Then the butler remembered Joseph working in the prison. He said,
“I know a man who can interpret dreams with certainty and precision.”

They brought Joseph from the dungeon, gave him a chance to get clean;
Then they brought him before the king so he could interpret the dream.
Joseph said, “It’s not in me. It’s God who interprets these dreams.
Tell me now just what you saw so we can learn what it means.

The king told Joseph about the cows, how the lean ones ate the fat.
He also told him about the grain saying, “How do you interpret that?
I shared these dreams with my magicians, but no one could explain.
They were unable to grasp these dreams that feature cows and grain.”

Immediately Joseph had the answer: “The two dreams are but one.
There will be seven years to be blessed, then seven of famine will come.
This dream did not come to frighten you, nor was it sent to harass.
There is a reason you dreamed it twice, for soon it will come to pass.”

“Here, O King, is what you need; what I think God wants you to do:
Appoint a wise and trustworthy man to prepare the kingdom for you.
In the seven years of plenty, he shall retain a healthy reserve.
Then in the famine years that follow your kingdom will be preserved.

The king responded with these words: “There are none as wise as you.
I therefore appoint you over all Egypt my kingdom and people to rule.”
Joseph knelt before the king, his duties and authority explained.
Thus Joseph was raised to power and glory just as God ordained.

Do not believe God loves you less than all His children before.
God has a plan for all of us with eternal rewards in store.
If you doubt God’s love for you because of hardship or malice,
Please remember how God raised Joseph from prison to the palace.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Friday, January 22, 2010

Joseph Prospers in Jail

Genesis 39-40

Now Joseph was a handsome guy who had his life together.
One day Potiphar’s trophy wife decided she liked him better.
Day by day she pestered him to satisfy her desire;
When he refused to yield to sin, it raised an unreasonable ire.

Shortly thereafter she planned a time when they would be alone.
The household servants were away; only Joseph was home.
She found young Joseph, clung to his coat, asking him to comply.
Joseph left his coat in her hands as he attempted to run outside.

We’ve heard the proverb often shared about a woman scorned.
In the mind of this unfaithful wife a devious plan was formed.
She called the household men inside and made a false accusation.
Joseph was then hauled off to prison without an investigation.

Once again Joseph achieved because the Lord was with him.
He soon impressed the jail boss with his gift of administration.
Faithfully he rose to the task performing his work with pride.
That is how he came to know the butler and baker inside.

Each of these men once served the king and each was intensely sad.
Each needed hope in which to cling, for their situation was bad.
While in prison they experienced a dream but had no interpretation.
Joseph said he knew the God who would give them clarification.

To the butler Joseph said, “It’s time for you to cheer up.
In three more days you will be back to guarding Pharoah’s cup.”
Now to the baker Joseph said, “Your integrity has been shoddy.
There is a plan to remove your head and hang the rest of your body.”

Sure enough it came to pass and the baker soon was dead.
However, the butler was released to resume his duties instead.
But though he promised earnestly to see what he could do,
Joseph waited days upon end, but he never did come through.

Here is a lesson we can learn as we live our life each day.
The first thing to do in life’s situations is to kneel and pray.
Human friends with good intentions often cannot prevail,
But we can trust an omnipotent God who never ever fails.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Joseph's Early Years

Genesis 37

Israel had a favorite son; Joseph was his name.
With Rebecca as his mom, his treatment wasn’t the same.
The Patriarch’s home life wasn’t good. The environment was rife
With heartache and wounded spirits leading to family strife.

Perhaps it was his billowing grief as he mourned Rebecca’s death,
But any way you examine it, he treated Joseph the best.
No one knows the little things that got his brothers’ goat;
They couldn’t avoid jealousy’s sting as they saw his special coat.

When Joseph was about seventeen, he put forth quite a claim.
He told his brothers about a dream that really fanned the flame.
In his dream the other sons before him were bowing down.
They found themselves deeply offended and didn’t want him around.

The second dream revealed three clues: sun, moon, and eleven stars.
Carefully now think this through to determine just who they are.
The sun was his father, the moon his mom; the sons the eleven stars.
Joseph reaped misery for sharing his dream and future time behind bars.

His brothers, of course, rejected him and wouldn’t consider the claim.
In their mind he was arrogant and needed to shoulder the blame.
They conspired to do away with him and threw him in the pit.
Sold a slave he distinguished himself for efficiency, wisdom and wit.

He served the house of Potiphar, the captain of Pharoah’s guard,
Excelling in such an incredible way, he earned his high regard.
Under Joseph, Potiphar’s house was blessed from the very first day.
Whatever orders Joseph gave, the servants were quick to obey.

