Sunday, July 14, 2013

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?)
  • Joseph can't contain himself any longer and he reveals his true identity to his brothers.  
  • We get to hear the thoughts of Joseph, that "God sent me ahead of you" to save your life.  For all he's gone through, He's not mad at his brothers.  
  • Joseph invites his family to come and live in Egypt.  Pharaoh affirms that invitation by offering Joseph's family the best land in Egypt.  
  • Joseph's Dad is ecstatic to learn that Joseph is alive.  

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • When there is true repentance and transformation, reconciliation is possible.  Joseph's brothers pass all of his tests, and Joseph realizes that his brothers have changed.  He had already forgiven them, but now he knows he can be reconciled to them and trust them.
  • God sees the big picture and knows where He is leading us.  We finally see how Joseph was able to deal with the tragic circumstances he had to deal with because of his brothers' wickedness.  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.  He learned that even when things looked bad, God was still in control. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How often do we go through tough times and blame God, or at the very least wonder whether God is paying any attention to our circumstances?   We never stop to think that God is present, even in the pain, working to bring good out of it.  While God probably didn't want Joseph to have to suffer in prison and everything else he went through, God still used it for the best.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
  • Are you currently experiencing any hardships and it feels like God is absent?  Find hope in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."