Exodus 4 Part 3–Meeting Aaron and Meeting Israel

Now that God had prepared Moses it was time to prepare Israel.  God sent Aaron to the wilderness to meet Moses.  It must have been a wonderful reunion.  Moses’ recounting God’s plan to Aaron, Aaron learning of his role in Israel’s liberation.  The discussions of meeting Pharaoh and what God had in store for Egypt and Israel.  The men were now ready to convince Israel… 

When they met with the people, it was clear to the Israelites that God did send Moses and Aaron. It was also clear that they had not been forgotten and God was going to keep His promise and release them from bondage.  Their response was not to hoot and holler and throw a party, no, instead it was to bow down and worship in respect and reverence to their Lord. 

When God intervenes in our lives, we must be ready to trust Him and in reverence worship Him.  We also need to recognize that God’s plans for our lives are intricate.  They have many moving parts.  He never rushes to execute his plans because it is more critical to execute the plan properly than it is to do so quickly. Moses and Israel were about to see How much God loved them; and, as His chosen people, how the Lord would vindicate their pain and suffering.

We must never lose hope or faith in God’s plan or His devotion for us.  We cannot get in a hurry to see God act.  We must instead walk in a manner that honors God and shows our faith and reverence.  After that, it is simply a matter of patiently waiting and watching God execute His plan for our lives in His time and in His way.  He will complete His plan for our lives. Jeramiah 29:11. When He does, it will be exceedingly and abundantly better than we could ever imagine. Romans 8:18. 

We can never forget, however, that we are in spiritual war.  The enemy will do any and everything to get us to abandon our faith and trust in the Lord.  It is incumbent on us not to lose faith, but instead to seek God and trust Him even more to do exactly what He needs to make His plan work.  If we will, the Lord will straighten our path and bless us beyond our wildest hopes and fantasies.

God Bless You

27 Now the Lord had said to Aaron, “Go out into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So Aaron went and met Moses at the mountain of God, and he embraced him. 28 Moses then told Aaron everything the Lord had commanded him to say. And he told him about the miraculous signs the Lord had commanded him to perform.

29 Then Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt and called all the elders of Israel together. 30 Aaron told them everything the Lord had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched. 31 Then the people of Israel were convinced that the Lord had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Genesis 4 Part 2–Headed Back To Egypt Was not Easy

Moses had a lot to do to go back to Egypt.  He made sure his Father-in-Law was on board and then received his blessing. Moses then met with God and received the Lord’s final instruction.  On the way to Egypt, God was going to kill Moses, since Moses had not circumcised his son.  Moses’ wife then circumcised the son and spared Moses’ life.

When following the Lord, no one ever promised ease or simplicity.  In fact, Jesus promised there would be difficult.  We would experience trials, temptation, and a host of life experiences.  Solomon said it best, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6.  Moses would be led for the next 40 years.  It would be complex. difficult, and always under the spiritual attacks of an enemy.

God is bigger.  He meets our needs, he provides, protects, and prepares us for all that lies ahead.  We can never underestimate God’s timing or plan.  He loves us and wants nothing more than to give us a full and meaningful life.  He will, as with Moses, prepare, protect, and provide for our needs and mission.  We need only trust God, and allow the Lord to lead in our lives; once we do then we will see God’s plan and experience His peace for our lives.

God Bless You

Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 19 And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand.

21 And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him, go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’”

24 At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’[c] feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26 So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.

Exodus 4 Part 1–How Very Patient Is our God

God saved, trained, prepared, and chose Moses to lead Israel.  The lengths that God took to prepare Moses should have allowed Moses to trust God to take the steps necessary to prepare Moses to lead Israel to the promised land. There was only one problem, Moses was not ready to do the job.  As with many that are trying to get out of a task, Moses asks questions about God and His veracity.  When that does not work, Moses makes excuses about his abilities to speak, and to lead.  Finally, Moses alludes to his status as a wanted man.  

