Faith to the End (Genesis 46-47)

In these chapters Israel and his children and grandchildren migrate to Egypt, totaling seventy people.  They left the parched promised land behind and came to live under the care of Joseph.  I can understand why Israel was reticent to move down.  He remembered the stories of his grandfather, Abraham, about how God had promised to give him the land of their sojourning.  He was now 130 years old and had lived in Canaan most of his life.  Imagine living through over a century of nomadic shepherding, seeing bounty and famine, ups and downs, good times and bad ones.  Should he just ride this one out or should he uproot his entire extended family and move them to Egypt.  What would this mean about the covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac, and him?  If he leaves, does that mean he is giving up on God?  This is probably why God came to Israel in the night.  He spoke to him and told him not to be afraid to go down to Egypt and that he would go down with him.  After God assured him, Israel packed up the family and went to Egypt.  There, this group of nomads would incubate, growing from seventy to well over a million souls.

When Israel finally came face to face with Pharaoh he said, “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years.  Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning” (Genesis 47.9).  Israel had suffered greatly throughout the course of his life.  He duped his blind father under his mother’s advice to steal his brother’s blessing and then ran away to hide out in a foreign land.  While living with his uncle, he got duped himself repeatedly.  Laban constantly changed his wages and performed a switcheroo on his wedding night, substituting Leah for Rachel.  After twenty years of toiling under Laban’s greedy gaze, he finally broke free.  Terrified of meeting his angry brother Esau, Israel journeyed back home.  Fortunately his brother was no longer out for blood and the two established peace.  However, his overt favoritism of his one wife over the other three led to severe relational pain.  So jealous were his sons of the way Israel treated Joseph that they resolved to murder the lad and tell their father a beast tore him to pieces.  Although they sold Joseph into slavery, they still told their father his favorite son was dead.  Israel grieved for Joseph for days, months, years, and decades.  Indeed, his life was full of suffering: some self-inflicting and some just happenstance.

Yet, this is not the end of the story.  Israel may not have unlocked the secret to “Your Best Life Now,” but he did retain the faith of Abraham.  He may have poisoned his family relationships with favoritism, but he remembered the promise of God.  At the end of 147 years, he found himself on his deathbed in a foreign land, far from the land of God’s covenant.  As a result, his last request was simple.  He had Joseph swear to him, “Do not bury me in Egypt, but let me lie with my fathers.  Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place” (Genesis 47.29-30).  This seemingly insignificant and inconvenient request, is actually the indication of Israel’s tenacious faith.  He has seen a lot in his century and a half, but in the end he stayed true to the covenant.  He believed in his bones that God would give him and his descendants that land, and his last request was to receive a proper burial in the promised land.  Although he had suffered more than most in his life, he never gave up on God.  As a result, he will participate in the resurrection of the just and one day he will inherit that land as God promised.  I wonder, how deep is your faith?

Sat, Aug 6: Genesis 43-45

What would your steward say of you and your God?

As I read this portion of Joseph’s story, my attention gravitates towards one of the background characters – Joseph’s steward. He’s mentioned multiple times in Chapter 43, verses 16-25. A steward, similar to a modern day personal assistant, knows their master’s or employer’s business. But not just their professional business, often their personal and private business as well. It seems as though any given month you can see on a tabloid cover that some celebrity’s assistant or child’s nanny has some fresh dirt to smear the reputation with or “reveal the truth” about. But as we read in these verses, Joseph’s steward actually knows God by name and encourages Joseph’s brothers in verse 23 – “Don’t be afraid, Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks…” Joseph’s private and public life were in alignment. There wasn’t any discrepancy. His life was about serving God and those closest to him were able to recognize it.

So what does this mean for you and me? Well, lots. But I want to keep this short, so I’ll just share a quote I found and hope that it inspires you to be authentic and let your light shine before men.

bethany quote

“Live Your Life” image by Rose Sexton on


Many Blessings,

-bethany ligon

Fri, August 5: Genesis 40-42

Those Pivotal Circumstances – and Influencing Others!

bethany chains

Hands in Chains” by George Hoden


Yesterday we took a look at how God used Providential Relationships to impact Joseph’s faith and today we’re looking at the Pivotal Circumstances in Joseph’s life. The life of Joseph is one of my personal favorites to read about. Every time, I am struck by his ability to remain positive and faithful even in the most dire of circumstances.

Others may disagree, but I think that one of the most Pivotal Circumstances in his life is when Joseph is in prison at the same time as the cupbearer and baker to interpret their dreams. We read in Genesis 40:6-7 that Joseph took notice that these two prisoners were dejected and he spent just a few minutes of his day listening to them tell him their dreams. Had Joseph just minded his own business, he would have lost on the opportunity to interpret those dreams and later on, interpret Pharaoh’s dreams as well. And had he not been able to tell Pharaoh to prepare for the famine that was to come, Joseph may have lost out on the chance to reunite with his family and oh yeah…save the entire Israelite community’s future.