There is more to learn from this account as we study Joseph’s story,
For even as his troubles mount, his attitude gives God the glory.
Joseph embraced each hardship he faced asking God for might
To entrust himself fully to His grace and strength to shine as light.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wrestling with God

Genesis 32

Jacob had more than Laban to fear as he made his way to Canaan.
He knew Esau may be near with servants to restrain him.
Jacob was more than a little concerned for his family’s well being,
But he also knew this was the time to stop his history of fleeing.

Jacob prayed to His father’s God with a spirit that was humble.
He didn’t try to excuse himself, nor did he whine or grumble.
He reminded God of His promises as he came back to this land.
Trusting the Lord to go before and guide by His mighty hand.

Jacob divided all in his house into separate groups
Improving their chances to survive if attacked by Esau’s troops.
Then he sent an offering ahead with a message of conciliation
Hoping Esau would forgive and welcome affiliation.

Sending his wives across the brook, he stayed behind to pray.
The Son of God came to his camp. They wrestled til break of day.
Sometime in that wrestling match Jacob’s leg was made lame.
It served forever as a reminder of how his spirit was tamed.

Jacob was a different guy after the match that night.
He became a “Prince with God” somewhere in that fight.
No longer would Jacob be a deceiver as he lived upon this sod.
He was renamed Israel, which translates “a prince with God.”

Have you wrestled with the Lord? Have you abandoned His call?
Have you daily His voice ignored and failed to give your all?
God has wonderful plans for you, plans that will bless your soul.
Kneel before Him, surrender your heart; He will make you whole.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jacob’s Dispute with Laban

Genesis 30-31

After his second contract was done, Jacob desired to leave,
But Laban didn’t want him to go because of blessings received.
He understood God’s special grace had made him a prosperous man.
He presented a plea for Jacob to stay as a member of his clan.

After listening to Laban’s appeal, Jacob agreed to stay.
He received all the speckled sheep as his allotted pay.
Three days away Jacob moved his band of spotted stock,
Yet Laban’s flock continued to bear young ones covered with spots.

Soon God’s blessings became apparent by Jacob’s growing wealth,
But Laban’s herds of sheep and goats did not retain their health.
Clearly Laban’s attitude and that of his sons was turning.
It was time to return to the land for which his heart was yearning.

After conferring with his wives, Jacob gathered his household.
Wives and children, servants and herds headed down the road.
Without telling Laban, he journeyed south on the way to Canaan.
After three days Laban found out and attempted to detain him.

As Laban pursued so full of wrath, God warned him in a dream.
So when he finally caught up with them, his anger was not extreme.
They spoke their thoughts and united their hearts their animosity to cease.
Both parties went their separate ways committed to lasting peace.

Once again a strong loving God kept Jacob in His hand.
He graciously brought Him back again into the Promised Land.
God cares for all just as He did then back in Jacob’s day,
So place your trust in God, my friend, and in His presence stay.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 18, 2010

Woman Trouble

Genesis 30

Jacob arrived at Laban’s home where he was greeted with joy.
Laban confirmed for all to hear that he was Rebecca’s boy.
After he had visited for a month, they decided he should stay.
Laban said, “You’ll work for me, what should be your pay?

Jacob fell in love with Rachael; desired her for his own.
He would work to marry her and take her to his home.
They agreed on seven years as the appropriate pay.
So great was Jacob’s love for her, it seemed only a matter of days.

After the seven years had passed, it was time for the wedding feast.
Never did it occur to him that he could be felled by deceit.
Jacob, who embraced deception to steal Esau’s birthright,
Experienced now the cost of deception after his wedding night.

When confronted, Laban explained why he practiced deception:
“The younger cannot marry first and receive a favorable reception.
So honor Leah as your wife in this week-long celebration,
Then I will also give you Rebecca to soothe this situation.”

Jacob labored seven more years and children were born to him,
But multiple wives and concubines created conditions grim.
There was jealousy all around and many folks were sad;
There were children from too many wives calling Jacob dad.

If God had planned multiple wives, there would have been multiple Eves.
When one sets out to practice deception, deception is what he receives.
Until now Jacob was clear from the misery he had sown,
But now the seed of his past conniving was harvested in his home.

As we read about this man and the lessons that he learned,
Let us fully understand that truth is not to be spurned.
Let us open the Word of God as wisdom the Spirit imparts;
Let us live before the world with humble, devoted hearts.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jacob’s Encounter with God at Bethel

Genesis 28

Jacob journeyed from Beersheba on the northern path to Haran.
I’m sure he wondered what he would find when he arrived at Rebecca’s clan.
He stopped late after travelling long; his weariness was extreme.
He arranged his bed and as he slept, he experienced an awesome dream.

He saw a ladder reaching to heaven where angels went up and down.
He saw the LORD standing at the top and heard a glorious sound.
“I am the God of Abraham. What you see here is your land.
I will be with you all of your days. You’re safe in My mighty hand.”