God addresses each of Moses’ issues and prepares Moses for his journey back to Egypt.  Make no mistake, God was not pleased with Moses’ lack of faith.  God was, however, patient with Moses as God knew that the mission was large, and Moses had to process this calling.  God was not simply springing this on an unaware shepherd.  Moses had been a prince and knew the ways of Egypt and the plight of Israel’s people.  Moses, after all was the man that killed the Egyptian overseer for mistreating one of the Israelite people.  God simply had to help Moses to get there, and to start on Moses’ journey.  After that, Gd would lead and grow Moses as needed.

In our lives, God is equally patient.  He brings us along at his pace so as not to ruin us or our faith.  We often balk at the idea of being used by God.  Silly, though, because promises that He who calls you is faithful, and HE will do it. I Thessalonians 5:24.  We simply to listen for God’s call and follow the Lord at His pace and in His time.  If we will, He will do all that is necessary to prepare us for the mission He has for us.

God Bless You

Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.”[a] And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous[b] like snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So, he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”

10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” 14 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. 17 And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”

Exodus 3 Part 2–Preparing Moses and Preparing Israel

Moses had the honor of delivering God’s message to His chosen people.  The message was very simple.  “I have heard your cries and seen your mistreatment.  Please know that none of it has escaped me.  I am sending Moses to liberate you.  He is going to ask Pharaoh, but of course, Pharaoh is going to say NO.  I will use his stubbornness to not only liberate you, but to enrich you and your children for the years to follow.

 The message was clear, hopeful, and showed that God had planned this liberation of Israel for some time.  The hardest part for the people to accept was that God’s timing was so different from theirs.  They wanted to be free yesterday.  They wanted God to restore them immediately.  What they did not understand was that God had to change their hearts and prepare them to receive their inheritance.  

They had been slaves and now they would be a free people.  They had nothing, and now they would have lands of their very own to care for and build.  They had been under another person that told them what to do every day.  Now, they would have to build their own lives.  With freedom comes much responsibility.  Israel would have to learn and endure the change.  God had to prepare the right man and wait for the right time to make that happen.

In our lives, we struggle similarly.  We want God to work His plan under our timeline.  In addition, we try to offer some helpful suggestions on how he could implement that plan in our lives.  Often our plan involves lottery or finding treasure…but only so we can bless others. 

In truth, God knows His plan for our lives.  He is not surprised when we encounter trials, temptations, and other life events.We must continue to trust and follow Him no matter the circumstance or event.  We must also be patient about the Lord’s timing.  He sees our lives in their entirety. He knows the when and how to give us a full and meaningful journey.  We simply must continue to cry out and know he hears each and every prayer we pray; and as our Father, He has things well in hand.

God Bless You

 Let’s say I go to the people of Israel and tell them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to rescue you,” and then they reply, “What is His name?” What should I tell them then?

14 I AM WHO I AM.[d] This is what you should tell the people of Israel: “I AM has sent me to rescue you.”

15 This is what you are to tell Israel’s people: “The Eternal, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob is the One who has sent me to you.” This is My name forevermore, and this is the name by which all future generations shall remember Me.

16 Round up all the elders in Israel and tell them, “The Eternal, the God of your fathers and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has revealed Himself to me and said, ‘I have been watching over you, and I am deeply troubled by what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 So I will rescue you from the oppression you have suffered in Egypt, and lead you to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—a rich and productive land flowing with milk and honey.’” 18 They will listen to all that you tell them; you and the elders will then go to visit Egypt’s king and tell the king, “The Eternal, the Hebrews’ God, has appeared to us. We ask that you allow us to travel three days’ distance into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Eternal.”

19 But I already know that Egypt’s king will turn down your request. He will not allow you to go, unless he is compelled by a hand stronger than his own. 20 So I will stretch out My hand, display My power, and crush Egypt with a series of miracles I will perform. After that the king will send you out of Egypt21 I will make it so the Egyptians treat My people favorably; and when you leave Egypt, you will not leave empty-handed. 22 Every Hebrew woman will ask her Egyptian neighbor and any foreigner in her home for anything made of silver or gold or even fine clothing. You will give all the items you collect to your children to wear. In this way, you will strip these items from the Egyptians.

