Saturday, January 11, 2014

Genesis 37-40

In Genesis 37-40, Jacob is living in Canaan following the surprisingly loving reunion with his brother Esau.  Joseph is clearly Jacob's favorite son, and his special robe says it all.  Needless to say, Joseph's brothers are frustrated and angry, and Joseph's dream takes them over the edge.  Joseph is sold into slavery and ends up spending many years in Egypt serving Potiphar, the captain of the guard for Pharaoh.  He faces favor and trouble for many years.  Meanwhile, Jacob's son Judah ends up sleeping with his dead sons' wife.  It's all very scandalous.  I don't know about you, but I am feeling pretty good about my life after today's reading.  

Joseph's story is typical of God's work isn't it?  It seems unpredictable, contrary to the circumstances we would choose for a man who is going to follow in his father's footsteps of leading a great nation for God. 

Joseph has weird dreams, and it turns out that's a real God-given talent.  He's sold by his own brothers into slavery.  He's taken far away to serve in another land for a long time.  And as if that wasn't bad enough, he is thrown in prison for doing the right thing and NOT sleeping with his masters wife.  Everywhere Joseph goes, he prospers.  The more people get to know him, the more they realize that God's favor is with him.  Even in prison, Joseph uses his interpreting skills to help out the King's cupbearer.  The cupbearer goes free, and Joseph is forgotten.  That's where we stop today.  It doesn't seem fair. 

Joseph makes the best of the worst of circumstances.  I wonder how he does that?  What kind of attitude do you think he had?  What do you think he did day to day in order to get through the ordeal?

Joseph seems to use what God gives him to do what is right, and he suffers in spite of himself.  There's a pattern here from Abraham to Isaac, to Jacob, and now to Joseph.  Being a main character in God's plan is not an easy path to follow.  It doesn't entitle us to what we think is "right."  In order to realize God's big promises for our lives, God needs us to be humble and serve others, even to the point of being a slave.  

I think that's where our faith has the biggest impact on the world and God gets the most glory.

God uses our circumstances to teach us what it means to really love the way He does.  He gives us what we need to get us where he wants us to go in the future.  

Later in God's story, Jesus, the king of kings, the Messiah, shows us what that looks like again and again.  He says,

26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to be my Savior and a perfect example of what it means to love and serve You.  Forgive me for acting as if I know how things "should be."  I pray you will open my heart to humbly serving You by serving others in all circumstances. Help me think of Jesus first and what He would do, before I act.

____________ is/are on my mind today.  Show me ways to shine your love into his/her/their live(s).

In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit I pray,

Love of Christ,

 *This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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