Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Joseph: Genesis 47:1-31 "Joseph's Calling"

Read Genesis 47:1-31.

"So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property...." NIV

You can't read this and not be amazed at where Joseph has come to date. He began as a lowly shepherd boy -- granted, spoiled by his father -- but of lowly birth in Canaan. Now he has risen to a powerful position in another country and is saving the people from starvation. Oh, to have a Joseph in the United States right now. Someone to clearly see the need and meet the needs of the people. Is the plight of the Canaanites and the Egyptians where we are heading? Will we come to drastic measures to survive? It's possible. But as God had made sure Joseph was in the right place at the right time to do His work, so God will have His people taken care of in His timing and His way. Many of us already feel that God is allowing the difficulties of today stir in the hearts of the people of the church to actually be the people again. Maybe we are the Joseph they are looking for....

Although the Canaanites, I'm sure, felt terribly abandoned by their God, He'd never stopped working on their behalf. Here they were in a foreign land, starving, forced to sell the land they had been given and their service to Egypt for food. The promised land must have seemed very far away, and it was in human eyes. But in the eyes of the Almighty and His power. the promised land was merely a step away. God had some lessons to teach His people that required they begin in slavery.

How often do we feel like God is far away? Maybe we don't think He hears us or even cares about what's happening to us. But He never leaves us alone. His actions are always in step with His plan. If we have to endure hardship, it's because there are lessons to be learned and good will prevail in the end if we are faithful. His greatest desire is for us to love and trust Him in obedience. That's it. All the good and bad in life is secondary to loving and trusting our Father.

Joseph knew that. He had seen good times and bad ones. He wasn't living where he belonged, so God brought his family to him. He wasn't living the life he was supposed to be living, so God raised him up to second in all of Egypt. Sometimes, what doesn't make any sense to us is exactly what is needed to fulfill the Father's plan.

Trust and obey
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Do you feel very far from your promised land? Either God has some lessons for you to learn, or maybe He's redefining your promised land.
  2. Has the church become lazy? How can we be the Joseph our nation so desperately needs?

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