Tag Archives: Genesis

09 Mar

Gentle, Faithful Joseph

There is much to be learned from Joseph who is a testimony of a true servant of God. Many godly traits are evident throughout his life, but above all of these, his faithfulness and gentleness distinguish him as one of the most Christ-like characters in the Bible.

Joseph was the eleventh son of Jacob and first-born son of Rachel. He was known for his coat of many colors, a gift from his father. Jacob’s favoritism toward Joseph created ill will between Joseph and his elder brothers.

Joseph’s faithfulness is evident in his early years when his father asks him to got to Shechem to check on his brothers’ well-being. When he does not find them there, he follows them on to Dothan, where he is told they went. However, this good intent costs Joseph many years of separation from his home. When his brothers see him, they plot to kill him, but instead they sell him to a caravan of Ishmaelites on their way to Egypt. Once in Egypt, Joseph is sold as a slave to Potiphar an officer of Pharaoh. Through God’s help, Joseph again shows his faithfulness and is soon entrusted with all of the affairs of Potiphar’s household.

However, Joseph encounters an obstacle. Because of his moral faithfulness, he refuses the advances of Potiphar’s wife. Unfortunately, because Joseph leaves his coat when fleeing from her, she uses this as evidence when she tells Potiphar that Joseph has made advances toward her. As a result, Joseph is put in prison, but God is with him. Soon, because of Joseph’s faithfulness, the keeper of the prison makes him overseer of all the prisoners. Among the prisoners are two of Pharaoh’s officers: the baker and the butler for whom Joseph interprets their dreams. When the butler leaves the prison, he promises Joseph that he will make mention of Joseph to Pharaoh. Two years pass as Joseph remains in prison.

Finally, after Pharaoh has two dreams which no one can interpret, the butler remembers Joseph and tells Pharaoh of his ability to interpret dreams. Joseph is brought before Pharaoh to interpret his two dreams. Joseph gives God the glory when he says: “It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” (Gen. 41:16) Joseph informs Pharaoh that there is to be seven years of plenty and then seven years of famine in the land. Joseph advises that during the seven years of plenty, surplus produce be stored up for the years of famine. Joseph is now 30 years old. Pharaoh promotes him and says: “Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the spirit of God is?” (Gen. 41:39) Joseph is given rule over Pharaoh’s house and is made second in command to rule the land.

Hearing that there is corn in Egypt, Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy grain. When Joseph sees them, he recognizes them. Here we see the gentleness of Joseph as he is overcome with such joy that he flees from their presence and weeps but does not make himself known. Eventually, when the brothers have to return for more grain, Joseph makes himself known to his brothers and says: “So now it was not you that sent me hither but God.” (Gen 45:9)

Joseph persuades his brothers to return to Canaan and bring Jacob and all their possessions to Egypt to live. Jacob lived 17 years in Egypt with Joseph and was privileged to see his two grandsons, Manasseh and Ephraim, grow up. Joseph lived to be 110 years old. Believing that God would bring his people out of Egypt to the land which He had promised Abraham, Joseph asks that his bones be carried with them to be buried.

God shows His faithfulness to Joseph in the last chapter of Joshua. After being in Egypt for 430 years and then after all the years it took to possess the land God had promised, finally Joseph’s bones are buried in Shechem, where he was sent centuries ago to check on his brothers before being taken to Egypt.  Today, Joseph’s gentleness and faithfulness remain a message of encouragement to us. How amazing are the works of our God!

16 Jul

Promises Kept

The story of the rainbow is such an uplifting account. The rainbow is mentioned four times in the Bible. In all of these references, there is a promise involved.

In Genesis chapter 8, after the flood has ended and Noah and his family are on dry land, Noah builds an altar and offers burnt offerings to God, “and the Lord smelled a sweet savour, and the Lord said in His heart, ‘I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; neither will I again smite any more every living thing.’”(Gen 8:21) Here we see the tenderness of God toward man and His creation. God establishes a covenant with Noah in which He promises: “Neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Gen 9:11) As a seal of the covenant, God promises: “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.” (Gen 9:13)

The other three references to the rainbow: Ezekiel 1:28, Revelation 4:3, and Revelation 10:1 refer to happenings after the rapture of the Church. In these three references, the rainbow functions as a reminder that God keeps His promises. Just as God restored the earth in Genesis, in Revelation, He promises a new heaven and a new earth.

A rainbow occurs when the sun shines through the rain. I like to think that there are personal rainbows which come when the SON shines through the rain in our lives and creates a rainbow in the heart. Take time to think on all the promises our God has kept and those He will continue to keep. Our Father, thank you for the rainbows, rainbows, rainbows!

26 May

Life’s Wages

I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty score.

For Life is a just employer;
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.

-Jessie B. Rittenhouse

When some material item is sold for a price less than it is worth, that brings joy to the buyer, but for the seller it is a loss. Sadly, the Bible gives several examples of individuals who bargained precious, priceless things for a worthless exchange. Beginning in Genesis, we see that Adam and Eve bargained paradise for the taste of a forbidden fruit because, “It was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to . . . make one wise” (Gen 3:6). The wage for this disobedience was the fall of all mankind. What a price!

Also, Sampson bargained his great strength for the lust of a woman. His loss of strength and his death were a poor wage for what he could have achieved for God.

Judas bargained the high calling of being Christ’s disciple for thirty pieces of silver. His wage was a lasting reputation of a traitor who took his own life.

We cannot put a value on life; it is too precious. It is a gift of God. Giving a life to God for His use is far better than bargaining a life for worthless things.

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”
-C.T. Studd

12 May

In His Time

Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

This Chapter and verse has always been one of my favorites. I love all seasons and I used to love wintertime the most, when I was a youngster. Everything looked so clean and the air, when I filled my lungs, made me feel refreshed. I enjoyed playing in the snow with all my friends; making snowmen, having snowball fights as we crouched behind our snow forts, and, of course, sledding down the hills.

As I grew older and became an adult, married and had children of my own, I still took some walks in the snow, but the cold was not as pleasant to my body. It was fun watching our children play though and I especially liked it when the bare limbs of trees and shrubbery would be covered with ice. The sun would shine off them like fine glass sculptures; So “Beautiful!”

“And God saw every thing that he had made and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

God creates so much beauty for us. We are all going through a trying time now and at times, even though we are not to, we want to ask “why,” because it is difficult to accept the sickness and many deaths around us. I know my husband and I have been reading the Bible and praying more than we ever have and we have faith and trust that God has a plan for His people. We are not to be afraid or terrified, because we know (Deuteronomy 31:6) “He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

None of us can truly understand or know God’s plan, but we must not give up or give in. Have Faith in HIM, trust HIM to do what is best for HIS people. “Everything” will work out “in HIS time” so enjoy his works and creations even in this time of trouble.

If you open your window and listen closely you will hear the wonderful sounds of the birds, such a happy sound. And the air, especially after a rain, still smells fresh and “beautiful.”

Keep HIS love in your heart and trust HIM to do what is best for all of us…”In HIS time….” Our life on earth is but a short time and it is rather difficult to comprehend eternity, but I trust my Heavenly Father and Jesus and I know HE is the Alpha and Omega. The Holy Spirit is always with me and I am so grateful to be one of HIS children.

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