Exodus 3 Part 1–The Call of Moses

It had been a lot of years.  Moses had become quite the shepherd.  He could move a flock of hardheaded and stubborn sheep as well as any.  As Moses was leading the sheep on this day, God had a bigger job than He could ever imagine.  He was going to make Moses the ultimate shepherd of a very stubborn flock.  All Moses had to do was go back to Egypt where he was a wanted man and tell Pharaoh to let Egypt’s work force leave.  No big deal, Right?

It was at that moment Moses asked the big question, “When I approach these folks and they ask who this God is that you represent, what is your name?”  It is then that God says I AM.  What a big statement.  God did not need to be named, He simply is the God, the master of the universe.  I AM would make His presence known and His authority obvious.  He did not need a bunch of marketing or press build up; God was confident in HIs place in the universe.

I AM was telling Moses he did not have to vouch for God.  He simply had to go and be an advocate and a shepherd of Israel.  Make no mistake, this was no small task.  Moses would find over the next generation that this was the biggest and most difficult mission Moses could have received.  Still, God had prepared Moses for this mission and as Mordecai told Esther, “Perhaps God has prepared you for such a time as this.”

God takes His time developing His leaders to complete the missions He has laid out.  There is never a question of God’s ability or timing, The only question is our willingness to trust the Lord, and follow along.  If we trust God, He will develop us from where we are to where He needs us to be.  It will take time and not ever proceed as we would plan.  In the end, however, the Lord’s way will be right, and we will be blessed for following Him and His plan.

God Bless You

 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro,[a] the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai,[b] the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”

When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

“Here I am!” Moses replied.

“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father[c]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”

13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

14 God replied to Moses, “I am who i am.[d] Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh,[e] the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.

This is my eternal name,

Exodus 2 Part 2–An Unorthodox Beginning to an Adventure

How does one get a cocky young prince to a place where he can lead people? I am sure that if you would have asked God that question, Moses’ story would have been the source of information.  Moses knew he was an Israelite.  He was a part of the family of Pharaoh and was offered all the benefits of being a prince.  But to show his loyalty to Israel, he killed an Egyptian who was mistreating one of the Israelites.  Sadly, that did not end well.  Pharaoh now wanted Moses’ head and Moses had to flee Egypt.  He ended up in Midian.

In Midian he came across a group of female shepherds and protected and served them.  This led to a dinner, that led to a marriage, that led to making Moses a Shepherd…go figure.  There is no other way that a young cocky Egyptian prince would have ever learned to lead and shepherd.  Egyptian hated sheep and shepherds, after all.

Moses began his adventure in a very unorthodox way.  It would carry on through his entire life.  God had heard the cry of HIs people and now began the preparation for their taking their lands.  It was not a predictable path.  but it was effective.  The people had to be prepared, Moses had to be prepared, and the enemies of God had to be set up to be taken down.  It is a complex plan, but God does those plans the best of all.

We make choices.  Those choices impact our lives in ways we can never imagine.  It is only when we can trust and follow Him that we see the execution of the Lord’s glorious plan in our lives.  We can never give up or give in while God is in charge.  He will do things and arrange lives to produce results that are astounding.  Get ready, keep your eyes peeled.  God hears your prayers and is ready to make His plan work in our lives.

God Bless You

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”

14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”

15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”

21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[c] saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”

23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Exodus 2 Part 1–God’s Providence Trumps all Men’s Plans

There is no gentle way to say it, Pharaoh was killing all the Israelite male children he could get his hands on.  He truly feared they would rise and defeat him.  He feared that a leader would arise that would sway the hearts of the people away from slavery.

In all frankness, it was a legitimate fear.  The irony was that if Pharaoh had only treated Israel with a little kindness and empathy, he probably could have kept them as slaves for generations.  fortunately, God’s providence prevailed.  Out of the inhuman treatment of Israel, male child arose.  He was from the tribe of Levi, and his mom but him in a basket and hid him among the reeds.

It was quite the coincidence that Pharaoh’s own daughter would find and adopt him into the royal family.  He would know Egyptian culture and receive the best education.  He would be trained to lead and to do battle.  He would know the strengths and weaknesses of Egypt.  All the while, he would also know his heritage and be taught Hebrew tradition and learn of Adonai.

