Katie talks about the three covenants starting from Joseph, Moses and David. Here she reminds us the origin story that we usually fail to remember. She gives good insights and reminds us that this succession will all eventually lead us to Jesus.
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Reflective Study Guide Questions
- Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. Katie shares that this appears to be a negative turn of events, but eventually you can see that God actively brought good out of evil as Joseph became the right hand man of the Pharaoh. In what other ways has God brought good out of evil?
- Have you heard these stories before? Have you seen the connections before? What is sticking out to you as Katie told this story? What might God be trying to communicate through what is standing out to you?
- Genesis 15, 17 and 22. Katie keeps mentioning these. Flip back in your Bible and read these passages a few times each, and we recommend doing a Lectio Divina with them.
- “Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups but Guigo’s description remains fundamental.
- He said that the first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer but the passage should not be too long.
- The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.
- The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.
- The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.
Text: A Crash Course in Scripture, Part III
Hey everybody, it’s Katie Patrizio again, and we are halfway through our serving of scripture. And, remember, we’re doing that not just because; we’re doing that so that we can enter into this advent hopefully with that kind of holy sort of longing that all of the other Jewish people, that all of the other Israelites had as well. So we looked at creation, we looked at Adam, we looked at Noah, and last time we looked at Abraham as well. I’m tempted to keep going, but before we get too much into it, too much more into it, let’s go ahead and open with a prayer.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lord God, once again we thank You for this opportunity, for bringing us together as a community, for gifting us Your word, Your scriptures, Your very self, Lord, for gifting us the church. We pray that we might make this time of reflection fruitful, that it would take root in our life and make a difference not only in our life, but in the lives of others. We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Okay. So we’ve been looking at the patriarchs in scripture, and we’ve been looking at the covenants that God has been extending through scripture. The last patriarch and the last covenant that we looked at was Abraham. In fact, God doesn’t just make one covenant with Abraham, He makes 3 covenants with Abraham. So those 3 promises were contained in Genesis 12, and then they were solemnized into individual covenants in Genesis 15, 17, and 22. And if you remember back to what we said a few videos ago, those 3 covenants, those 3 promises were that Abraham’s descendants would be a great nation, that they would be a great name, and that the world would be blessed through them. Universal blessing, okay. Great nation, great name, which means royalty, and universal blessing.
And I said last video, kind of looking towards the future of our time together, that we’ve looked at 3 covenants, and there are 6 total that we’re going to hone in on. The final 3 covenants are each actually going to be fulfillments of the 3 promises made to Abraham. To adequately continue drawing the red thread for you, I’m just going to keep walking through the scripture story with you. So we talked about Abraham, if you’re familiar. Abraham gives birth to Isaac – well his wife gives birth to him, but you know what I mean. Abraham’s son is Isaac, Isaac’s son is Jacob, and Jacob doesn’t have just one son; in fact, he has 12 of them, okay.
The most famous son perhaps is Joseph. Why is Joseph most famous? Well, he is most famous because in what initially appears to be a really negative turn of events, Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery. They have so much animosity towards him that they sell him into slavery, and he ends up entering into service in Egypt. Now, I say that this appears to be a negative turn of events because eventually it ends up being one of those situations where you can see that God is actively bringing good out of evil. Because what happens while Joseph is in Egypt, well, he gains the notice essentially of the Pharaoh, and he gains in stature and respect and responsibility until he’s practically the right hand man of the Pharaoh.
Meanwhile, kind of the same time period, Joseph’s other 11 brothers, as well as his father, Jacob, are in the land that they’re originally from. Not Egypt. And there is a great famine that takes place, right. And because of this famine, they’re at risk of starving. And Egypt, because of the work of Joseph, is living in an abundance of food. There’s many storehouses full of food. And so the Israelites – if you want to call them, because Jacob comes to be known as Israel – the first Israelites, Jacob and his 11 sons, end up deciding that they need to travel to Egypt to get food, okay.
And so they make multiple trips, some of them, not necessarily all of them. But eventually they all end up in Egypt. And through – this is a beautiful story, I would encourage you to read it on your own if you haven’t, or just to reacquaint yourself with it – the people, Joseph’s brothers are reunited with Joseph, and they move to Egypt, and they live there. And you can see God’s providence here, because Egypt is a developed world in the ancient sense, and in this developed world Jacob, Israel, and his sons have the circumstances and the environment that they need to grow. And in fact, that’s exactly what they do. They grow into this big, huge tribe, if you will. This big, huge sort of nation.
