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By: Larry Shaffer
Folks, my schedule has been especially busy recently and is going to continue for a little while. The time it takes to write, edit and post 5 days a week has been a little challenging. I’m going to post Monday, Wednesday and Friday for awhile to catch my breathe. Thank you for reading and thanks to many for the kind and encouraging emails. God bless, Larry
This is a scene from our walk on the beach in Maui.
Fancy Meeting You Here!
Joseph, lesson 18
After a break last week, we are back to the story of Joseph and the Covenant keeping providence of God in our lives. Joseph has interpreted the Pharoah’s dream and seven years of famine will be coming upon them after seven years of great abundance. Pharoah exalted Joseph to second in the kingdom, but Joseph didn’t just sit around and enjoy the luxuries of life in the palace. Pharoah assigned authority and responsibility to Joseph to prepare Egypt for the drought. Joseph went to work during the time of plenty and worked with the people to save and store food for the future.
When seven years of plenty which had been in the land of Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread…The people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth. 41:53-57
In chapter 42, it has now been approximately 20 years since Joseph was sold into slavery at the hands of his brothers. About 10 years as a slave in jail and about 10 years overseeing the land of Egypt as the adopted prince of the country. Seven years of plenty has passed and the land is now well into the famine. Meanwhile, not much has changed back in Canaan with the clan of Jacob. Jacob still has little regard for his 10 sons and he has replaced his devotion for Joseph with Leah and Jacob’s younger son, Benjamin.
Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, ‘why are you staring at one another?’ He said, ‘behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy some for us from that place, so that we may live and not die.’ Then 10 brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain from Egypt. But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said,’I am afraid that harm may befall him.’…Now, Joseph was the ruler over the land; he was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly.
In God’s providence, He has been and is going to continue to do some work toward sustaining Jacob’s family and fulfill His covenant to make Israel a great nation and the seed of the Messiah will come through them. God will also do some work on Jacob’s heart and his son’s, especially Judah, who is in the line of the Messiah. God is going to give Joseph wisdom to handle the situation in order to humble Jacob and the brothers. He is also going to give Joseph much compassion and mercy that Joseph will show to his family. God is at work in both the earthly, physical lives of his people as well as at work in their hearts. He does the same for us.
Father, the breadth of Your providence is staggering. We rest in Your perfect wisdom and strength to bring about Your plan for our lives. Sometimes when we feel like Joseph, 10 years as a slave and in jail, it’s easy to doubt You and focus on the negatives of our lives. But by faith, we know that we are the adopted princes and princesses of the King. Come, Lord Jesus, come! Amen!