An Ancient Story for Today

Exodus 1:8-2:10

The River Nile is the longest river in the world, snaking some 4,160 miles from Burundi, Africa, to the Mediterranean Sea. And in this beautiful, exotic, life-giving river lives one of the most fearsome creatures in the world, the Nile crocodile. Twelve species of this strong, ferocious creature watch from the shores ready to spring and devour an unsuspecting animal or human being, hardly a place to hide a child, a beautiful child.

In fact, nowhere in Egypt was it safe for a Hebrew child to be born and live under a paranoid Pharaoh like Ramses II (1290-1224 B.C.E.). You see, human crocodiles were on the prowl on the Nile banks, in the streets, in the back alleys, with instructions to kill every Hebrew male child they could find. When we close the book of Genesis, the descendants of Jacob, that is, the children of Israel are comfortably situated as honored guests in the land of Egypt. And the very best part of the land of Egypt, at that.

Jacob's son, Joseph, is a local hero, having navigated the nation (and much of the region) through a devastating period of famine. The Egyptians, along with his own kin, mourn his death. But turn the page, and the story is suddenly different. We open the book of Exodus, and in almost no time we see that the Israelites' circumstances have changed dramatically. The scriptures tell us: "A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph."

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For those of you who do not know me, my name is Paula Behrens and I have served as a pastor in the church for over 20 years. I have just recently retired from the pulpit and am now serving in a different way – helping people find whole-self wellness: Joy, Balance and Divine Peace. Currently I’m focusing on incorporating the gift of anointing into my daily quiet time and sharing that with others.

Jesus says: “I come that [those who choose to follow Me] may have Life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). When Jesus says this… ultimately, what He’s talking about is everlasting life (life with God forever… life after this life). But I am convinced that Jesus is also concerned with the quality of our lives as we live it now from day-to-day on this earth.

The Adoration of the Magi - Biblical Oils


I wanted to address a question I get fairly often today as a pastor, and that is: Are essential oils biblical? To answer that question, I will use a couple of references. One, of course is the Bible and the other is a book by an amazing man, David Stewart, PHD, titled: Healing Oils of the Bible. And his book, if you haven’t read it, can be easily found on Amazon and/or other bookstores.

Healing Oils of the Bible
First, I want to tell you a little bit about the beautiful biblical painting. When you examine it closely you will see that there are three incense censers that were used to get the essential oils into the air for aromatic use. The original painting depicts the historical scene of Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus and three wise men. Stewart adapted the cover of his book from a portion of this painting by the Italian master, Carlo Dolci (1616-1686), entitled “The Adoration of the Magi.” So that the details could be seen more easily, Stewart chose to include only two of the wise men, with a note stating that there was a third wise man just off to the right. Dolci was one of the most famous artists in his day. He painted many religious scenes and was a master of detail.
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