Sunday, June 3, 2012

Jun 3: Genesis 45

Today's reading in our daily plan is Genesis 45. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Today we finally read where Joseph couldn’t take it anymore and reveals his true identity to his brothers.
  • We finally see into the thoughts of Joseph on his whole captivity being a result of his brother’s selling him into slavery. He tells them he’s not mad at them because he knows God allowed it to happen so he could save the lives of his people. What a clear-minded and discerning man!?! It’s amazing that he didn’t hold any feelings of revenge towards his brothers but instead realized God’s hand in his life all along.
  • Joseph tells them to bring his father to live near him so he could provide for him. But when Pharaoh hears about Joseph’s brothers and father he tells Joseph to bring his family and Pharaoh would give him the best land in Egypt and allow them to live off the riches of the land. How amazing is that? Obviously, Pharaoh really valued Joseph. The Pharaoh tells them to leave everything behind and now they will be treated like royalty in Egypt. Craziness!
  • Interestingly, Joseph’s parting words with his brothers were “Don’t argue on the way home!” I’m sure this stung a little because of their selling Joseph into slavery. It’s like Joseph reminded them to act like brothers!
  • When Joseph’s father, Israel, was finally convinced his son (Joseph) was alive he was ecstatic to see him again.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Finally, we get to read about how Joseph dealt with the tragedy that befell him in life because of his brother’s wickedness. Joseph had plenty of time to think it over and understood it was all something God planned to use for good. How often do we go through tough times but never stop to think if it might be something God could eventually use for good? It took years for Joseph to understand what God was up to (many of those years were in a prison dungeon) but he kept trusting God all along. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Let’s take a lesson from Joseph’s life for us to always trust God even when (and maybe especially when) things look bad. God is always in control. And while God probably didn’t want Joseph to have to suffer in prison and everything else he went through God still used to for the best. It reminds me of Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”