They’re not a nation yet though, because they’ve been living comfortably in Egypt until the scripture tells us a pharaoh comes to power who’s not familiar with the story of Joseph, and he’s not familiar with what Joseph did. Joseph at this point has passed away. The descendants of Jacob have been in Egypt for a while now. A pharaoh comes to power who doesn’t remember why he should be grateful to the descendants of Jacob and the descendants of Joseph. And so out of fear, because there’s so many of them now, out of fear that they’re going to overthrow the Egyptian rule, Pharaoh enslaves them. So they’re surely not their own nation, although they’re so numerous that they could be, and that’s what pharaoh was afraid of. So pharaoh enslaves the descendants of Jacob, what we can maybe start calling the Israelites, and he presses them into hard service.
At this point we have another story that kind of has some similarity to the Joseph story, whereas what appeared to be negative for Joseph turns out to be a positive, we have this figure of Moses, who begins very positively, and yet kind of takes a negative turn, but God redeems the situation. What am I referring to? Well, Moses, I wish I could go into more detail, Moses is born, he’s an Israelite, but he ends up being taken into the house of the pharaoh and raised in the house of pharaoh. We can see that God, in His wisdom, was probably raising Moses in the house of pharaoh so that he can be a person of influence, and that his peaceful influence could allow, perhaps, could compel the pharaoh to allow the people of Israel, his own people, to at least not be enslaved, but maybe even to be released and to return to their own land. We could see that maybe that’s what God had in mind.
But that’s not what takes place, because Moses, if we’re familiar with the story, ends up unfortunately murdering an Egyptian out of anger, because the Egyptians are lording over the Israelites. Moses therefore has to go into hiding, he’s kicked out of the home of pharaoh and he has to leave altogether. Eventually though, God brings Moses back and, again, we’re probably familiar with the story: Moses is going to lead his people, through these amazing, miraculous divine signs that we call the plagues, he’s going to convince the pharaoh, or I should say God through Moses and Aaron as well is going to convince pharaoh eventually, a very hardhearted man, to allow the Israelite people to leave Egypt and to establish themselves as their own sovereign nation. Remember I said that the first promise made to Abraham was that his people would be their own sovereign nation, right. His descendants.
Well, there’s the 40 years in the desert, but eventually the Israelite people enter the promised land, they take control of the promised land, and they’re their own sovereign nation. They’re not really satisfied with this for a very long time though. The scriptures tell us that at some point the people of Israel grow restless, and it tells us that they want a king like all the other nations. Well, this is bothersome to the prophet Samuel in particular, who the people of Israel go to and they say “You’re a prophet. You tell God that we want a king for ourselves.” And Samuel is very bothered by this. But God relents, and we can see that perhaps this was in the plan from the beginning because, if you remember, the second promise made to Abraham was that his descendants would be a great name, which in ancient NearEastern culture meant royalty.
So at this point, the first promise has been fulfilled, the first promise to Abraham – Israel has been taken out of Egypt and has been established as its own sovereign nation – and now we get the beginnings of the fulfillment of the third promise to Abraham: that Israel will be a great name. That they will be royalty. And the person who is established in this royal role is David, right. David is established in a covenant with the people of Israel in fact.
So up to this point we’ve been mostly talking about covenants that God has made with the people. For example, God makes a covenant through Moses to the Israelite people in Exodus 19. When David is established as king, the people themselves make a covenant with David. They say “You are our bone and flesh.” It’s interesting. It’s nuptial language, it reminds us of the first chapters in Genesis. God also makes a covenant with David though, and He establishes him as king, and He promises him that the scepter will never leave his family. That his family will always be king. This is important to remember, because it’s going to crop up in our last video.
This covenant is made in 2nd Samuel 7 if you want to go and read more about it. Essentially, what happens next is that David is able to establish the kingdom of Israel in a more established form. So he secures the borders, he fights any necessary wars, he desires to build a temple for God, a permanent dwelling, but God tells him not yet. In fact, God says “I will build you a house.” And here He means a house meaning a royal house. The house of David. So that’s the situation we find ourselves when the second promise to Abraham is fulfilled. That Abraham’s descendants will be a great name. As we continue forward, we will talk a little bit about David’s son Solomon, and then we’re going to get into the nittygritty of the situation in which the Jewish people were in when Jesus comes on the scene. So all of this has been lead up to Jesus, and what He’s going to do, and what He’s going to fulfill once and for all for the Jewish people. Thanks so much for working with me through this and for listening.
About Katie Patrizio
Katie Patrizio is a popular speaker and teacher with a gift for making the most elusive topics accessible and meaningful to a wide range of audiences. Best known for her talks on Scripture, she’s also passionate about inspiring people to holiness. A native of Southern California, Katie holds a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and a Master’s degree in Biblical theology from John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego.
She currently serves as the Director of Faith Formation at St. Cecilia Parish in Ames, IA and as an instructor for the Catechetical Institute of the Diocese of Des Moines. She is a frequent guest on Iowa Catholic Radio and speaks and teaches often on topics of Scripture and popular theology. In her free time Katie enjoys reading, flying, and competitive rowing. You can learn more about her here.