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Showing posts from January 20, 2013

Wisdom

Upon the arrival of Joseph's extended family to Egypt, he placed them in Goshen. After this when they were about to meet with Pharaoh, Joseph instructs his brothers to speak of their occupation as shepherds for many generations which was the truth although they were also men of the soil. The author helps us to understand the Egyptian mentality when he says that "all shepherds were detestable to the Egyptians." (Genesis 46:34)
When they come to Pharaoh he does ask their occupation and they say, "Your servants are shepherds...just as our fathers were...We have come to live here awhile, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants' flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen." (Genesis 47:3-4)
Joseph was wise enough to know that Pharaoh wanted to do something nice for his family because of all the good Joseph had done for Egypt but he could not go against the way of the Egyptians to do this. So, Joseph informed Pharaoh …

Guilty Conscience

In elementary school our youngest son showed us some play cards with Pokémon characters on them that he said were a "gift" from a friend but were actually bought with his money from that friend. We had specifically forbid him having any more cards. That evening after his lie had simmered in his heart; he could not go to sleep and confessed the truth to us from his bed. We forgave him for the lie and told him to return the cards. The next morning he came into our bathroom talking about another matter and I said, "Be careful or you might get a guilty conscience." He said, "What's that?" and I said, "That's what you got last night because you lied to us about the cards."
A guilty conscience will stay with you for a long time. Joseph's brothers were challenged to bring their youngest brother back to Egypt as evidence that they were not spies. As they discussed this among themselves, they referenced their guilt in their deed of selling Jos…

Patience

We can speak of the patience of Job but consider the patience of Joseph. Here was a young man who at seventeen was taken to Egypt as a slave, was later accused of wrong by his master Potiphar and thrown in prison only to see months and years pass without hope of rescue. But God was working to help Joseph through his situation and when the time was right he was called to Pharaoh to be his dream interpreter.
I would bet that Joseph never thought he would ever hear the following from Pharaoh, "I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt." (Gen. 41:44) Pharaoh exalted this now thirty year old man to second in command and dressed him in robes of fine linen and put his signet ring on Joseph's finger and gave him a new name and a wife. He rode around in a chariot as Pharaoh's second in command as all the people bowed to him. I'm sure Joseph pinched himself many times for the experience was truly like a dream.
Then the seven years of plen…

Hate's Reward

Hate is one of the most powerful emotions of the heart. It is clearly seen in the story of Joseph and his brothers. The sons of Leah despised Joseph, the son of Rachel, their mother's sister. He was "daddy's boy" and Jacob even had given him a special coat to emphasized that point. It was not so much that it was colored but more that it was a particular coat worn by one who would have authority.
The brothers hated him because they were older than him but he got all the privileges. They hated him because of his dreams which they interpreted, and rightly so, to mean that Joseph would rule over them. Because of Joseph's further reputation, I feel he explained them not with malicious intent but out of a genuine curiosity to understand them. But these dreams, even explained to his father, caused disgust and deepened his brother's hatred for him. Who did he think he was? Was he really thinking that someday he would rule over them?
The more open Joseph was, the strong…

Life's Tapestry

Jacob's life is full of trickery, travel and eventually trust in God. He was seemingly an unassuming man who was born just minutes after his twin brother but strove to get the upper hand on him. Jacob obtained his brother's birth right for a simple stew; Esau being motivated by his hunger and short-term thinking. His mother, Rebekah, helped him also obtain the blessing of his father Isaac through disguise and a good meal.
This began Jacob's running as he was sent away due his brother's threat to kill him for stealing the blessings of his primary position. It also began his intimate relationship with God who met him at Bethel and showed him He was near. He ended up at his uncle Laban's home, made a contract of seven year's work for his daughter Rachel and ended up with Leah, the older daughter, and seven more years of work. Jacob had met his match in deceivers.
At the end of twenty years with eleven children, four wives, and plentiful livestock he quietly stole aw…