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Genesis 41:17-42:17 ~ Matthew 13:24-46
Psalm 18:1-15 ~ Proverbs 4:1-6
Old Testament - In Genesis chapter 41 today we read about Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dreams - and not just interpreting them, but offering a solution! Joseph suggests finding a wise man to administer a program to collect crops during the 7 years of plenty to save up for the 7 years of lean. Then, verses 39 & 40 stood out to me today - "Turning to Joseph, Pharaoh said, "Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, you are the wisest man in the land! I hereby appoint you to direct this project. You will manage my household and organize all my people. Only I will have a rank higher than yours."" I noticed that Joseph did not ask for this position. He probably could have, in light of interpreting the dream and offering a solution. But he didn't. The position was simply thrust upon him. And I wonder in our lives - are we like Joseph - humbly offering our gifts and skills with no need of payback? Or, do we expect something in return? Do we want to be put in charge? I do wonder this about myself - if I was put in charge of all of Egypt, would I still remember God? Or would the power go to my head and think it is all about me? And then I wonder if there are similar, smaller temptations like this in my life - in my work or ministries or in my social circles - are there times where I offer my skills & gifts, and expect to be put in charge of something, forget about God, and think it's all about me?.... How about you?
In Genesis chapter 42 Jacob sends Joseph's brothers to Egypt for grain. Verse 4 stood out - "Jacob wouldn't let Joseph's younger brother, Benjamin, go with them, however, for fear some harm might come to him." As you'll recall both Benjamin and Joseph were Rachel's only sons. And Jacob loved Rachel dearly. It seems that in light of Jacob already losing one of Rachel's sons, he didn't want to lose the other. Or - I wonder - did Jacob maybe have some sort of mistrust in the back of his mind of the other 10 brothers? (as obviously Joseph disappeared when going to find the 10 brothers many years back) This is outside of the text I realize. Just some thoughts.
Verse 6 also stood out - "Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of the sale of the grain, it was to him that his brothers came. They bowed low before him, with their faces to the ground." This fulfilled the dreams Joseph had in Genesis chapter 37 verse 6 & 7 - "He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it." And verse 6 was 21 years after Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers - Joseph has spent 11 years as a slave, 2 years in prison, and 7 to 8 years in charge of Egypt. And even after 21 years Joseph recognized his brothers immediately. I read a commentary that his brothers probably didn't recognize Joseph because he was decked out in Egyptian robes & garb, he may have been speaking through an interpreter, and he was likely clean shaven - Egyptians shaved, whereas Hebrews typically wore beards. So now, Joseph's reuniting with his brothers and what takes place next begins...
New Testament - In today's Matthew readings we go through 5 parables that begin "The Kingdom of Heaven is like..." Great way to start these parables! They do indeed give us a glimpse of what the kingdom of heaven is like. Do these parables speak to you as you read through them? I know they do for me. Sometimes in encouraging ways. Sometimes in convicting ways.
I love the last 2 parables in today's readings! The treasure buried in a field and the pearl of great price. And the thought of being willing to give up absolutely everything to be a part of the Kingdom of Heaven. How about for you? Are you willing to give up absolutely everything to be a part of the Kingdom of Heaven? Is there a price too high that you would not be willing to pay? I will share with you this - another random tangent.... but, I had this really interesting jog several years ago. And it was before I was a Christian, so I didn't equate my thinking with the "Kingdom of Heaven" at this time. But, here were my thoughts that night on the jog. As I was jogging I thought to myself - I am a "billionaire"! Why? Because I am blessed with this opportunity to jog, and to check out the beautiful night air around me, and more than anything because of this wonderfully complex thing in my skull called the brain. :) The brain that allows me to do all these things and to simply think and enjoy life. And I thought to myself - at what price would I give up the ability to use my brain? Would I sell my brain for 1 billion dollars? And the answer is obviously no - because there would then be no point to living in this life. So - I reasoned with myself, well - "Then I am a billionaire!" I have a billion dollar asset in my skull! :) I hope this isn't too random of a tangent. Maybe you'll realize that you are probably a billionaire too though? :) To tie this back to the Kingdom of Heaven. Would I sell of my rights to the Kingdom of Heaven for 1 billion dollars. No. So - I guess then technically, I am a multi-billionaire now! :) Get it? 1 billion asset value for the brain - 1 billion asset value for the Kingdom of Heaven. Okay, lame joke. The point being... or maybe the question to you. Which would you prefer - 1 billion in cash, or the Kingdom of Heaven? Is there any price you would place on giving up the Kingdom of Heaven? If not - will you pursue the Kingdom of Heaven with all of your worth? And will you then share this amazing "pearl of great price" with others around you?
Psalms - Psalm 18 is an amazing one! We'll get it for the next 3 days of readings, which is great. And then comes Psalm 19 which is off the charts awesome! Verse 1 today I love - "
I love you, LORD; you are my strength." How often do you tell God that you love him? One thing that one of my pastors does when he prays publicly, which I absolutely love, is that he closes out just about every prayer with "God we love you. And we pray all of this in the name of your son Jesus Christ." The last line of course is the powerful line! But, that second to last line... is just beautiful. Just telling God that we love him. I'm not sure I tell God that I love him often enough. God may not "need" to hear it. But I think that I need to say it more often. I love you God.
Proverbs 4 today are some cool verses from Solomon reminiscing on instructions he received from his father David!
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below! Grace,
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!