WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 37
As has been the case throughout the book of Genesis, the Biblical narrative is about to take another turn. We saw that when the story changed from Adam to Noah to Abraham to Isaac. And now, according to verse 2, we are about to read about the generations of Jacob.
We have obviously been reading a lot about Jacob already but with the death of Isaac at the end of chapter 35, the story now belongs to Jacob. Interestingly enough, however, the story for the next several chapters is actually going to be more about a man named Joseph who was one of Jacob’s sons. Jacob will in no way disappear from the narrative but Joseph will become basically the central figure.
There are at least a couple of ways we can read the next several chapters. One is the story of Joseph is the story of profound theological implications. We see God operating throughout this part of the story. We find Him behind the scenes directing the narrative. We also find Him front and center overruling human decisions and ensuring His plans will be carried out. Through all of that, we find God working in a man who would be put in a place to save not only his family but would also begin the process of creating a nation (Israel). But never doubt that God is covenant making God and God never breaks the covenants He makes.
The other way to look at Joseph and his story is the way he resembles Jesus Christ. Joseph, like Jesus, was loved by his father and obedient to his will. Like Jesus, Joseph was hated and despised by his brothers. Like Jesus, Joseph was falsely accused and unjustly punished. Like Jesus, Joseph was raised from a place of suffering to a place of power and influence. Joseph was even reported to be dead and then proven to be alive.
There are a variety of other important things in this chapter. For example, parents should be reminded again not to play favorites with their children. That is a very divisive thing to do in any family and never ends well.
Another thing is be careful about communicating your dreams. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big dreams. I am still convinced that God can communicate with us through dreams (as long as those dreams line up with God’s Word). But sometimes the best thing we can do with those things is keep them to ourselves until we are sure what they mean and what we are to do. Although it wasn’t a dream, the Bible says Mary treasured up the things that were happening and pondered them in her heart. In other words, she wasn’t quick to share things. She, instead, was content to keep them to herself and think through them.
This doesn’t mean there isn’t a time that we should talk about what the Lord has revealed to us. It just means wisdom is always in order.
By the time we get to the end of the chapter, Joseph had been sold into slavery which is better than being killed. At least we see it that way because we have some idea of how this will all end up. But I can’t help wondering what was going on in the 17 year old mind of Joseph who had no way of knowing how all of this would end.
God is the only One who knows the end from the beginning. The rest of us are to live by faith. In fact, we are to live from faith to faith believing that God’s plan is for our good and the best thing to do is allow Him to do the best thing for us. Easy to say. Hard to do.