Jacob awoke with a sense of awe and knew he had heard from God.
He also knew too much of his life was lived behind a façade.
Acknowledging this divine encounter, he poured oil upon the rock,
For this was the place God spoke to him, a place to pause and take stock.

Jacob gave a name to that place—Bethel—the House of God.
Here he began to seek God’s face, forsaking the ways of a fraud.
“Jehovah will keep me, meet my needs; bring me back to this place,
So I must serve Him faithfully, His plans and purpose embrace.”

Jacob arranged that very rock as a place to remember His Lord.
Never would he renounce his God nor His instruction ignore.
In his dream he knew he saw heaven with his very own eyes.
From that moment on to honor God, he vowed he would give a tithe.

In those days when one gave a tithe, it exalted the other as superior.
The giver clearly acknowledged the fact that he was the one inferior.
That’s what happened to Jacob that day, for his life had been selfish for sure,
But here at Bethel he began to convey a desire to be made mature.

How about you, my respected friend? Is your heart for God undivided?
Do you desire to know your God and by His Word be guided?
God is able to change our life, so Christ in us can be formed.
Like Jacob the crafty selfish deceiver, we too can be transformed.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Blessing

Genesis 27–28:5

Now it came about when Isaac was old and his eyes were very dim.
He called for Esau, his oldest son, to confer the blessing on him.
He told him to leave and hunt some game, then fix his favorite meal.
After that he would bless his son; his leadership role would be sealed.

Rebecca was listening when Isaac spoke, a memory stirred in her mind.
She remembered the words of God many years back in time.
“The older shall serve the younger,” God said, “that’s the way it will be.”
Was there a way to steal the blessing since Isaac could no longer see?

She fixed the meal that Isaac liked, had Jacob wear Esau’s clothes.
She covered his arms and neck with skins so Isaac wouldn’t know.
She gave the food to the younger son to take to his father’s tent.
She had accounted for three senses: his taste, his touch, his scent.

Jacob took the food to his dad and received his father’s blessing.
But once again he employed deception, a fact that’s quite distressing.
Esau came back from a successful hunt to be blessed as the oldest son
Only to learn that Jacob’s deception could not be undone.

When Esau threatened murder, it was heard in his mother’s tent.
She reminded Isaac of Esau’s wives and the evil they represent.
They decided to send their son to the house of his mother’s dad.
To find a wife to marry there, for the prospects in Canaan were bad.

Future chapters will disclose what happened where he went.
They will reveal the truths he learned and how his time was spent.
Through it all we will observe how God worked out His plan.
Transforming Jacob, the lifetime deceiver, into a godly man.

And when you think of Esau, let me give you the scoop:
This is the man who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup.
There are many like Esau all over the world today
Who do not have a heart for God or care about His way.

There are things in this account that bring sorrow to our heart.
God was not pleased with Jacob for the way he played his part.
Our God never needs deception to bring about His plans,
For He is not limited or restrained as is puny man.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Account of Esau and Jacob

Genesis 25

God’s provision continued to flow as Isaac led the clan.
The scripture records God’s rich blessing resting on this man.
Nineteen years of marriage flew by, but Rebecca had not conceived.
Isaac cried out in prayer to the Lord who lovingly granted his plea.

At first Rebecca did not know that she was carrying twins,
But even before the two were born, they were fighting within.
God revealed a surprising fact that gave her cause to wonder:
In the providence of His plan, the older would serve the younger.

Sure enough they continued to fight through the long ordeal.
Even as Esau emerged from the womb, Jacob was grasping his heel.
Esau was born a hairy boy whose complexion was quite red.
He became an outdoor guy, but Jacob stayed home instead.

Each of the boys had great skills preferred by one of their parents.
Isaac loved the meat Esau brought for reasons quite apparent.
Rebecca discerned Jacob’s gifts as he worked among the tents.
A strong ambition to rise to the top clearly was Jacob’s intent.

One day Jacob cooked some stew. It simmered over the fire.
Esau returned from hunting game famished and very tired.
“Feed me some of your stew tonight. I’m way too tired to cook.”
But Jacob hatched a devious plan. Then he set the hook.

“Sure, I’ll feed you here right now, but it will come with a price.
I will give this pot of stew if you give up your birthright.”
Esau said, “I’m gonna die anyway; whatever you want I’ll pay.”
So Jacob coerced him to swear away his birthright on that day.

Esau and Jacob’s behavior was wrong. They were guilty in God’s sight.
For little more than a dance and a song, Esau sold his birthright.
Having adopted a deficient perspective; he became a spiritual despiser,
But Jacob achieved his desired objective as a cunning, cruel conniver.

