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Monday, January 21, 2008

Genesis 42:18-43:34; Matthew 13:47-14:12; Psalm 18:16-36; Proverbs 4:7-10 (New Living Translation)

1. We have the ongoing epic tale of Joseph's life. His brothers travelling back and forth for grain and to save the life of their brother, Simeon.

2. Joseph chose to keep Simeon prisoner while the others travelled home to get Benjamin. Why Simeon?

3. Joseph sent them home with grain and their money. Notice that when the brothers think they are doomed they ask, "What has God done to us?" Not what have we gotten ourselves into, or what have we done?

4. "Poor" Jacob, his main concern in losing Benjamin is that "he is all that I have left." (of Rachel ?) So initially, he won't let him go. At least not until the famine continues and they are starving again. He also seems to have forgotten by this time that he had to send Benjamin in order to get more grain.

5. They prepare gifts and more money for "the man." Joseph is second in command to all of Egypt. He has no need for their gifts, trinkets or money.

6. Simeon is released and they go to Joseph's house to eat. They are given water to wash their feet and feed for their donkeys. Both signs of hospitality.

7. He is overcome by the sight of his brother, alive and well.

8. We also see that the Hebrews and Egyptians are separated. The Egyptians despised the Hebrews. They cannot eat or sit together. This must have been a strange existence for Joseph, since he was second in command, and known to be a Hebrew. This is important as we move these two groups closer to each other.

9. This is an amazing story. Look how God has worked and knitted everything together so that the plan will go forward. So that the promise can be kept. So that a remnant might be preserved. I doubt that anyone, including Joseph could have guessed how this would have turned out. From tending sheep, to the cistern, to slavery, to Potiphar's house, to prison, to second in command...so that his people would be saved.

Matthew text

10. The parable of the net (dragnet) - the kingdom ends with final separation of the unrighteous from the righteous.

11. Jesus finishes His stories, and the people are amazed. This is someone they know. Someone they watched grow up. How can He know these things? How can He really know what the kingdom of God is like?

12. Because of their unbelief "he only did a few miracles there." Do we miss or block our blessings by getting in our own way? Stumbling over our own feet looking for proof? Are we like Thomas? Will we not accept the truth unless we can see it and feel it for ourselves?

13. John, remember John the Baptiser...well he is in prison. For telling the truth. As a gift to his niece, who is also his step-daughter, Herod beheads John. Upon receiving this news, Jesus retreats, but the crowds follow Him. Is He sad and upset, or just disappointed?

14. John was killed for the truth. What are we doing to advance the kingdom?

Psalm text

15. The Lord delights in me...

16. God's way is perfect.

Proverb text

17. Wisdom and judgement...get them

See you next post...

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