Whatever your current circumstances are like, whether you are able to enjoy each and every day or your life feels like you’re trying to hold on to a 1600 pound bucking rodeo bull, your life can influence the lives of those around you. Be aware of how you conduct yourself because others are paying attention. If that sounds like some added pressure you aren’t sure how to deal with right now, you can have confidence that God will provide everything you need to not just been sustained, but THRIVE.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” — 2 Corinthians 9:8

Many Blessings,

-bethany ligon

Thursday, August 4: Genesis 37-39

Who Are Your Providential Relationships?

bethany beach

Footprints in the sand” by Andrew Huff is licensed under (CC BY-NC 2.0)

During our week at FUEL, we had the chance to examine five different ways that God uses to GROW our faith. It was on Wednesday that we took the time to hear the stories from Josiah Cain and Sean Finnegan of how Providential Relationships can impact the growth of our faith.

As we begin reading the epic story of Joseph in Genesis 37, we see multiple examples of the various relationships Joseph had and we begin to see how each played an important part in the development of his faith. Because of his relationship with God, Joseph was given some outrageous dreams for what his future would hold. Because of his relationships with his brothers, Joseph was sold off into slavery and taken to Egypt. Because of his relationship with Potiphar, Joseph had an unfortunate false accusation of misconduct and was sent off to prison.

When we think about Providential Relationships, it’s easy to have a narrow focus and just concern ourselves about the relationships that are easy and non-confrontational. But within these chapters we see how difficult relationships are often the ones that push us closer to God.

So if you’re in a difficult relationship right now (maybe it’s someone at school or work, or even a family member), take heart. God is near. He is guiding you every step of the way. Seek His wisdom to know what to say and how to act. Trust in God’s faithfulness to provide for your every need.

Many Blessings,

-bethany ligon



Wednesday, August 3 – Genesis 34-36

So you’ve committed to reading through the Bible…why? What’s the point? Are you reading to say that you’ve actually read through the book? Are you reading because someone dared you? Are you reading to learn more about the history of the religion?


Photo credit: @BethanyLigon (2016)


Or…are you reading because you are seeking after God? Does your soul thirst for His presence? Are you craving a different way of living?

As I read Genesis 35, I’m struck by what I read in the first few verses. Jacob has this intimate relationship with God. He has REAL conversations with Him. And these REAL conversations that Jacob has with God, initiate REAL change/action in his life.

  • Jacob up and moves his family
  • Jacob directs his family to get rid of all the man-made idols that they have accumulated
  • Jacob sets up an altar to God

When was the last time that you 1) had an encounter with God that was undeniable and 2) caused real change in your life?

As you participate in this Bible reading plan, it is our hope that you experience God in a new way and that your life is forever changed for the better because of the time that you are investing. And the best part is that you are not alone in this journey. You have a community of people doing the same thing that you are. If you have questions, concerns, or other issues that are on your mind, please reach out. We all want to GROW together.

Many Blessings,

-bethany ligon

Tuesday, August 2 – Genesis 31-33


Do you know the meaning of your name? After some searching I discovered that “Bethany” has several possibilities:

  • House of Song
  • House of Affliction
  • House of Figs

Apparently there is a bit of confusion when it comes to translating the Hebrew language.

In Genesis 32, we read the story of how Jacob wrestles with God throughout the night, and when the morning dawns, he is given a new name: Israel.

The meaning of Jacob is “the deceiver”. Which when you look back at his life, this makes perfect sense. Jacob deceived his brother Esau out of his inheritance as well as his blessing – both a pretty big deal. But it is during this wrestling match that a significant change takes place, God takes this trickster and turns him into the namesake of God’s chosen people. This wasn’t just a name change, it was a change in identity.

When we repent our sins and accept the love, forgiveness, and eternal life that is offered to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have a change in our identity. THIS is a BIG deal. If we are not intentionally diligent about the choices we make on a day to day basis, it can become super easy to forget who we are in Christ.

Pay attention to who/what is influencing you. Are the people that you listen to or the media that you view, supporting your decision to be a follower of Christ? Or are this influencers trying to draw you away? What changes need to be made in order for you to live a life that shows that you have been changed by God?

Galatians 2:20 is my “life verse” – it helps me to remember my identity on a daily basis. Consider making it your special verse too, if you don’t already have one.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Many Blessings,

-bethany ligon

(aka house of figs)

(Photo By Eviatar Bach (Own work) [Public domain],via Wikimedia Commons)

Monday, August 1 – Genesis 29-30



Today, I’d like to zero in on just one verse: Genesis 30:22, “Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and opened her womb.”

