Genesis 40:1-23; Genesis 35:28-29; Genesis 41:1-57
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Today we read about the passing of Isaac in Genesis 35:28-29. What was interesting to me today about the death of Isaac was that he passed away after Jacob and Esau reconciled. I honestly forgot that Isaac had lived this long - I thought when he gave Esau's blessing to Jacob 20 years prior that he was on his deathbed! Obviously not. However, even with Jacob and Esau being reconciled at this point, going forward in the Old Testament we will see that this reconciliation didn't carry forward to their descendants. The nation of Israel (Jacob) and the kingdom of Edom (Esau) will have much strife in their coming generations toward each other, which we'll read about later this year. The red area in the map below shows the kingdom of Edom at its largest extent in approximately 600 B.C.:
In Genesis chapter 41 we read about Pharaoh's dreams and Joseph is called from prison to interpret them. The cup-bearer finally remembered Joseph 2 years later! :) Verse 16 is powerful for us to consider as Pharaoh calls for Joseph to interpret his dreams: ""It is beyond my power to do this," Joseph replied. "But God will tell you what it means and will set you at ease."" What I like about this reply from Joseph is that he is giving credit to God for his "gift" of being able to interpret dreams! And really, it is God interpreting the dreams, and letting Joseph know what to say. I wonder about this in our lives today. Do we have some unique gifts in our lives? Things that we are really good at? And do we give credit to God for these gifts in our life? Or do we claim them as gifts we developed on our own? Do you believe that God is truly the Gift-Giver of all your skills and talents and wisdom in your life? Below is an image of Joseph before Pharaoh interpreting his dreams:
Today in Genesis chapter 41 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. Verses 39 & 40 in this chapter tell us: "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."" Notice 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 a 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 would I 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? Do you give freely and humbly from your God-given gifts with no need of a payback? Payback... This would be like me suggesting this blog is free and then later coming back to you looking for a handout through your monitor! :)
Below is an image from a modern day production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" of Pharaoh appointing Joseph to be #2 in the land (and giving him his signet ring... and dressing him... and giving him the royal gold chain... and giving him the chariot... and renaming him... and giving him a wife... think all this would possibly inflate one's ego? It really does scare me to think about me being put in this type of position...)
YouTube: Today's readings about Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dream and his humility reminded me of the MercyMe song "So Long Self:"
Have you said so long to your self? Click here to say farewell!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "'I cannot do it,' Joseph replied to Pharaoh, 'but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.'" Genesis 41:16 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you give all the glory to God in your life, just as Joseph gave the glory to God for interpreting Pharaoh's dream.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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