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Today's OT passage is one of several detailing the story of Joseph, one of the longest and most interesting in Scripture. It is the most graphic story of reconcilition between humans in the Bible. Joseph's story is my favorite in the OT. In fact I just read the passage for both today and tomorrow and wept all the way through.

What makes the story so powerful? For one thing, so many explosive elements are involved. This is a history of love, jealousy, arrogance, favoritism, false accusations, lies, loyalty, and -- ultimately -- forgiveness. It spans over 20 years, from the time Joseph is sold into slavery at 17 to the appointment as Pharaoh's prime minister at 30 to the revelation of his identity to his brothers 9 years later.

Think about it: Joseph spent 13 years as a slave and a dungeon dweller. He had been abused and forgotten. He would be forever marked by the events as he entered manhood. Suddenly rocketed to fame and fortune, he sees his brothers. How many times had he recalled those dreams he had as a kid? Had he sought information from caravans, trying to discover news from home?

In today's reading, he prepares a test to see if his siblings have changed. Notice the reaction when they come back to the steward with the money from the first trip: "Your God provided for you. I received your money." Truth is that money probably had been paid -- by Joseph. Tomorrow's reading will reveal a much more significant payment that must be made!

Before you leave this passage, I encourage you to notice the role of Judah. He is the one who suggested slavery for Joseph in the first place. Notice today how he has matured in 20 years. He is willing to put his own life on the line to "redeem" his brother. Hundreds of years later one of his descendents would lay down His life to receem us all.

Genesis 42:18-43:34

Lies, deceit, paranoia, anger, angst and the list goes on and on. This family is in turmoil because of living lives outside of the framework of truth. This is the state of man today as it was in yesteryears. What is seen the story of Joseph is not something that happened back then, back yonder in the olden days. The turmoil, the accusations and cover-up began in the Garden of Eden when man fell and will continue until Jesus returns.

There is nothing in this text that jumps out at me specifically, but looking at the family dynamics, the types and shadows (Judah who gave his other brothers the idea to sell Joseph into slavery, instead of leaving him in a pit to die, offers himself as a ransom for his younger half-brother, Benjamin) of what is in the whole wide world reminds me that Jesus would come on the scene latter to ransom us from the us from the slavery of sin, a permanent deliverance. Joseph delivered his family from starvation and poverty; Jesus delivered from death.

I do not think there is any human emotion and condition, including mental illness that isn’t mentioned or seen in the story of Joseph and his brothers. This is a microcosm of the world’s condition played out in one man’s family, this is human nature outside the controls of the Holy Spirit badly needing a deliver, an intermediary, a protector.

Matthew 13:47-14:12
Jesus against tells a Parable mentioning the Kingdom of God is like … But then the next statement he makes totally floored me when I read it in the morning:

Matthew 13
52 Then he added, "Every teacher of religious law who has become a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a person who brings out of the storehouse the new teachings as well as the old."

“Every teacher … who has become a disciple,” are the Words that jumped out at me. This is confirmation in scripture, in the Words of Jesus that one can teach the Bible and not be a disciple. The person able to bring out both new and old teachings is the one who is a teacher and a disciple. We are going through the entire Bible reading the words, sharing our insights, and some of us (including me) teach others. But I’m only giving out 50% if I’m not giving the fullness and complete richness of the Word because the element of my discipleship to Jesus never materializes in my life. Jesus’ statement implies that being a disciple will cause one to give out “new” teachings to add to the old, new illustrations to add to the old ones and both are valuable.

After Jesus ends his teaching, He leaves the region, community he has just taught in and heads to Nazareth, the place where He grew up. They hear and recognize His wisdom they either see or have heard about the miracles He performed, yet because they saw him grow up they reject Him. Have I walked away from some Divine Appointments because the one bringing the Word, the one who could point me to my Deliverer was someone who I grew up with and due to the sin of familiarity, rejected everything they had to say?

John the Baptist’s death is something I struggle with to this day. Not because he died but because of the way he died. He clearly was a man that not only knew his purpose, he carried out what he was purposed to do and was killed for it. John the Baptist walked in the will of God for his life and had his head handed to him, ouch! Doing the will of God may not always mean we will end up walking down a tulip or rose covered path and that is my dilemma.
Psalm 18:16-36
The Psalm continues which I believe points to Christ as the speaker and His Father and our Father, God, as the Object of this prayer and praise. The passage in this reading that I love is:
30 As for God, his way is perfect.
All the LORD's promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
31 For who is God except the LORD?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
32 God arms me with strength;
he has made my way safe.
33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
leading me safely along the mountain heights.
34 He prepares me for battle;


Proverbs 4:7-10

7 Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And whatever else you do, get good judgment.

We need a values check. What are we holding up as precious? What are we striving day after day to gain? If our priority is our finances, if it is things like Big Screen TV, fancy or fast cars, big houses on several acres of property, we are indeed poor. Poverty is not the lack of finances or resources; it is the lack of Wisdom. What is in your wallet of value, money or godly Wisdom?

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Fantastic comments by the above 2 posters!

JOSEPH!
I am drawn to this story because I cannot believe how amazing Joseph is. He has this intense emotional encounter with his brothers. I would definitely be angry with my brothers had they sold me into slavery. Joseph not only takes the high road of "doing the right thing," by selling them the grain, he purposely chooses to "bless" the brothers by returning their payment. Though it was likely a hard journey being sold into slavery, Joseph seems to treasure the opportunity he has to be the leader in his family. I am struck by Joseph's emotions. He had to do the right things, but it took great emotional toll on him- yet somehow he managed to keep his composure. Was he in some way mourning?

Have I got this all straight?

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