January - Reading 21

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Brother Adam, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam
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  2. Helen

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    OK, Clint -- just for you so you don't have to be first.... :D

    Genesis 44 and 45 conclude this section of the story of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph has watched them and tested them. He finally reveals himself to them, and they are stunned. This is their brother????

    But even before they get a chance to answer Joseph, he anticipates their fear of him in his position of power now, and, explaining the same thing Paul did in Romans 8:28 ("We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God..."), Joseph tells them "do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you....God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance..."

    And so Joseph is not only able to bring his family to Egypt, but to provide for them with everything they need. Nor does he hold any grudge at all for what they did to him or his many years in jail. His eyes are fixed firmly on the God he knows, and everything else pales into insignificance, knowing God is fully in charge.

    Now this is interesting, for here was Joseph, head over all Egypt, with a faith as strong as ever. This, I think, gives the lie to a few common claims:

    1. You cannot be in a position of political power and retain your faith.
    Joseph did.

    2. You cannot afford to live 'in the world' (not OF it, mind you!) because you will be corrupted.
    Joseph wasn't.

    We are to go where God sends us. Period. And if that is anywhere from Washington D.C. to Las Vegas, we obey. The point of strength, or of weakness, is where is our focus? What are we looking at?

    It will be over 400 years before their families leave again, as a multitude of people. The patriarchs will die in a foreign land. And so will we, folks, unless the Lord comes first. This is our foreign land. We aren't from here. But we WILL be going home at the right time.

    And notice at the end of the reading today, the joy in the heart of Jacob. Joseph is alive! God CAN be trusted!


    Psalm 19 -- we did that yesterday! I checked, and today's reading is Psalm 20. Someone was sleepy..... :D

    Psalm 20 has two halves. The first, through verse 5, is a beautiful benediction. I love it and have used parts of it in letters to people before.

    The second half has one of my favorite sections in the Bible:

    Some trust in chariots, and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
    They are brought to their knees and fall,
    but we rise up and stand firm.


    "Some trust in chariots" is the main line in three different songs I know! So I guess I am not the only one who likes this section of Psalms!

    Acts 11:19-30 -- that, again was yesterday. The Bible reading plan for today is Acts 12.

    I love the description of Peter not knowing if he was in a dream, or a vision, or what! His sleepy confusion did not prevent his obedience, however. We are running out of excuses here, folks!

    The guards, however, are executed. As though they could have prevented an excape directed by the Lord! This does show, however, that the guards at the tomb of the Lord were not about to risk their lives letting THIS Man's body 'escape'. They had no choice, either, however..

    As far as Herod's death is concerned -- methinks the man may have had some half-cooked pork?? :D He could have picked up those worms another way, but that is sure one of them!

    However, as always, the timing is of God. He fell from his infestation as soon as he accepted praise due only God. God is not hot on rivals...

    The chapter closes with our introduction ot John Mark; probably the Mark who wrote the second gospel.


    Matt. 8:23-34 -- two miracles, both of which are astonishing.
    Me? I can understand Jesus calming the storm. I don't understand how anyone can SLEEP through it! On a boat. Rocking, tossing, going from side to side. And He slept. He must have been REALLY tired!

    Still, the point to most people is that he calmed the storm with a word, and this shocked the disciples, who perhaps thought they knew Him by now.

    And then there is the healing of the two demon-possessed men and the plea of the demons to be allowed into other bodies. They preferred animal bodies to the torture they knew was coming. There may be a clue here as to why demons seem to try to influence and possess people so intently. Maybe it's either that or start their torture now? I don't know.

    In the meantime, what on earth were JEWS doing keeping a herd of pigs? And when the townspeople saw what Jesus had done, they begged Him to leave them!

    We see people like that everyday: they witness miracles and only want to be relieved of the burden of knowing about them. These people truly are preferring the lie. Eventually, should they stay on that path, tht is exactly what they will be given.
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

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    Psalm 20:7 - "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." No question about it, some scripture just stands very well on its own!

    I read Brother John and Sister Helen's comments yesterday that followed mine and I want to make it clear that I do not see enjoyment as the only emotion being demonstrated by Joseph in this story. However, when we look at the HUMAN side of this story, I still see an element of mischievousness to Joseph's approach to this situation. Joseph was the big, high muck-a-muck in Egypt at this point and could have easily just sent a legion of men to retrieve Jacob and his household. Instead, he keeps planting false evidence on the brothers in their sojourns, and keeps them oblivious to his true identity. In our reading today we see that Joseph can "no longer contain himself" in verse 45:1. I, personally, interpret this as he has nursed the prank for all its worth and now he just HAS to tell the brothers that it has all been a charade. I would appreciate some further comment on this. Again, I do recognize that there is a maelstrom of emotions in this story. It is a reversed mirror image of Jacob and Esau's meeting.
    I also very much appreciate Joseph's ability to recognize that his brother's act of cruelty is the very device which God used to save and preserve Abraham's seed from the famine that is occurring at this point in history. It is also the device that leads the Jews into Egypt and sets us up for the Exodus saga in February. Furthermore, we again see a repetitive passage in 44: 18 - 32. Judah is showing himself to be a great leader for the brothers. Rueben seems to have faded into the background despite his greater age.

    The very famous story of the calming of the storm in Matthew today is a powerful lesson in faith for the modern believer. I would assume that all of us have storms come up with no warning in our lives. The turbulence can be in the weather, in our interpersonal relationships or even just occur somewhere behind the eyes and between the ears. Christ is the calming influence necessary for humans to overcome such potential cataclysms. I think the question in verse 26 is not one of a rhetorical nature. Though Christ knew the nature of man in dealing with impending doom, the question was designed to inspire introspection by the men on the boat. Why are we so afraid? Look at the faith of the Patriarchs we have been reading in Genesis. Look at the faith of Daniel in the lion's den. Look at the faith of David as he faced Goliath. The "storm" is not our enemy; the enemy is our own lack of faith.
    In the second part of our reading in the same chapter, it should be noted that the owners of the pigs were probably gentiles (pigs were the most "unclean" of all the animals for Jews) and in their reporting the incident to their village, they were probably more concerned with losing profit on their herd of pigs than they were about the exorcism of the demons in the possessed.

    In Acts today, there is a great deal that can be explored. In verse 15, it seems that the people of this time believed in "guardian angels." I would appreciate some feedback on this notion from some of the more scholarly members of this board.
    I think we can all appreciate verse 5 as well. One form of prayer is petition. God will do as God will do, but the believer has the right…no, PRIVELAGE to ask God for assistance. Peter seems to be running on auto-pilot in his liberation as is evidenced in verse 11, "Then Peter came to himself…" The notes in my study Bible are extensive on this chapter. One can glean from much this passage in theology and history. If any of you are interested, I am supplying a link to one of many commentaries on this important chapter: Bible Gateway

    May all of you have a good day and may God bless you

    - Clint

    By the way, I did this offline today. Thanks for heading the pack today Helen!
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

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