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.

A Dream Come–True Genesis 42 part 1

Joseph’s dreams were coming true. As he managed the world wide famine, Joseph was surprised by a visit from his brothers.  At that moment, God allowed Joseph to see that his plan was perfect.  The dream as a teenager was not an idle fantasy, but a true picture of God’s hand in Joseph’s life.  Now that he had prospered for 8 years, it would have been easy to think blind luck and his personal gifts had been the basis of his success.  But then God revealed once again that Joseph was chosen and groomed not only to save Egypt, but to save Israel. This man at this time—fed a family that would later be God’s chosen nation.

In our lives, God sends reminders to us that we need to grasp and treasure.  People we have touched, ministries we have been involved with and even habits within our family that remind us that God has used us.   He sends those reminders to give us faith and hope,  We need to recognize and treasure the reminders.  It is not easy, the circumstances are often difficult—but, in the midst of them we, like Joseph, can see God’s hand in our lives and trust him to complete what he started. 

Thank You, Lord, for the gentle reminders that you have planned our lives and are in the middle of them every single day.

God Bless You

 

42 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” 2 He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”3 Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him. 5 So Israel’s sons were among those who went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaan also.

6 Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7 As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked.“From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.”

8 Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9 Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”

Prepared for a Mission Genesis 41 final

Joseph was prepared for what lied ahead.  His entire life was a preparation to take the world through a severe famine.  He was enslaved, imprisoned and abandoned.  He was restored, empowered and used to prepare for this time.  Looking back, Joseph would have agreed that God used his journey to prepare him to lead the world through the famine.

In our lives, we ask, why and what is our journey about.  We wonder how the circumstances we face could ever be useful to others.  The truth is we never will know the extent to which our journey is used to prepare us for God’s plan for us.  The key is to trust him to lead us into the plan he has and be willing to be used even in the difficult times.  We can never give up or give in.  We simply need to trust he is God and we are not.  Help me Lord to follow your plan, and not wonder why but simply how you can use me.

God Bless You

 53 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.” 56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.

Joseph from Rags to Riches–Genesis 41 part 3

When God prepares one for a job, the world takes notice.  Joseph was 30 when he took the reigns of Egypt.  He had been sold into slavery, imprisoned and forgotten—all the while, God was preparing him to lead the world through the most difficult famine it had seen.  Joseph was ready and rose to the occasion. He collected so much food, that it was beyond measure.  He led in a way that caused the people to contribute bountifully.

When we are called to a mission, God also prepares us.  He uses whatever is necessary to make us ready to take on the job set before us.  Our response to those trials often determines the success of the mission.  We need to walk humbly and follow closely to his leadership.  We need to remain gracious and focused on pleasing him.  As we do, the world will be amazed and perplexed at the great things God has done and can do.

Help me Lord, to listen and follow you closely.

God Bless You

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,[b] and people shouted before him, “Make way[c]!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,[d] to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48 Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49 Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.

Restored and Prepared Genesis 41 part 4

God Prepared Joseph for the Job, then God Prepared the Job for Joseph.  In the seven years of abundance, God restored Joseph and made him a great leader. God also gave him a normal life with a wife and children to love.  The Change was so dramatic, that Joseph was able to let his past go and become fruitful. Make no mistake, though, He was still being prepared. Then the Famine Came—All the work was now to be put to the test.  God prepared Joseph for what lied ahead and restored Him so he could lead.

God is always working toward our preparation for his plan. He will train and restore us so that we can forget what is behind and move toward what lies ahead.  We focus on him and his provision—then we see his hand guide and direct us through our journey.  Bit, like Joseph, we have to realize he is preparing us for the work that is ahead.  We remain focused upon him and he works in and through us.  Help me, Lord to focus on what your plan for is for me—and prepare me to execute it with excellence.

God Bless You

 50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh[e] and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim[f] and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

53 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”

56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere