With this post, I finish off the book of Genesis. What is the point of Genesis? Do we get too caught up in old vs new earth? Literal vs functional 6 days? Do we err in our understanding of it because we do not fully understand the language and original culture? Do we allow science to alter our views?
I believe in the young earth. What we would consider a literal translation. Not sure that it matters at the end of the day. We can’t grasp everything that God does or is. But at some point, all we believe is a huge leap of faith. (BTW: I really need to read Lost World of Genesis One by John Walton. Check out the review on BookWi.se.)
I’m reading the Bible through in 90 days. Join me. Click here for more information on the ESV Bible in 90 day plan that I am doing.
After 2 years, the cupbearer remembers that Joseph was able to interpret his and the bread man’s dream. A little late, but that’s OK. The Pharaoh summons Joseph to interpret his dream that he has had. Joseph says that God will provide the meaning and that it isn’t Joseph himself that can do anything. Famine. Prepare. Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of the preparation.
Isn’t it interesting that here is a 30 year old man who knows who God is… in a pagan land that is about to experience the worst famine that the globe has ever seen. God has blessed Joseph in everything that he has ever done. He doesn’t run from the responsibility of taking over the disaster relief/preparedness of this nation.
Joseph is 30! He’s taken from the field as a shepherd and is thrown into slavery and then into prison. No schooling. No IDEA what to do but to listen to God and LET God use him.
This 30 year old becomes the instrument in which God’s glory is shown. Wow!
I’m 36. When was the last time that I just allowed God to take over?
I wonder how much time has elapsed? Either way, Joseph’s brothers are sent to Egypt to buy food and supplies for their family. They don’t recognize him, but he recognizes them. He allows them to take food, but holds Simeon as ‘payment.’ for it.
The brothers must return, but this time they know that Joseph wants them to bring their younger brother, Benjamin. They are hesitant to return even though they need more provisions. They do return with Benjamin.
Joseph test his brothers to see if they have changed from when they sold him into slavery.
Joseph can no longer control his emotions. He lets his brothers know who he is.
- “God sent me before you to preserve life.”
- “God sent me to preserve a remnant on earth.”
- “It was not you who sent me here, but God.”
I wonder how many times Joseph had this conversation with God. He had plenty of time to just listen. Surely, he questioned God during the times in prison, but God’s still and quiet voice was able to comfort Joseph and tell him… “I’ve got a plan for you. You’re mine. You’ll see. Just wait. A little longer.”
Amazing story of faithfulness from Joseph and then grace toward his brothers.
Joseph’s whole family comes to Egypt. God reminds Jacob (Israel) that he will be made into a great nation. God is in control.
Pharaoh allows Joseph’s family to stay (even though shepherds are an abomination to the Egyptians.) Israel settles in the the land of Egypt. They were fruitful and multiplied. Israel makes Joseph swear that when he dies, that his body would be buried in Canaan in the family land. Promise made.
Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh receive blessing from Jacob, before Jacob dies. The younger receives the blessing. Joseph tries to change the blessing order… but Jacob replies, “I know, but his younger brother shall be greater than he. His offspring shall become a multitude of nations.
Jacob calls all his sons together and blesses them (or doesn’t bless them in some cases) Because of Reuben, Simeon, Levi being passed over for various reasons, Judah gets the full blessing. Verse 8 through 11 is the full blessing. Again, he asks that he be buried in his tomb where Abraham, Isaac, and their wives as well as Rachel are buried.
They embalm Jacob and eventually do take him to his tomb in Canaan.
The main takeaway from this chapter is that after Jacob dies, the brothers believe that perhaps brother Joseph may treat them harshly and punish them. Instead he surprises them again and says, “Do not fear. You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good!”
The chapter and book ends with Joseph’s death. He is embalmed and his body will be brought up out of the land when the rest of the Israelites are.
Back to that more important point… God didn’t intend his world to be fractured. He knew that it was gonna happen, but he didn’t create it with the intent that it would be evil. He meant it all for good. We are the ones who denied Him and decided to do it our way. Some how, however, God is able to take the crappy situations that we cause and work his plan into them. He uses uneducated, shepherds (who society thinks are abominations) to bring Him Glory.
We need to talk less. We are often times thrown into solitary confinement for something that we did not do. Instead of getting all worked up about it… instead of getting angry at those who oppress us or treat us wrongly, we need to just shut up and listen to God. He will work with the situation and get the glory one way or another. Perhaps he’ll let us be an instrument in the symphony.