January 19, 2021

Genesis 39:1-41:16

As you read through this portion of Joseph’s life, the one truth that stands out, is how the LORD was with him through it all, and blessed him in spite of his circumstances.

While he was a slave in Potiphar’s house we read:

Genesis 39:2 (NKJV)The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”

Genesis 39:3 (NKJV) “ And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand.”

While he was a prisoner, God gave him favor, and we read:

Genesis 39:21 (NKJV) “ But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”

Genesis 39:23 (NKJV) “The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.”

Even the New Testament commentary on the life of Joseph offers the same summary:

Acts 7:9 (NKJV) “And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him.

It’s comforting to know that no matter what we go through in life, as God’s people, He’s with us through it all, blessing in His ways, and working out His plans (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5).

Although we know it’s all grace, we also know that we all will be tested/tempted, and it sure helps in life to pass those tests! Joseph was tempted in one of the most difficult areas of life, he was tempted sexually. He was handsome and well built; no doubt Potiphar’s wife was stunningly beautiful, but Joseph held to his integrity and did not cave in to sexual sin. We read his perfect reasoning in:

Genesis 39:9b (NKJV) ”…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

He passed the test, which led to more tests. He was cast into prison, even the dungeon (Genesis 40:15).

God showed him favor in prison as well and Joseph was promoted to the point that we read in:

Genesis 39:23 (NKJV) “The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.”

Joseph was blessed by God, gifted as an administrator, and even gifted by God in the interpretation of dreams. His accurate interpretation of the dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and baker led to an eventual audience with the human ruler of the world, as God was about to bring Joseph’s dreams to pass. It took 13 long years for that 17-year-old to see his dreams come true, but with God, it’s not about time, it’s about timing. Let’s learn from Joseph, be patient, be faithful, don’t lose heart – that we may see God’s plans for our lives unfold.

Matthew 12:46-13:23

As we read the account of Jesus’ unwillingness to go with His mother and brothers, it’s important to know that at this point, His brothers didn’t believe in him (John 7:5), and even His mother Mary thought her son was taking this a bit too far. We read in:

Mark 3:21 (NKJV) “But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, ‘He is out of His mind.’”

It’s also important to know that we must love God more than anyone else. This means that we must be busy about His business (our Father’s business – see Luke 2:49). Our family may not always understand, but our family has now been extended to those within the body of Christ.

May God give us wisdom on how to honor our parents, love our siblings, and do all that He’s called us to do.

We now begin a section of Parables by Jesus. Parables, are in one sense, “An earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” The people weren’t getting it, they weren’t understanding the simple straightforward message. This is Jesus’ attempt to make it even simpler. The people (especially the religious leaders) had closed their eyes and hardened their hearts and God wanted them to understand, to turn, and be healed.

The parable of the Sower, the Seed, and the Soils is the perfect way to begin.

The Sower is Jesus, the Seed is God’s Word (the message), and the Soils represents the condition of the recipients hearts. We have four types of soils/hearts represented:

1. The hard heart

2. The shallow heart

3. The crowded heart

4. The healthy heart

The hard heart is not open, they therefore don’t understand the Bible, so the enemy comes and takes away the seed that was sown.

The shallow heart is willing to live the Word as long as their circumstances make their Christianity convenient (there’s no depth to their commitment). When the trying times come, they fall away.

The crowded heart is receptive and deeper, but they have so many other things vying for their attention and affection, that this person becomes unfruitful.

The healthy heart hears the Word, understands it, and goes on to live it, bringing forth moral and ministry fruit for the glory of God.

Psalm 17:1-15

This is another Psalm of David, the gifted writer and mighty warrior who experienced heavy, heavy spiritual warfare. This Psalm is a song and a prayer of David’s that God would keep him, and even keep him blameless in the midsts of the attacks of the enemy.

A few verses that stood out to me this time around are:

Psalm 17:3b (NKJV) “…I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.”

Psalm 17:8 (NKJV) “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings,”

Proverbs 3:33-35

O Lord, in light of these verses please help me to be just, humble, and wise.

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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