Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday, January 17th; Genesis 48-50 ~ Jay

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading PlanGenesis 48-50

After several technical difficulties..I think I now understand how to post! My apologies for posting so late. 

The chapters from today were particularly impactful as they deal with two key Biblical figures at the end of their respective lives.

With the last bit of strength that Jacob had (even had difficulty sitting up), he reminded his son Joseph of the promises that God had made to him. (Chapter 48) Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me. And He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make you into a multitude of people and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession.’      God has provided instruction and made many promises to us as believers through his Word.  One of our key roles as parents is to continually remind and reinforce to our "descendants" (children)  the instructions and promises that God has provided to us.

We often times view people and their ability to be instruments for use by God  through our limited human lens.  Gods does not necessarily operate with this same perspective. (Chapter 48) 17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”
19 His father refused and said, “I know it, my son, I know it. He will also become a people, and he will also be great, but truly his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a multitude of nations.” God will often work in ways that we do not expect or utilize people to carry out his work that might surprise us...based on our limited judgement.  In the same way we need to be open to God's leading whether we think we have the talent, skill, etc. to complete the task for which God has called us. 
 In Chapter 50 Joseph's spirit of forgiveness and grace continue to be unwavering and an example to us.  Joseph not only forgave his brothers for their sins against him, but he went above and beyond the call of duty in taking it a step further by providing for his brothers and their children. (Chapter 50) 19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many lives. 21 So now, do not fear. I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Taking forgiveness to the next step and following Joseph's example of turning forgiveness into tangible actions that may even require personal sacrifice is a challenge for each of us.  Forgiveness on a spiritual, mental or emotional level is one thing but sacrificing for someone who has wronged us is yet another....Reminds me much of Christ and his sacrifice for us and the ultimate forgiveness of our sins.
The passage finishes off with once again Joseph reminding his brothers and decendants before he passed away about God's promises to take them out of the land they were in (Egypt), lead them into the promised land, and make of them a great nation.  We see this promise come true in the book of Exodus and beyond.  We too have many great promises from our Heavenly Father that we need to be carrying forward with our children and future generations one day we too will see the fulfillment of those promises.              

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Job 1-3


TammyIsBlessed said...

I appreciated your point about being faithful to tell our children of God's promises to us, and His faithfulness to keep His promises. Remembering this ourselves helps us strengthen our own faith, but telling others helps them see God's faithfulness in our lives and encourages them in their own faith.

It's clear from Joseph's brothers' reactions that they didn't actually believe that Joseph had forgiven them. We sometimes have the same problem with believing that God has truly forgiven us for our sins. That is one of the differences between guilt and shame. We need to allow our guilt to drive us to the cross in repentance, but then we need to leave it there, and no longer live in shame, because then we are acting as though Jesus' sacrifice was not enough. It was enough! It is finished! If we truly repent, He is faithful to forgive. We need to be able to accept that and "forgive ourselves" as well.

Pamela said...

I agree that one of the important things we can do for our children is to tell our children about how God has been faithful to us. It will allow them to understand why we trust Him and why they need to trust him as well.

I think if I were one of Joseph's brothers then I would have been a little concerned too...

Conrad said...

Good point about our vision being through our limited human eyes, where God's perspective is different.

The verse that stood out for me is Genesis 49:9 primarily because I have an appreciation for large cats. It reads, "Judah is a lion's cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?"

A lion, king of the jungle, is an animal of great majesty and power and courage, who inspires fear and awe and respect. The nation of Israel, with God on their side, resembles a lion that no one dares to arouse. When we put our trust in God, we receive the boldness of a lion when facing our trials.

How fitting that our King came from the line of Judah.