So far their lives are less than stellar, but there is an explanation:
God would allow some suffering to establish character formation.
God envisions the finished product each time that He sees us
Using experiences that come with time to make us more like Jesus.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Wife for Isaac

Genesis 24

The years flew by quickly and Isaac grew up; Sarah passed away.
It was time for Isaac to take a wife to live with him all his days.
Abraham called for a trusted servant to help find Isaac’s bride.
He would travel to Abraham’s people trusting God to provide.

The servant left with ten strong camels on the journey to Abraham’s clan.
His master had said that God would lead in his mission now at hand.
He pondered aloud just how he would know the one he was looking for.
He was still praying for success as he came to the well at Nahor.

The servant asked God to make it clear and erase all lingering doubt.
He wanted the girl to be at the well when he arrived from his long route.
If she were the one, she would give him a drink with an attitude pure and true.
But not only that, there was more: she would water his camels too.

Now it came about that a lovely girl—Rebecca was her name—
Was present to draw some water at the moment the servant came.
The girl was gracious, smart and humble. You could see she was a prize
Guaranteed to be attractive to any young man’s eyes.

Everything happened as he had prayed so he asked for a place to stay.
She replied, “You may stay with us. We have plenty today.”
The servant was thinking, “She may be the one. I hope there is no other.”
Imagine his joy when he found out her grandpa was Abraham’s brother.

The Bible tells what happened next as the servant repeated the story.
He told them all about Abraham careful to give God the glory.
Bethuel said, “We will give Rebecca to you, for this is a God-type thing.”
The servant then presented the gifts that Abraham told him to bring.

Soon they began the long, long journey back to Abraham’s land.
As they drew near Rebecca saw a wholesome and handsome young man.
The servant told her it was Isaac, her groom and Abraham’s son.
That very day he gave a report of all that the Lord had done.

The Bible doesn’t relate the account of their wedding feast.
It simply says Rebecca was loved and Isaac’s joy increased.
God’s grand plan is nearly complete for Israel’s first generation.
Thus we can see how Isaac was groomed to lead the fledgling nation.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Isaac’s Early Years

Genesis 21-22

When Abraham reached one hundred years, Sarah gave birth to a boy.
They named their baby Isaac because he brought such joy.*
Abraham loved his promised son, threw a great feast when weaned,
But Ishmael mocked the little boy creating quite a scene.

Sarah demanded that Hagar leave even though it seemed unfair.
Isaac was the child of promise, the only legitimate heir.
Abraham was greatly distressed, for he loved Ishmael too.
God assured him this plan was best, for Sarah’s words were true.

So Abraham rose early next morn and gathered sufficient provision.
Then he told Hagar his heart was torn, but this was his decision.
Hagar and Ishmael left their tent afraid they were facing death, But
God came to Hagar, whose heart was rent, promising Ishmael to bless.

From Abraham’s sons two nations were born destined to fight and hate.
God had promised heirs for them, but they didn’t have faith to wait.
They decided to solve their problem by taking a second wife.
Never could they have imagined centuries of war and strife.

As Abraham grew in his walk with God, the Lord kept stretching his faith.
He sent him up to Moriah, a sacrifice to make.
He saddled the donkey, split the wood, and called his son half-grown.
Isaac prefigured the sacrifice that someday would be shown.

When they arrived Isaac asked, “Father, where’s the lamb?”
Abraham said, “God will provide. We’ve placed it in His hands.”
Abraham tearfully built the altar, placed upon it his son.
He lifted his knife to slay the child and then the deed would be done.

Just then the Angel of the LORD, the pre-incarnate Christ
Called to him from heaven above, “Stop this sacrifice.”
Abraham looked and saw a ram entangled by its horns.
He foreshadowed the sacrifice of the One with the crown of thorns.

Moriah became a special place because of what God had done.
It was the place where God foreshadowed the death of his only Son.
“Jehovah Jireh” Abraham named it for the God who provides your needs.
He always has a ram in the thicket when His will we heed.

Now here’s the lesson; don’t forget it. Its message is strong and true:
The Heavenly Father gave His Son as a sacrifice just for you.
Jesus, our Lord, who died on the cross with all its agony and pain,
Was willing to suffer at such great cost your salvation to gain.

* Isaac means “laughter.” His birth brought joy and fulfillment to Abraham and Sarah

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Sad Result of Living in Sodom

Genesis 19:30-38

The tragedy of his foolish choice has now befallen Lot.
Two of his daughters escaped with him, but sadly his wife did not.
Lot was afraid to stay in Zoar, so he went to a mountain cave.
What happened next, I’m sorry to say, was wicked and depraved.

Lot’s daughters were there, living in despair, a man they could not meet.
The ability, therefore, to preserve their line was looking very bleak.
The older daughter said to her sister, “I know how to save our line.
In order to be successful, we’ll have to give Daddy wine.”

