dailybiblereader2012

Putting God's Word into Practice…

Genesis 42-47

Chapter 42

  • Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy grain. They bowed their faces to the ground (Just like Joseph had dreamed).  Joseph recognized them, but they didn’t recognize him.
  • Joseph put them together in custody for three days.  During this time he heard their remorse over the way they treated him.
  • Joseph cries.  (He is quite the crier.  I’m pretty sure over these 6 chapters that he cried, wept aloud, many times.)

Chapter 43

  • Israel was so consumed with his “remaining” favorite son that he left Simeon imprisoned in Egypt until the grain that the boys brought back was gone again.
  • Israel sent them back to Egypt with the blessing, “May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin.”
  • They bowed again (prostrate) and Joseph wept again.
  • For an Egyptian eating with a Hebrew is an abomination. And they think shepherds are an abomination (46:34).  (Shepherds weren’t an abomination to the Lord. He sent news to them of the Savior first.  He paints a picture of Himself as a good shepherd.)

Chapter 44

  • Joseph tests his brothers to see if they would defend Benjamin or be willing to suffer in his place.

Chapter 45

  • Joseph revealed his identity.  Then he takes their distress by speaking God’s sovereignty.
    • God sent me before you to preserve life.
    • God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
    • You didn’t send me here, God did.
    • God has made me lord of all Egypt.
  • When we recognize the sovereignty of God–His ways, His plans–it dispels anger, distress, fear, quarreling, etc…Maybe Joseph wept so much because it was at that moment that he recognized the hand and plan of God in a way that he didn’t know before.
  • Even though I don’t understand why Joseph put his brothers and father through everything he did, it amazes me that he never lost sight of God or faith in God.

Chapter 46

  • God spoke a promise to Israel at Beersheba.
  • He called Israel by his original name. (“Jacob, Jacob.”)
  • Jacob quickly responded with “Here I am,” because he recognized the voice of God.
  • God’s first command was, “Do not be afraid.”  That is a thematic command woven through all Scripture.  God knows and understands our propensity to fear.  He also knows that we have no need to fear.  When He says, “do not fear,” we can trust him.
  • God’s promise:
    • I will make you into a great nation in Egypt
    • I will go down with you to Egypt
    • I will also bring you up again.
    • And Joseph will be with you when you die

Chapter 47

  • The Israelites settled in Goshen and multiplied greatly in possession and number.
  • Jacob made Joseph promise not to bury him in Egypt, but to carry him to the place his fathers were buried.  He still believed they would inherit the land that God covenanted to give them even though they were in a foreign land for the time being.
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Ephesians 4:17-24

 

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU LEARNED IN CHRIST! (Ephesians 4:17-20)

The phrase that stuck out to me was, “They have become callous.”  Callous means insensitive, indifferent, unsympathetic.  In this text, I believe it is talking about being callous towards sin and towards God.  But the Holy Spirit is telling my heart that it also describes my feelings towards others.  Rationalizing one critical, judgmental thought at a time builds a layer of unfeeling, numbness towards the hearts of others–making me insensitive, indifferent, and unsympathetic.

Based on verse 19, we become callous by living to serve and satisfy self.  So when someone becomes difficult for me and I want ease, I grow hard in my heart towards them.  I put layers of thickened skin between them and me.  I try to protect myself.

The removal of callouses is a three-step process.  The first recommendation is that they are soaked in warm water daily.  Then they are removed using a pumice stone or file. And finally a protective pad can be worn in place to intercept the cause of callouses and protect the new skin.

In Ephesians 5 it says that we are washed by the water of the Word.  Daily saturation in the Bible will help to soften the callousness of our hearts.  But then they have to be removed.  Just like soft dead skin is undesirable; a soft, dead shell around my heart is of no use!  Those layers have to be peeled away, uncovering new, fresh skin.  We need to allow the Father to apply His pumice stone to our calloused hearts until we are fresh and new in our feelings towards others.  And then we have to put Him on as our protector and sustainer.  Only He can keep our hearts soft and new.  I have to trust Him to do what He promises to do!

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Isaiah 5:20-21

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil

who put darkness for light and light for darkness

who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,

and shrewd in their own sight!

Isaiah 5:20-21

So much of the negative circumstances in our lives can be pinpointed back to this truth.  Woe=great sorrow or distress.  What way of God have I exchanged for a lie?  What am I thinking contrary about?  Just like I wouldn’t fill a craving for chocolate with a bar of bitter bark, I shouldn’t fill my life with opposites and imitations and expect to be satisfied, free and joyful.  If something looks good to me and seems good to me, the best thing I can do is ask God for His perspective.  His perspective is always right.  He calls things like they really are.  He is truth!  And He doesn’t want me to walk in “woe.”

