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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Genesis 41:17-42:17; Matthew 13:24-46; Psalm 18:1-15; Proverbs 4:1-6 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament text

1. We finished up last post with Joseph getting cleaned up to meet the Pharaoh.

2. Joseph gives God the credit for the interpretation and the warnings to Pharaoh. Giving credit to God may have been something he overlooked in sharing his dreams with is brothers.

3. The Pharaoh's dreams both have the same interpretation. Feast followed by great famine.

4. "The famine will be so severe that even the memory of the good years will be erased." We have all been here at some point in our lives- either emotionally, physically, financially...Things seem so bad that we cannot remember a time when things were good. But if stop, think and look up from the muck, we can always think of a time when we felt more blessed. And we must maintain the hope that we will rise again.

5. It is said that hope is not waiting for God, it is waiting with God.

6. The basic plan to get through the famine is to store one-fifth of the crops during the good years. Pharaoh can see that Joseph is "filled with the spirit of God."

7. Joseph becomes second in command for all of Egypt.

8. Joseph is given a new name, Zaphenath-paneah ("God speaks and lives"). He is 30 years old.

9. He inspects all of Egypt. He has been given a God-inspired plan, but he takes the time to see what he has in the "natural world" to work with.
- Do we take the time to get prepared, to get educated and organized when we are given new projects? Yes, God helps us, but we have to do the work as well.

10. Two sons are born to Joseph

- Manasseh- "God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father's family"

- Ephraim- "God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief"

11. Everyone has to come to Joseph for grain. Eventually most of his brother's come.

12. Benjamin is left at home. Has he become the new "favored son"? Has Jacob learned nothing?

13. Joseph recognized his brothers immediately. He remembered the dreams he shared with them. Some of us might have taken this opportunity to "throw it in their faces." Joseph does not. But he does "make them sweat."

14. He sends for his younger brother, Benjamin. Is he checking the brother's story, to be sure that Benjamin is still alive?

Matthew text

15. The Son of Man is the farmer, the evil one is the enemy. We will all be sorted out in the end.

16. When we find the Kingdom of Heaven it is a treasure greater than any we can possess.

17. What do I think these parables mean in our everyday lives?

- The parable of the sower--> individuals repsond differently to the Word's invitation

- The parable of the wheat and tares--> the kingdom's citizens live among the men of the world, growing together until the time of God's harvest

- The parable of the mustard seed--> the kingdom begins in insignificance; its greatness comes as a surprise

- The parable of the leavening--> the kingdom is implanted in different "raw material" and grows to fill the whole personality with righteousness

- The parable of the hidden treasure--> the kingdom is hidden and for individual "purchase"

- The parable of the priceless pearl--> the kingdom demands abandonment of all other values

Psalm text

18. This is an incredible image of God.

19. The text says that he rides "mounted on a mighty angelic being (a cherub), he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind." It doesn't say anything about God having wings.

Proverb text

20. Get wisdom; develop good judgment.

21. Wisdom (and good judgment) will protect you.

See you next post...

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