The oldest gave Lot much wine to drink until he was intoxicated.
Then she went in to lie with him, and a baby they created.
The second daughter followed suit in this evil degradation.
Both had been taught to abandon truth by Sodom’s dissipation.

It makes me sad to see our nation accept immoral distinction.
Unless we repent and change our ways, we’re headed for sure extinction.
TV productions and motion pictures, which encourage illicit sex
Glorify the very behavior God said to reject.

There is a reason Lot and daughters learned to live this way:
Lot had failed to renew his devotion to his God each day.
Everyone wonders just how and when the devil finally got ‘em?”
Sadly, my friend, it all began the day they moved to Sodom.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah

Genesis 18-19

On the plains below the Dead Sea were cities totally depraved.
Up to their ears in immoral sin, their citizens were enslaved.
They had already once been spared when Abram rescued them,
But now the patience of Almighty God was coming to an end.

Abram thought of his nephew Lot and all his family around.
He asked God to judge them not if ten righteous men were found.
God is willing to forgive and bless those who repent, but
Sodom was worthy of judgment to the fullest extent.

When the angels arrived at Sodom, Lot was at the gate.
He rose quickly from his seat, invited them to his place.
“It’s not safe to sleep in the square, let me make you a meal.
There’s more here than what you see. Listen to my appeal.”

After dinner the men of the city wanted the guests for sex.
Since the men had come to Sodom, what did they expect?
The men of Sodom, sin-demented, gathered at Lot’s door.
God struck them all with blindness so they could see no more.

Lot slipped out to his sons-in-law, warned them to leave that night,
Sadly their hearts were so corrupt, they failed to see the light.
The angels then exhorted them, holding them by the hand,
“Wake up, Lot. You must leave right now; flee this wicked land.”

They were on their way to Zoar when fire and brimstone fell.
Sodom and the plains around were changed to a living hell.
The angels had told them, “Don’t look back! Keep your eyes ahead.”
Lot’s wife turned to view the attack; instantly she was dead.

Up in the hills Abraham watched as smoke rose from the plains.
The fruitful land was blasted and torn, all its inhabitants slain.
How foolish man is to flaunt his sin before a holy God.
To claim that he is pure within, maintaining a phony façade.

The Lord is coming for His church, a holy spotless bride,
A glorious church cleansed within, resisting sin’s strong tide.
We don’t know when that will be—morning, night or noon.
So we preach His grace, tell all we see; He’s coming very soon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Abrahamic Covenant

Genesis 17-18:15

Twelve years after Ishmael was born, to Abram the Lord appeared.
The Lord was ready to covenant with him because of his reverent fear.
Abram fell on his face before God, the Creator told him His plan.
“Because you’ll father many nations, your new name is Abraham.” *

My covenant with you is everlasting beginning with Sarah’s son.
It will continue to all your descendents in generations to come.
Abraham pondered in his heart, “Does he know I’m a hundred years?
It seems to me we’re both too old for a child to be born here.”

God told him about the covenant and the sign of circumcision,
For he would father a chosen people to live as God envisioned.
So Abram quickly obeyed his God and circumcised all his men
Establishing this sign as a rite to be repeated again and again.

One day as Abram sat in his tent avoiding the noon day heat,
The Son of God appeared again His promises to repeat.
Sarah hastened to make some bread and Abram prepared a calf;
When they said she would soon conceive, she couldn’t suppress a laugh.

The Son of God, in angelic form, understood she felt ignored.
He spoke loudly for Sarah to hear, “Is this too hard for the Lord?
At the soon appointed time, your hearts will be filled with joy,
For Sarah will hold in her arms a healthy baby boy.

Even though the promise came from Jehovah face to face,
It still required Abraham to trust the Lord by faith.
The same is true of you and me as we walk this Christian road.
We trust the promises in His Word until they are bestowed.

* Abram means “Exalted Father,” but Abraham means “Father of Multitudes.”
Sarai means “Which See,” but Sarah means “Princess.”

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hagar and Ishmael

Genesis 16

God promised heirs to Abram on the night of that wonderful vision,
But as so often happens to man, he accepted a devilish revision.
Instead of resting in God’s promise displaying patience and trust,
Sarai thought she would help the Lord, much to His disgust.

She suggested that her maid, should become Abram’s wife,
Another example of human wisdom fraught with peril and strife.
In his desire to make her happy, Abram unwisely consented.
Because of his failure to trust in God, millions have been tormented.

Hagar conceived and Sarai thought a child she could name,
But the dynamics of their relationship would never be the same.
Hagar grew proud when she conceived, her mistress she despised.
Thus Sarai hated the arrogance she saw in Hagar’s eyes.

Because of harsh treatment forced upon her, Hagar ran away.
She took the wilderness road to Shur walking all the way.
God’s mighty angel found her there exhausted by the spring;
Said it was right for her to obey her mistress in everything.

The Angel shared a Word from God that she would bear a son;
That he would be a wild man, at war with everyone.
So Hagar obeyed heaven’s instruction; returned to Abram’s home,
But terrible sorrow and destruction came from the seed he had sown.

Everyone has an Ishmael, the sins and misdeeds they’ve sown.
Ishmael brings sorrow, misery, and strife destroying many homes.
We find here a lesson we should learn, so learn it if you can:
Listen first to the Word of the Lord and reject the wisdom of man.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Friday, January 8, 2010

Abram Meets Melchizedek—A Type of Christ

Genesis 14-15

Though he didn’t start the war, Abram fought a key battle,
For Lot was captured by invaders along with his wealth and cattle.
Abram geared up his fighting men, went hotly in pursuit;
Defeated the enemy late one night reclaiming the captured loot.

A surprising thing happened to him, one he hadn’t expected.
He was met and spiritually blessed by priestly king Melchizedek.
Melchizedek was the king of Salem, a priest of God most High.
Abram felt the presence of God and paid the priest a tithe.

Abram gave to Melchizedek Salem’s people and possessions.
He treated the office with high respect avoiding indiscretion.
He took nothing for himself except the food they had eaten,
And a portion for his men from the enemy they had beaten.

After these things God came to Abram, spoke in a heavenly vision.
He said to him, “Don’t be afraid. I’ve been with you in your decisions.”
Abram said, “I don’t have an heir. I’ve been wondering why?”
Jehovah then took Abram outside, told him to look to the sky.

“See all those stars shining above. Count them if you can.
That’s how many descendants you’ll have in their various clans.”
Abram chose to believe the Lord, His Deity he confessed.
God was pleased with Abram’s faith, counted it righteousness.

Abram came to know our Lord by a sincere expression of faith.
For that is the way we relate to God as we trust in His saving grace.
Have you trusted Christ today? With Him you can end your search.
For Jesus is both Savior and Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Abram’s Early Years

Genesis 12-13

There was in the land of Haran a man God chose to bless.
He called Abram to up and leave to a place he could only guess.
Abram took Sarai and went to Bethel. There he pitched his tent,
But a famine in Canaan caused him to think to Egypt he was sent.

As he and Sarai drew near to Egypt, we see his failure of faith.
Abram feared that he would be killed for Sarai’s beauty and grace.
He decided right then to call her his sister, a truly foolish sin,
For Pharaoh, thinking she was free, desired to take her for him.

And so one day some men showed up with a great herd of sheep;
“Pharaoh sent these herds for you, and Sarai is his to keep.”
Sarai was taken to Pharaoh’s harem, but before there was time to marry
God sent plagues disturbing Pharaoh and suddenly he became wary.

“Why did you lie and call her your sister,” said Pharaoh so displeased.
“Take your wife and all your possessions. I want you now to leave.”
So Abram left and went back to Bethel. His shame could not be ignored.
When he arrived he built an altar and called on the name of the Lord.

While there at Bethel Abram prospered as did his nephew Lot.
Their two herds took all the land. There wasn’t an empty spot.
Abram proposed they separate: the mountains or plains toward Sodom.
Lot selfish choice of the plains was bad, for it very nearly got him.

So Abram settled in the hills of Canaan and Lot on Sodom’s rich plains.
Soon we’ll see a big problem for Lot, for the men of Sodom were strange.
But Abram in the hills of Canaan a wonderful blessing received.
His was the land in every direction if he obeyed and believed.

How often we too are just like Abram with times of joy and tears.
Sometimes we obey and others we fail because of our sin and fears.
But God, who is gracious, calls us to Bethel and there we kneel to pray.
He reminds us then how much we are loved each and every day.

So if you have drifted down to Egypt and walked on sin’s false road;
If your mind is burdened with guilt and your heart is about to explode;
Turn to Bethel, fall on your knees; call on the Lord above.
Confess your sin, restore your heart, and bask in your Savior’s love.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel
                                                      Genesis 10-11

The sons of Noah and their descendents are named in Genesis ten.
It chronicles how so many were born as man’s new start began.
The lifespan then was hundreds of years, so quickly their numbers grew.
God had commanded for them to be fruitful so society could renew.

Though God had told them to fill the earth, His Word was sadly rejected.
Deciding His plan had little worth they failed to obey as expected.
Instead of spreading across the land creating the various nations,
They decided proudly to build a large city to serve as their central station.

God came down, observed their city, and knowing their devious heart,
Disbanded this human “one-world” committee making them live apart.
Suddenly when they spoke to each other, the other could not understand.
Unable to communicate, they had to abandon their plan.

With their failure to converse, their vain ambition fell short.
They grouped together around their speech for fellowship and support.
In this way the people spread to form an important foundation
For division of power and boundaries inherent in separate nations.