Let’s break this down.

Then God – When I read these two words together, I think that other events had to take place first, before God took action on Rachel’s behalf. The ten sons born to Leah and the two maidservants had to be before Joseph and later Benjamin were born to Rachel. There was a purpose to the waiting. If Joseph had been born before his brothers, he would have had more clout in the family and probably wouldn’t have been sold off as a slave by his brothers and ended up working in the house of Pharaoh.

Remembered Rachel – According to my Bible notes, “remember” doesn’t imply that God forgot. It implies that God expresses concern and He acts with loving care; He shows favor.

He listened to her – Apparently, Rachel never stopped asking God for a son. She believed that it was possible for God to grant her this request, even though many years had gone by.

So what does this mean to us?

  1. God’s timing is perfect. More than likely something needs to take place before our heart’s desire becomes a reality. Maybe it’s a sequence of events or maybe it’s a change in attitude. Whatever it is, we have to trust that God knows what He’s doing.
  2. God hasn’t forgotten about you. “The LORD you God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
  3. Have Big Faith and keep talking to God. Keep seeking after Him. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Many Blessings,

-bethany ligon


Sunday, July 31 – Genesis 26-28

Faithful to Every Generation

4653728769_4c1597e444_oBy Michael Himbeault (

[CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


As you read these chapters, did you catch the passing of the promise from one generation to the next and then to the next one after that?

Last week you read in Chapter 12 God making a covenant with Abram promising land and descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. Today, you read that the same covenant was passed along to Abram’s son, Isaac (in Chapter 26) and then again to Isaac’s son, Jacob (in Chapter 28).

The crazy thing is that none of these Biblical Patriarchs lived to see the fulfillment of God’s promise. But that didn’t stop them from living an obedient life and expecting the promises to come to fruition at some point.

So what does this mean to us, so many generations later?

  1. God has a plan and this plan will prevail.
  2. Just because we don’t know the details of the plan, doesn’t mean that He is not trustworthy.
  3. We are called to be obedient when God recruits us to be part of the plan.
  4. God’s timing is often much different than what we can possibly understand…so resist developing your personal agenda in the meantime.

So whether we are waiting on the coming Kingdom, or waiting for God to answer prayers for peace, healing, restoring a relationship, providing direction for what steps to take next in a major decision, or something else you’re wrestling with, firmly believe that God is faithful in His promises.

Many Blessings,

-bethany ligon
Bethany Ligon is super excited to be involved with this year long Bible reading plan. She has been part of FUEL since she started attending (before it was known as FUEL) in 1987, only missing a few years here and there. When not acting as one of the FUEL Directors, she is a Technology Integration Facilitator (fancy term for working with teachers)  in her local school district. She is married to Daryl, has an awesome niece, Whitney, and loves to eat tortilla chips and salsa. Go ahead and follow her on Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat @bethanyligon.   

Saturday, July 30 – Genesis 24-25

Whose Birthright is Whose?

I’m the oldest of 3 brothers. I know the negotiating that can happen between siblings. Sometimes it’s fair, sometimes it’s not. The story of Jacob & Esau is an interesting story of brotherly negotiation. There was a clear winner & loser. Esau made a bad trade. He gave up his birthright for a bowl of soup. That’s doesn’t seem like a big deal to us, but I read the following explanation that gives us some clarity.

A birthright was a special privilege given to the oldest son. The child who had the birthright received the blessing of the father as well as all the father had built and accomplished. In the case of Esau and Jacob, it was more than gaining dad’s money, it was about receiving God’s special blessing.

Today you have the opportunity to receive the birthright that God intended for Jesus. Jesus is both the only Son of God and the firstborn of God. By having a relationship with Jesus, you can share in the blessings intended for Him. The Bible says: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. … Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8:14,17). Congratulations!

— Seth Ross

Friday, July 29 – Genesis 20-23

What is Your Highest Priority?

In Genesis 22, God tested Abraham’s faith in a serious way by asking him to sacrifice his own son. It’s a story that foreshadows what God did for us by sacrificing His son for us. It’s a powerful image, even if it’s difficult to comprehend. While none of us will likely be asked to make that same choice, God does call us to make sacrifices for him. I like how this author asked the question…
God tested Abraham’s faith and in doing so pushed him into an uncomfortable situation. What is something or someone you love more than anything else? Mentally insert the answer in the blank space below.

“For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld __________ from Me.”

Would this be true of you if God asked you to make a sacrifice? Yes or No? If no, what might you need to consider in order for God to have the highest priority in your life?

— Seth Ross