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Genesis 37-41

Chapter 37

  • Jacob’s family made lots of grave mistakes–1) Joseph was a tattle-tale 2) Jacob played favorites and 3) Joseph’s 11 brothers hated him and were jealous of him.
  • Although they wanted to kill Joseph, God had a plan for Joseph’s life and no matter what his brother’s did, they couldn’t kill God’s plan.
  • God was at work–getting Joseph to Egypt where He would use him to save the world!  And preserve the family line of the Messiah.

Chapter 38

  • Judah and Tamar–nuff said!  Weird story, weird placement.
  • Matthew 1:3 says that out of this bizarre story Jesus would someday be born.

Chapter 39

  • The Lord was with Joseph.  What/Who else did he need?
  • Favor, success and blessing come from the presence of the Lord, not our location.  Joseph experienced all three while “in the pit!)  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, the heart is free (1 Corinthians 3:17).

Chapter 40

  • Joseph is forgotten in the pit for two whole years. Even after interpreting dreams correctly and asking for favor.
  • It just wasn’t God’s timing yet!

Chapter 41

  • Joseph must have continued to grow in His relationship with the Lord because he came out of prison more committed to giving God credit and glory.
  • Doubling of dream means the thing is fixed by God (vs. 32)  Consistent to the Jewish tradition of having two witnesses.
  • The Spirit of God indwelling Joseph is recognizable to outsiders.
  • God is the only one who makes us discerning and wise.
  • Joseph was only 30 when he was put second in command of Egypt.
  • The dream was fulfilled and “all the earth” came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain.

 

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Genesis 32-36

Genesis 32

  • Jacob is about to come face to face with Esau…He is afraid and distressed.
  • Jacob prays to the God of his father and grandfather.  He prays with humility, appealing to the character of a faithful and steadfastly loving God.  He asks for deliverance.  Recognizes that he is unable to deliver himself.
  • In the plan Jacob devises, he is left alone for the night.  But he isn’t alone, because the Lord shows up!
  • They wrestle and Jacob finally finds the favor and blessing that he has longed for.  He thought by stealing those things from his brother Esau, that it would be enough, but it wasn’t.  He needed it from a heavenly Father, not his earthly one.

Genesis 33

  • Jacob recognized that his children were a gift from the Lord.
  • Jacob recognized that all the blessings in his life were from the grace of the Lord. (John 1:16 From his fullness we have all received one blessing after another.)
  • By the end of the chapter, Jacob’s name has become Israel.  And he recognizes God as more than the God of Abraham and Isaac…but the God of Israel.  Jacob had personally encountered the Living God and was changed because of it.

Genesis 34

  • Local boy takes advantage of Israel’s daughter, Dinah, and it doesn’t go over very well with her brothers.
  • The locals try to convince the Israelites to settle and mingle–girls and gods
  • Simeon and Levi take revenge–every male killed in the town.  Everything else plundered.

Genesis 35

  • God protects Jacob’s family in spite of his sons.
  • God blesses and continues his covenant with Jacob in spite of his son’s murderous revenge.
  • “I am God Almighty.”  What a wonderful name!  I’m so thankful that God reveals His character to humankind.  And I’m so grateful that there is no one mightier than Him!
  • Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin.
  • Rueben sleeps with his dad’s concubine…Bilhah…not sure how that fits in the storyline…

Genesis 36

  • Esau’s descendants listed.
  • Edom had kings long before any king reigned over the Israelites.
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Psalm 119:15-16

I will meditate on Your precepts

and fix my eyes on Your ways.

I will delight in Your statutes;

I will not forget Your word.

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Romans 12:1-2 (With 11:33-36)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters,

  • “Therefore,” is a sign to look at preceding verses.
  • 11:33-36  Oh the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable His ways!  For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?  Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?  For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever. Amen!

by the mercies of God,

  • compassion, benevolence, favor, kindness

BECAUSE OF ALL THE ABOVE…

to present your bodies t as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (rational service).

  • It only makes sense!  If my body is from Him and to Him…I must offer it for Him.
  • If His riches, wisdom and knowledge are inexhaustible, then I can trust Him to do with my life what is useful and best.
  • I can willingly lay down my life because my life is really His anyway.
  • Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee!  Here am I! All of me! Take my life! It’s all for Thee!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.