There is a message in this account that those who are wise will heed:
When power is placed in a single hand, there is danger indeed.
Many today, like the Babel group, endorse a one-world plan.
But if you suppose you can out-think God, you’re really a silly man.

The Tower of Babel will always be a symbol of man’s pride.
Ignoring God’s Word human wisdom becomes his pathway guide.
I have learned that following my path often leads to destruction.
The greatest insight comes, dear friend, by seeking God’s instruction.

                                             © Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Noah and the Flood

Genesis 6-9

By the time Noah was born, the sin condition was bad.
There was wickedness all around making God’s heart sad.
Jehovah regretted making man and placing him on the earth,
For evil flourished in every clan, grew stronger with each new birth.

God decided to cleanse the world of man and his sin disposition, but
Noah and family would be spared because of their spiritual condition.
God summoned Noah, spoke to his heart; gave him a strong commission
Telling him how to build an ark for a very specific mission.

“Build it 450 feet long and its width shall be 75 feet.
If you make it 45 high, the blueprints you shall meet.
Prepare it inside with three strong decks, store up plenty of food,
Make sure you build some living space for your loved ones too.”

Noah listened and obeyed his God. He did what had been commanded.
As he built he preached to man with warnings severe and candid.
Shortly after the boat was built, God sent animals two by two.
Noah moved his family in aware man’s time was through.

As Noah’s family walked the ramp, many laughed at them,
And just before the lightning flashed, the Lord God shut them in.
Right then upon the seventh day, the rain began to fall,
The fountains of the deep broke forth til water covered all.

For forty days and through the nights, the rains continually fell.
There was safety inside the ark but outside was living hell.
All flesh died that lived on earth, every animal and creeping thing.
Even the mountains were submerged, couldn’t see a living thing.

For forty days and forty nights rain fell upon the boat.
They spent one hundred fifty more while in the ark afloat.
Finally that day arrived when all could leave the ark.
Man and animals came outside to give the world a new start.

God blessed Noah and his sons, gave them laws to guide.
He promised that water never again would be a killing tide.
Whenever it rains, we need not fear. This is how we know:
God reminds us we are safe every time we see a rainbow.

Centuries later God helped again, sent us another ark.
Jesus became the ark of salvation, if only we take part.
Are you in the ark of safety? Have you trusted Jesus alone?
This is how to be forgiven and assured of a heavenly home.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cain’s Wasted Life

Genesis 4

Adam and Eve left the Garden never to live there again.
For hundreds of years they would remember how things once had been.
The entrance to the beautiful garden by an angel was sealed.
Adam now lived a much harder life toiling in the field.

God was faithful, forgiving their sin; all was not forlorn.
They pressed on following Him and soon two sons were born.
Both of them chose a vocation, learning to do their part,
But when it came to respecting God, Cain had a stubborn heart.

Adam taught both his boys about the worship God planned,
And how it required a sacrifice that foreshadowed salvation’s plan.
Abel respectfully brought a lamb showing he was devout.
Cain showed little respect for God’s plan not caring what it was about.

God accepted Abel’s gift, but Cain’s was quickly rejected.
God warned Cain of sin’s intent and said he should not accept it.
But Cain allowed his anger to boil, with evil he was filled;
In senseless rage he attacked. That’s how Abel was killed.

Later when God confronted Cain, he responded with a pout.
God said to him, “Why do you lie? Your brother’s blood cries out!
You can no longer till this soil. Plenty is changed to dearth.
You shall become a vagabond wandering across this earth.”

The Lord God put a seal on Cain so he would not be killed.
His was a life lived in vain, miserable and unfulfilled.
Instead of showing honor to God, he chose to fight and yell.
His choices led to murderous sin and the road that leads to hell.

What is learned from this passage today? What should be our reaction?
Don’t let anger lead you astray; be godly in all your actions.
The spirit of Cain is the sin of rebellion, a type of sin’s strong leaven,
But if you surrender your all to Christ, you’ll live with Him in heaven.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Entrance of Sin into the World

Genesis 3

Adam and Eve lived in the Garden where all was peaceful and bright.
All of creation reflected God’s splendor. What a beautiful sight!
In the Garden were two special trees. The first was the Tree of Life.
It gave glorious health and strength to the first man and wife.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was also there to see.
God’s will for them was to leave it alone and therefore they agreed.
Many fruits were available to eat, a bountiful sight to see.
They simply had to make their choice from resplendent variety.

Now the serpent was a cunning foe, who desired God’s creation.
He, who failed to usurp the Creator, was filled with rage and frustration.
He wanted this Garden for his own; looked around with jealous eyes.
His strategy was to serenely imply disobedience would be wise.