God does not accidentally do anything.  There are no coincidences. It is his providence, plan, and timing that literally makes the world move forward.  Our Lord knows the past from the beginning and the future to eternity.  If we could ever really grasp the enormity of that we would have true peace.  God even knows the boneheaded moves we are going to make.  He knows the unfortunate accidents.  He sees the victories, defeats, fears, and challenges we face and will face in the days ahead.

We can never underestimate God’s hand in our lives.  We may not be the next Moses; but we do have a purpose and a legacy to leave.  We must trust that God will use us and simply needs our availability and obedience to change our corner of the world. It not only takes a Moses, but it also takes a Meriam–Moses’ sister, a Pharaoh’s daughter and a mom that makes baskets.  It is all about His providence.

God Bless You

About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him.

Soon Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her. When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This must be one of the Hebrew children,” she said.

Then the baby’s sister approached the princess. “Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” she asked.

“Yes, do!” the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby’s mother.

“Take this baby and nurse him for me,” the princess told the baby’s mother. “I will pay you for your help.” So the woman took her baby home and nursed him.

10 Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses,[a] for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.”

Exodus 1–Israel, Once a Nation Blessed; Now a Nation Enslaved

The story of Israel’s liberation has its beginning in the salvation of the known world.  Joseph manages Egypt through the most life-threatening famine the world had experienced.  Seven years of famine without any major plagues or starvation.  Israel and his family (70 in all) settled in Egypt and began to prosper.  They grew so well and so large that as the years passed, they became a threat to Pharaoh.  Pharaoh and his people forgot that without Joseph they would have all starved and died. 

Now Egypt was strong and prosperous.  Cities were being built and labor was needed.  So, a later Pharaoh, one who did not remember Joseph and his contribution, converted Israel’s life from partners to slaves.  As the relationship changed, God continued to prepare Israel for their liberation.  He worked in the lives of critical people like midwives to preserve the nation.

Vintage engraving of Ancient Egyptians building a Pyramid

All that being said, Israel was moving into one of its dark periods and it needed God’s man to bring them through.  The good news was that, as always, God had a plan.  What is more, God’s plan would launch Israel to a place they now are enjoying thousands of years later.  Israel’s history is filled with great and awful moments.  Through them all, one constant remains; God’s hand leading, guiding and directing His chosen people.

That same God loves us as his adopted children, and He offers to walk with us through our life battles and struggles.  We simply need to trust and obey the Lord and allow Him to lead.  If we will, we will see God’s plan take shape, and we will be able to live full and meaningful lives.  The Lord will never leave us nor forsake us.  He loves us way too much for that.

God Bless You

In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation. But their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land.

Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. He said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. 10 We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.[b]

11 So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. 13 So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. 14 They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands.

15 Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: 16 “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver.[c] If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.

18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. “Why have you done this?” he demanded. “Why have you allowed the boys to live?”

19 “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women,” the midwives replied. “They are more vigorous and have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time.”

20 So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live.”

Genesis 50–The Ending of a Hero’s Story

And so ends the story of Joseph.  He began his service to the Pharaoh at age 30.  He had his family with him by age 37,  He served and lived another 70 years in Egypt, and was loved and honored to the end.  His brothers were cared for and he saw his family grow to 4 generations.  The great part of Joseph’s story was that there was no sad ending or stupid choice.  He lived and died serving God.

He prospered in Egypt and helped Egypt to lead the world through the famine.  After that, there was no family drama nor was there political intrigue.  Joseph was as committed to the mission God placed him on as he had been at the beginning.  He lived and died a true hero.

We need to live the same way.  Our goal needs to be to serve the Lord and Him only.  As we do that, we can endure the trials life gives us and we can love others as Christ loved us.  When we do that, we will experience peace and joy seeing him work in our lives and the lives of our family.  We will also encourage a legacy of faith that may be critical in causing revival in generations to come.

Joseph’s story teaches us that faith and faithfulness is a long-term life plan.  As we journey with God, we can only control ourselves and our choices.  God has got the rest.  We are not to focus on the why of our circumstances, we are to focus on who we are and Whose we are in God.  If we will, the Lord Himself will provide peace and joy in our lives no matter what group of circumstances we face.

God Bless You

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

The Death of Joseph

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.[c]

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.