January 19

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 God’s people go through in life, He’s with us through it all, and working it all out for good (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5; Romans 8:28).

Joseph was tempted in one of the most difficult areas of life, he was tempted sexually. Here was a young man who was handsome and well built. No doubt Potiphar’s wife was a knock-out, 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).

But 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). Even His mother Mary thought her son was taking this way 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.’”

Our family may not always understand, but our family has now been extended to those within the body of Christ. Jesus would eventually reach out to His brothers and take care of His mother, but at this time, He was busy about His Father’s business (see also Luke 2:49). 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 have been described as, “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. 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 duty spiritual warfare. This Psalm is a song and a prayer of David’s that God would protect him, and keep him blameless in the midst 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.”

God help us to speak “on purpose.” I can’t just shoot from the hip and say whatever I want, I can’t simply speak my mind. I don’t know about you but I’ve noticed that if I don’t guard my heart and restrain my lips, I can transgress with my tongue and cause tons of trouble.

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

If you were to get a glimpse of God’s eye, you would find yourself in His pupil. He has his eyes on us, watching over us, perfectly protecting His people. David prays, “Keep me there Lord.”

Psalm 17:14 (NKJV) “…from men of the world who have their portion in this life…”

There are some people who live only for today, their time on earth; they think nothing of heaven, never of God, eternity is not in any of their thoughts. Earth is the closest to heaven they’ll ever get. David prays for God to keep him from people like that. 

Those who are the Lord’s have heaven, not just as a destination, but a motivation.

Proverbs 3:33-35

Proverbs 3:33-35 (NKJV) “The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the just. 34 Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. 35 The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the legacy of fools. 

This is another thing we’ll see in the Proverbs – the contrasts. Here we have a contrast between the wicked and the just, the scornful and the humble, the fools and the wise.

The wicked and scornful, and foolish will experience curses, scorns, and shame.

The just, humble, and wise will experience blessings, grace, and glory.

In case you’re wondering how one transitions from the wicked to the just, it’s by simple and sincere faith in Christ. The just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).

O Lord, in light of these truths please help us 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.

Leave a Reply