  • Transformed=made into something new one step at a time
  • Mind is where change starts
  • I am either being conformed or transformed at any moment by what is in my mind.
  • My mind determines my choices and actions.

That by testing

  • Am I being transformed or conformed?
  • Does this have the power to make me more like the Lord or more like the world?

you may discern what is the will of God what is good and acceptable and perfect.

  • Only by seeking His wisdom and ways can I know what is holy and acceptable in His sight.
  • Praise the Lord!  His will can be known!
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Psalm 37:1-9

Fret and envy of people who don’t know the Lord are signs of misplaced affections; of love of the world and things in the world. If we see the soul–fading and withering–of the evildoers/wrongdoers, it should move us to contentment and gratitude for our eternal salvation…our inheritance that doesn’t wither or fade.  And it should move us to active bold compassionate pleas for their salvation. (37:1-2)

Trusting in the Lord conforms us to Him in good acts and faithfulness.  It takes our eyes off others and sets them firmly on Him.  When our eyes are on Him, when our heart is on Him, when our hope is in Him, there will be no room for fretting or envy. (37:3)

Befriend faithfulness!  What a beautiful picture!  Make faithfulness of the Lord my friend.  Intimately know and spend time with His faithfulness.  One translation says, “Feed on His faithfulness.”  When we are intimately in tune with God’s faithfulness, we can’t help but to trust Him. (37:3)

The Lord is generous and consistent.  He sees and knows the true desire of our hearts.  He will give! When we delight in Him, we desire more of Him…He will give us more of Himself!  What does it look like to delight in Him? Find contentment and satisfaction in Him. Find joy and pleasure in Him. (37:4)

I don’t need to control, I just need to commit. Let the Lord take action.  It is impossible to commit without a prayer of surrender; it is impossible to trust and hold on tight to something.  So pray and trust…trust in His faithfulness, His justice, His power, His ability. (37:5-6)

Don’t take matters into my own hands.  It ruins everything.  Don’t stop waiting. His timing is always best.  Be still–rest in His presence. When I get away from His presence, I will be out from under His protection and strength; I will always find fretting. God doesn’t want His children to treat and fear; but to rest and trust. (37:7)

Anger, worry and wrath are evil.  Anger, worry and wrath are the result of not trusting the Lord; not recognizing His faithfulness; not delighting in Him; not praying; not waiting on Him. I see this over and over in my life.  Why do I still trust myself instead of trusting Him? He has a far greater track record! (37:8)

Those who wait for the Lord (37:9) and Meek people inherit the land (37:11, Matthew 5:5)  Dictionary.com defines meek as humbly patient, overly submissive and compliant.  Oh the correlation!  This promise is for those who humbly and submissively wait for the Lord. Verse 11 says that not only will they inherit the land, but they will dwell in abundant peace.  Ahhhhh!!!  Oh how my heart yearns for a dwelling of abundant peace! (37:9)

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Jeremiah 17:5-10

17:5-6 Shrub in the Desert (Cursed)

  • No deep roots
  • In a dry, desolate place
  • Doesn’t see any good come
    • Incapable of enjoying life
    • Doesn’t recognize good
  • Living in loneliness.
  • Why?
    • Heart turned away from the Lord.
    • Trust in own strength and strength of man

17:7-8 Tree Planted by Water (Blessed)

  • Deep, watered roots
  • Not fearful or anxious
  • Green and fruitful (life-giving and alive)
  • Doesn’t escape hard times (“When” the heat and drought come.)
  • Why?
    • Trusts in the Lord

17:9-10-Heart Determines if We are a Tree or a Shrub

  • Heart is deceitful and sick
  • Can’t always recognize in whom or what our heart is really trusting
  • The Lord alone truly knows my heart and mind
  • Lord is a just rewarder
  • Gives to everyone according to the fruit of their deeds
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Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

  • He is able to control all things.
  • He deserves to be in control
  • He is trustworthy.
  • My heart cannot be divided.

Lean not on your own understanding

  • My understanding is limited and short-sighted.
  • Every time I lean on my own understanding it can only hold me up for so long…then PLOP!  Down I go!

In all your ways acknowledge Him

  • All my ways!  From the smallest detail to the largest decision.
  • Recognize His rule and authority.
  • Recognize His goodness, faithfulness and steadfast love.
  • Seek Him first!

And He will make straight Your paths.

  • He WILL!!
  • Confident and assured that He will show me the right way.
  • He always keeps every promise forever.
  • The shortest distance between two points is a straight line!!  Going His path from the start is the fastest and best!
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