God’s Best is The Best–Genesis 45 part 2

We often break our backs to provide for ourselves a solution to the twists and turns this journey brings.  We become greatly frustrated as we meet resistance and opposition at each turn.  Then as he has planned,  God shows up and executes his plan and changes our entire lives. The brothers were trudging back and forth to buy enough grain to survive—God, on the other hand was planning the building of a nation.  They sought breakfast, God provided the best Egypt had to offer.

We have to remain faithful in our submission and humility as we follow God’s plan for us. We can never give up, remain bitter or simply walk away from his leadership. His plan is almost guaranteed to be different than ours—but, it is also usually the right course as we head for eternity.  Joseph Got his family back, he hugged his brother and would soon see his Dad—all in the comfort of the place where God used him to save the world.  Help me, Lord to follow you and submit to your leadership.

God Bless You

12 “You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”

14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.

16 When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’

19 “You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. 20 Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’”

Genesis 45 Part 1–The Big Reveal

It was time for the “Big Reveal”. The deception was over and Joseph was abot to receive the blessing of freedom he had longed for–these many years. When Joseph revealed himself to his family, It was no doubt a surprise to them, but for him it was a completion of a process that started with dreams of a boy.  Joseph realized that God’s plan was so much larger than his personal struggles. He harbored no bitterness, only joy and concern for his family.  He had completed the course set before him and now received the restoration God had planned from the beginning.

We too have to prepare for the mission set before us.  Throughout the training, we will remain unsettled—wondering if we will ever see what God has planned for our lives.  We lose hope for a period, but, as we remain faithful, he then reveals to us his love and his compassion.  It is truly amazing to remember that “at the very least” we will spend eternity with him.  That is the greatest treasure of them all.  When God does reveal his wonder in our lives, we must humbly forgive and humbly accept the journey and all it brings.  We, like Joseph, may find the reward is not being the top official in Egypt—it may simply be receiving back your family and heritage.  Ours is not to reason why, it is si,ply to follow ad humbly seek God with our hearts and lives.

God Bless You

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him,because they were terrified at his presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here,because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]

“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’

Willing to Trade–Genesis 44

It is am amazing transformation.  The world is selfish.  But then when God gets ahold of our lives we stand out as different.  Judah stood before Joseph and offered himself as a sacrifice for Benjamin.  It was a great reminder to Joseph that thelife he now lived could offer hope for his family.  He was restored from Slave to convict to Prime Minister of Egypt, and now, he saw God was also restoring his family.  The Brothers that were jealous of him were now highly protective of his father and brother.

When we remain faithful through trials and temptation, God walks with us and brings us through.  We may never see the transformation of Joesph, but we will see his mercy and restoration in our lives.  When we do, we can celebrate his grace and his mercy.  We can then rest in him as we follow with a grateful heart.  We need to remain vigilant as we watch for his leadership in our lives and remain submitted as we follow him.  He does amazing things for those willing to follow.  Help me, Lord, to humbly follow you.

God Bless You

27 “Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 One of them went away from me, and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” And I have not seen him since. 29 If you take this one from me too and harm comes to him, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in misery.’

30 “So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father, and if my father, whose life is closely bound up with the boy’s life, 31 sees that the boy isn’t there, he will die. Your servants will bring the gray head of our father down to the grave in sorrow. 32 Your servant guaranteed the boy’s safety to my father. I said, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before you, my father, all my life!’

33 “Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.”

Judah Steps Up–Genesis 43 part 2

God leaves nothing to chance.  In the midst of his plan to save Israel, God decides to do a bit of foreshadowing.  Judah, the father of the tribe of our Savior’s lineage steps up and guarantees the safety of Benjamin.  God was about to change Israel forever and they would need a savior.  Abraham had come to a point where he realized he could no longer control the safety of Benjamin.  Judah realized He had to lead the movement to save his people.

In our lives, we have to make choices that are difficult.  They seem totally overwhelming and we cannot see any good coming from them.  But, that is where God and his plan step in, he can make the difficult amazing.  If we continue to trust him, then he can move and perform his plan and bring us to the place where we can trust and walk with him.  In the meanwhile, he continues to do the things to make us the person he desires that we become.  We can enjoy the transformation if we simply trust him and follow his lead.  We can gain his trust and see him work in our lives.  Help me Lord, to simply trust and obey.

God Bless You

8 Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die. 9 I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 10 As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice.”

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother also and go back to the man at once. 14 And may God Almighty[a] grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”

Things Are Not Always as They Appear-Genesis 42 part 4

Often, we misread what God is doing in our lives.  In the midst of our deliverance, we feel punished, abandoned and alone.  God’s preparation and refinement are construed as some sort of punishment and rejection.  Israel—the man, stands before his sons and truly believes God has stacked up the circumstances against him.  From his perspective he has lost two of his sons, he is in the midst of a worldwide famine and now the foreign leader wants a third son—what more does He have to give.  The reality was—Israel was about to receive a blessing of a lifetime.  He was about to receive his dead son back.  He was to live out his life in the choicest lands in the world.

It is easy to focus on circumstances and miss God.  The enemy and the world try to distract us and render us useless in our walk with God.  That is why Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Then all these things will be added to you.” Matt 6:33.  In the midst of trial and temptation, we have to seek God and his righteousness.  We have to dwell on who he is and who we are in Christ.  Then, even in the most difficult trials, we won’t miss God’s provision and protection in our lives.  God was about to reveal to the entire family his plan and his fulfillment of prophecy.  Help me Lord, to focus on you and not on my circumstance.

God Bless You

33 “Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade[a] in the land.’”

35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!”

37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back.”

38 But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.”

 

Pressing on Genesis 42 part 3

Joseph’s Brothers had no idea how close they were to the truth.  They spent the last 20 years dealing with the Death of Joseph.  They figured that he just disappeared when they sold him into slavery. Now as they were being accused of spying, they were sure they were being held accountable for what they did to Joseph…Well, they were.  They inadvertently saved Egypt and the world by selling Joseph.  But Joseph wanted to see for himself what time had done to his Brothers.

In our lives, we never know what the reason for the trials and temptations.  More importantly, we never know how God uses us to change lives around us.  That is why it is so critical that we trust his plan and follow him faithfully.  But, even when we make a bad decision or choice, we can believe that God can still turn it for Good and use us to complete his plan.  We need to start each day with a fresh desire to follow him and seek his leadership in our lives.  Paul said it best—“Forgetting what is behind and pressing toward what lies ahead, I take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me…” Philippians 3. We must press on toward that which is ahead. 

Help me, Lord to press on ahead and follow you.

God Bless You

18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households. 20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.

21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.

Vengenge is Mine–Genesis 42 part 2

The temptation to be vindictive is alluring.  When we have been wronged, there is a desire to see vindication.  When we have the opportunity to carry out the vindication, it is even more tempting.  Joseph had the opportunity to really wreak havoc on his brothers.  He could have sent them away with nothing, he could have killed them on the spot—But, the years of trial and provision had changed the desire within his heart.

When we go through trials, we are sometimes given the opportunity to be vindictive or even vengeful with those that have caused us pain.  But, as we walk with the Lord, we discover that no thing that has happened to us—has done so without God’s allowance.  We also see, often in hindsight, that while we do not like the circumstance, we have grown more like Christ due to the trial and tribulation we faced.  God says vengeance is his—he will repay.  If we have trusted him this far, then release the desire to get even and replace it with the desire to follow the Lord.

God Bless You

14 Joseph said to them, “It is just as I told you: You are spies! 15 And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17 And he put them all in custody for three days.

18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households. 20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.

21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.