He came to Eve with voice so smooth, suggested forbidden fruit.
Evil lurked to devour Eve and deception was its root.
He said to Eve, “Go ahead and try it. I promise you will not die.
God doesn’t want you to be like Him. What He told you is a lie.”

Eve examined the fruit so appealing; decided to partake.
She took the fruit to Adam exclaiming, “Look what I just ate!
It’s delicious. You should try it. I think you’ll enjoy the taste.”
So Adam also ate the fruit and sealed mankind’s fate.

Instantly both of them knew it was wrong. Everything had changed.
Realizing they were naked, they suddenly felt ashamed.
Later when God came into the Garden at the close of day,
They were embarrassed because of their sin and tried to run away.

All of us know the story’s end, the result of sin’s dark stain.
Eve would give birth amidst great pain and Adam would toil in vain.
This is the offspring of sin’s grand deed and how it destroys each life.
Sin steals all God planned for you, breeds discontent and strife.

Hidden in God’s word to the serpent was hope for man’s sorry state.
From Eve’s seed there would come a Savior, his sin problem to abate.
This first reference to our Lord and to His salvation plan
Is the beginning of hope restored for fallen, sinful man.

What about you? Are you saved? Have you given your life to Christ?
His death on the cross was for redemption. He fully paid the price.
If you place your faith in Him as Savior, Lord, and friend,
He will give you peace on earth; heaven will be your end.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Account of Creation

Genesis 1 and 2

In the beginning our awesome God created the heavens and earth.
No animal life had yet been made, nothing had given birth.
First God said, “Let there be light” and the darkness flew away.
The darkness God defined as night and the light He defined as day.

Then He created the heavenly expanse giving it shape and form
Commanding the waters to leave the land making that the norm.
So on the first day God made light; on the second He formed land.
He was pleased with what He’d done by the Word of His command.

On the third day through His word vegetation covered the earth.
There appeared grass and trees and herbs with seeds ensuring new birth.
On the fourth day God created the sun, the stars, and the moon.
When the moon was in the sky, day would be coming soon.

On the fifth day the seas were filled with an abundance of living creatures.
Even today we’re still amazed at their various forms and features.
On dry ground He created the birds that fly throughout the sky
Telling them to find their mate, be fruitful and multiply.

On the sixth day animals were formed all across the land.
They must have watched as God took dirt; fashioned it into man.
Man ruled over all creation even though created from sod;
He was destined for special relation; made in the image of God.

All this took place in the first six days. The angels were impressed.
Thus God formed a pattern to stay: the seventh day is for rest.
This truth has stood through the years giving man health and peace,
For as we worship the Lord we revere, worry and stress are released.

One final Gift God gave to man: He brought to Adam his Eve.
This helpmate presented to him was beautiful beyond belief.
Did you notice that Eve was made from a rib in Adam’s side?
Jesus suffered a wound as well that we may become His bride.

What a plan! What a purpose! What a glorious deed!
First God created and then He died in order to meet our need.
Surely He is worthy of all the praise we can give.
Let us therefore proclaim it by the manner in which we live.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Origin of Man

Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created,” a truth man placed on trial.
Considering the Bible to be outdated, he lives in confusing denial.
The scholars with all their silly schemes have left him so befuddled,
He now believes his origin began in a primeval puddle.

Once an amoeba, then a frog, we made it to monkey status--
Must not have been many leopards around, for certainly they would’ve had us.
From monkey status we evolved in various forms and stages.
The theory of evolution asserts it took a billion ages.

Many there are who believe this lie, which came by the devil’s hand.
He wants you to reject your God and ignore the Savior’s plan.
Since all truth begins with God and all of creation is His,
One must place their trust in Him believing that He is.

Reasons to believe are many, but let me share just two, for
He’s given compelling evidence to show His Word is true.
The first thought I want to cite is the argument from design.
Consider how the earth revolves around the sun on time.

If we circled the sun today just one degree too close,
This planet where we live and play would look like burned up toast.
But if the orbit was farther out even by one degree,
This frozen planet would be devoid of animal, plant or tree.
Another reason to believe is the uniqueness of the Bible,
For God recorded prophecies proven to be reliable.
As time passed they were fulfilled, not one but several hundred;
A record so astonishing it ought to make you wonder.

Where else do you find such evidence? Not in the writings of Homer,
Nor in the words of Nostradamus—some of his were boners.
Only in scripture can you find predictions that pass the test
Proving that His words of truth rise above the rest.

Consider carefully as you ponder the curious origin of man,
For it’s clear for all to see God carried out His plan.
He’s Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer Supreme,
Forgiver, Restorer, Care-giver extreme.

This loving God who created you in your mother’s womb
Has an eternal purpose beyond the grave or tomb.
He calls you now to walk with Him trusting in His care;
To live on earth sold out for Him and forever over there.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved