Common Sense Advice
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. 16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
Should anyone use what he had said
in the previous verses to disparage women or to claim the superiority of men, Paul now took to opportunity to set them straight. Although the woman was taken from man and should have her head covered during worship in order to indicate that she is under authority, she is not inferior to him.
In their relationship with the Lord they are equal. They each have an important role in the body and function of the church. One is the compliment of the other; one is nothing without the other. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 2:29)
"For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman;" We are reminded here that, while the woman was taken from the side of man, all men born thereafter were born of a woman. However the important thing to remember is that "all things are from God." He has established the divine order of things, and we should not seek to overturn it.
"Judge for yourselves!" Use the common sense that God has given you. Judge according to the customs and habits of the time and place. Use your sense of propriety. "Is it comely (or "suitable") for a woman to pray uncovered?" He implores them to simply look at what nature teaches us. Women naturally have long hair while the man's is naturally cut short. Long hair on a man was looked upon as being shameful and effeminate, but the woman was given her long hair by God for a natural veil a natural covering. Although there is neither male nor female in the spiritual body of Christ, there are still those natural distinctions that were given to them by God for His purpose.
There is a question about where the 16th verse belongs in this discussion. Some believe that it should apply to what follows and others that it applies to what has just been said. It seems to me that it is connected to what has just been said. The point is that some might object to what Paul had written. It was not the custom of the country nor of the churches for the women to pray without being covered with a veil.
There were many problems within the church at Corinth. To us this might seem like a very small and insignificant one, but anyone who has been a member of any church for a length of time will understand how such small misunderstandings can become large disputes. Paul attempted to resolve this question as amicably as possible by pointing out God's design, the significance of the natural order of things and the customs of their cultures. Men and women are equal and one in Christ but they also have had different roles given to them by God in the church and in society, and those differences should not be blurred.
Before The Throne:
Pray for harmony in your church. Ask God to help all members understand their roles in the divine order. Pray that contentions would not arise over how people are dressed as long as they are modest and respectful of the other worshipers around them. Pray that neither excessive legalism nor excessive liberality would prevail.
For Further Study:
1Cor 7:10-14; 1Cor 12:12-22; Gal 3:28:
** but. 1Cor 8:6; Prov 16:4; Rom 11:36; Heb 1:2-3;
1Cor 10:15; Luke 12:57; John 7:24;
** if. 2Sa 14:26; ** it is. 14:35;
** seem. 1Tim 6:3; 1Tim 6:4; ** such. Acts 21:21; Acts 21:24; ** the churches. 1Cor 7:17; 1Cor 14:33; 1Cor 14:34; 1Cor 16:1; 1Thess 2:14;
18 Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother? 20 And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him. 21 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him. 22 And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die. 23 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more. 24 And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food. 26 And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us. 27 And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons: 28 And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since: 29 And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. 30 Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; 31 It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. 32 For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever. 33 Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. 34 For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.
This devotion was posted on a September 11, a day that will always be remembered as one on which many Americans sacrificed themselves to save others. The love that those men and women demonstrated for their fellow men and women is of the highest degree. Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) I think it is the impact of that love on everyone's life that makes Americans so emotional over what happened on that day. Without their heroism, the day would have simply been remembered as one of great tragedy like so many other disasters.
As we read the passage above, Judah's plea for mercy is filled with a very similar kind of emotion, ending with an offer to sacrifice himself for his father's sake. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, quoting Dr. A Clarke, says, "No paraphrase can heighten the effect of Judah's address to Joseph. To add, would be to diminish its excellence; to attempt to explain, would be to obscure its beauties; to clothe the ideas in other language than that of Judah, and his translators in our Bible, would ruin its energy, and destroy its influence. It is perhaps one of the most tender, affecting pieces of natural oratory ever spoken or penned: and we need not wonder to find that, when Joseph heard it, he could not refrain himself, but wept aloud. His soul must have been insensible beyond what is common to human nature, had he not immediately yielded to a speech so delicately tender, and so powerfully impressive."
Judah's speech did not mention his own guilt concerning what had happened to Joseph, but it revealed to Joseph the official version of his own disappearance. It gave him his first understanding of the affect that his reported death had had on his father, the horrible grief that he had suffered all those years while believing that his son had been torn apart by beasts.
Judah's speech admitted his father's favoritism for Rachel's two sons, Benjamin and Joseph. Concerning Benjamin, he said, "… his (Jacob's) life is bound up in the lad's life," and that the loss of Benjamin would kill him.
Judah offered no defense to the charges that were made against Benjamin. He made no excuses for their behavior. Instead, he threw their case upon Joseph's mercy. He did not hate his father for his favoritism. To the contrary, he offered himself up as a trade for Benjamin. Judah would have rather spent the rest of his life in slavery than see his father so grievously hurt again.
This honestly passionate plea was too much for Joseph, as we shall see tomorrow.
The love that leads a person to self-sacrifice comes close to the love that Jesus showed to mankind when He went to His death at Calvary. It was, however, a far greater sacrifice than any of us can make. All the deaths of September 11, 2001 combined cannot compare to the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we are all subject to die one day, condemned by our own unbelief and without hope. But Jesus, who was without sin, did not have to suffer and die. He died for us while we were yet sinners. He sacrificed Himself so that through Him we might have eternal life and a new hope. He was God incarnate, and no man can ever make a sacrifice of so great a value.
Before The Throne:
Pray for the families of all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. After all the emotion that will be generated today by the television, newspapers and public events, ask your self whether the memory of Jesus' death has impacted your life with the same or greater emotion. Are you ready to sacrifice your life for Him? Do you have the love for others that was demonstrated by the American heroes on this day last year? Will you, like Judah, give of yourself, so that the Father will not be grieved?
For Further Study:
(v.18) ** let thy. Gen 18:30,32; 2Sa 14:12; Job 33:31; Ac 2:29; ** anger. Ex 32:22; Es 1:12; Ps 79:5; ** as Pharaoh. Gen 41:40,44; Pr 19:12; Da 3:15,19-23; 5:19; Joh 5:22;
(v.19) Gen 42:7-10; 43:7,29;
(v.20) Gen 49:8; ** a child. Gen 35:18; 37:3,19; 43:7,8; 46:21; ** and his brother. Gen 37:33-35; 42:36,38; ** he alone. Lu 7:12;
(v.21) ** Bring. Gen 42:15,20; 43:29; ** that I may. Jer 24:6; 40:4; Am 9:4;
(v.22) ** his father would die. Gen 42:38;
(v.23) Gen 42:15-20; 43:3,5;
(v.24) ** we told him. Gen 42:29-34;
(v.25) Gen 43:2,5;
(v.26) Gen 43:4,5; Lu 11:7;
(v.27) Gen 29:18-21,28; 30:22-25; 35:16-18; 46:19;
(v.28) ** the one. Gen 37:13,14; ** Surely. Gen 37:33; 42:36,38;
(v.29) ** And if. Gen 42:36,38; 43:14; Ps 88:3,4; ** sorrow. Gen 42:38; De 31:17; Ps 88:4;
(v.30) ** his life 1Sa 18:1; 25:29; 2Sa 18:33;
(v.31) ** when he. 1Sa 4:17,18; 2Co 7:10; 1Th 4:13; ** servants shall. Gen 37:26,27,35; 1Sa 22:22; ** grave. Gen 37:35;
(v.32) Gen 43:8,9,16;
(v.33) ** I pray thee. Ex 32:32; Ro 5:7-10; 9:3; ** instead. Heb 7:22; 1Jo 3:16;
(v.34) ** lest. 1Sa 2:33,34; 2Ch 34:28; Es 8:6; Jer 52:10,11; ** come on. Ex 18:8; Job 31:29; Ps 116:3; 119:143;
The Other Table
26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth. 27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive? 28 And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance. 29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son. 30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there. 31 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread. 32 And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians. 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another. 34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.
Joseph had sent his brothers ahead to his mansion with his steward. Being a diligent servant of God and of the people of Egypt, he gave his work priority over his personal life. When he finished his duties, he returned home where his brothers greeted him with their gifts and bowed before him.
Joseph was, of course, anxious to find out news about his father and was glad to see Benjamin, his full brother. But this was a very difficult moment for him. His emotions were battling each other. On the one hand, he wanted to reveal who he was and to restore his family relationships, while, on the other, he was determined to follow through with his plan to see his brothers be thoroughly reproved. His heart was about to burst with joy, yet his plan and his position required that he maintain a serious composure. Finally, having no more control over himself, he retreated to his chambers and wept.
After washing up, Joseph returned to his brothers and ordered dinner to be sent. The seating arrangement may seem strange to us, but was very common in Egypt. The master of the house sat at a small round table by himself. The guests were seated at another table or tables, depending on the number of them. The Egyptian people would not sit at the same table as a foreigner. Foreigner's ate the meat of animals that were worshipped as gods by the Egyptians and were disgusting to them.
It is remarkable that Joseph could have had so much power and yet would be disgusting to the very people whom he was saving from starvation. This reminds us of Jesus, whom the Pharisees criticized for violating their man made laws about the Sabbath and cleanliness. They thought they were made much more righteous by their observance of the laws.
These same Pharisees refused to enter the homes of the Gentiles, because they ate unclean meats and touched unclean things. Although they believed in the one true God, they were no different than the heathens in Egypt. They trusted in their own righteousness not in the God whom they claimed to worship.
Joseph seems to have given his servants the freedom to believe as they wished, but he always set a godly example for them to follow. He was not judgmental, critical, nor dictatorial; and he was very respectful of everyone with whom he dealt. Surrounded by bigotry, he maintained his humble devotion to God.
Things are no different for us today. There are many who put on the act of righteousness but have no relationship with God. "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (II Timothy 3:5) They deny the power without saying anything. Their lives are such that the power of God is never displayed in them. We see them on Sunday morning, always near the front of the church with hands raised or up at the altar on their knees, but never out in their community sharing the gospel. They like to be seen and admired for their faith, but they have none.
These people congregate in their own private little circles, because there is so much to talk about. The preacher isn't holy enough for them; the deacons do not pray or worship properly; or someone they know does not pray in tongues. This is their only fruit … the luscious sun ripened gossip. Are they any different from the heathen Egyptians?
Finally, Joseph tested his brothers' attitude by giving Benjamin five times the portion of food that the others received. How would they respond? Would they be jealous of him as they were of Joseph or had they learned their lesson? It seems they had learned, because they all had a good time together.
Before The Throne:
Pray about your own righteousness. Is it your own or is it from God through Jesus Christ? Does it humble you or make you proud? Do you judge others or encourage them? Ask the Holy Spirit to answer these questions for you. Pray for those in your church who want to be seen by all men but do not want to serve any men. Ask God to teach you how to respect their rights as Joseph respected the Egyptians, while helping you to witness and be an example to them. Turn away from the chronic gossips who think everyone else is unclean.
For Further Study:
(v.26) ** bowed. Gen 27:29; 37:7-10,19,20; 42:6; Ps 72:9; Ro 14:11; Php 2:10,11;
(v.27) ** welfare. Heb. peace. Gen 37:14; 41:16; Ex 18:7; Jud 18:15; 1Sa 17:22; 25:5; 1Ch 18:10; ** the old. 42:11,13;
(v.28) ** bowed. Gen 37:7,9,10; ** made obeisance. Ex 18:7; 2Sa 1:2; 14:4; 1Ki 1:16; 2Ch 24:17;
(v.29) ** mother's son. Gen 30:22-24; 35:17,18; ** of whom. Gen 42:11,13; ** God. Gen 45:8; Jos 7:19; 2Ch 29:11; Ps 133:1,2; Mt 9:2,22; Mr 10:24; 1Ti 1:2; Heb 13:1; ** my son. Nu 6:25; Ps 111:4; 112:4; Isa 30:19; 33:2; Mal 1:9;
(v.30) ** his bowels. # 1Ki 3:26; Jer 31:20; Ho 11:8; Php 1:8; 2:1; Col 3:12; 1Jo 3:17; ** wept there. Gen 42:24; Joh 11:33-38; Ac 20:19,31,37; 2Ti 1:4;
(v.31) ** refrained. Gen 45:1; Isa 42:14; Jer 31:16; 1Pe 3:10;
(v.32) ** eat bread. Gen 31:54;
(v.34) ** messes. 2Sa 11:8; ** was five times. Gen 45:22; 1Sa 1:5; 9:22-24; ** were merry. Pr 31:6; Ec 9:7; 10:19; So 5:1; Hab 1:6; Mt 11:19; Joh 2:10;
The Arrival in Egypt
15 And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon. 17 And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house. 18 And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses. 19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house, 20 And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food: 21 And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand. 22 And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks. 23 And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them. 24 And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender. 25 And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.
The sons of Jacob arrived back in Egypt terrified of what might happen to them, but on the other hand, we must admire their courage. They overcame their fears and faced Joseph for the good of their family and their brother Simeon.
However, there was nothing for them to fear. Joseph was apparently very wise and an expert at using their guilty consciences against them. " The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion." (Proverbs 28:1) People who can think up wicked schemes, such as the one they plotted against Joseph, will suspect others of doing the same. It is human nature for us to always think others to be more wicked than ourselves.
The idea that these eleven brothers, who lived in tents on land they did not own, should be invited to a great feast in the house of the mansion of the ruler of Egypt was very suspicious. Was the feast designed to celebrate their capture or even their execution? What wickedness could this Egyptian have plotted against them?
As soon as the steward of Joseph's house led them to the mansion, they began to explain about the money. They confessed that they had it, claimed to have no knowledge of how it got there, and offered to return it.
The steward had, however, been given some instructions concerning God. He assured them that he was in control of the money and that it was a gift from their God. "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe." (Proverbs 29:25) It should have been an embarrassing moment for them to be assured of the providence of God by this heathen in a foreign country.
We are indebted to God for everything. Although the steward had placed the money in their bags, as he was most likely instructed by Joseph to do, he still gave God the credit. It is saddening to hear a Christian musician talk about his or her musical accomplishments or to hear a Christian brag about his success in business without mentioning that it was God who did it all. He is the author of our talents, our opportunities, our successes, and everything that we have. They are free gifts and, in that sense, everyone shares in His grace.
The reunion with their brother Simeon must have made them a bit more comfortable. The steward also gave them water to wash their feet and he fed their asses, which were probably numerable. These were courtesies extended to honored guests and served to assure them of their safety, at least for the moment.
It is not good to have to live with our unconfessed sins. They separate us from our God, cause us to be constantly looking over our shoulders in fear of what men might do to us, and torture our consciences. That is not what God wants for His people. In the book of Isaiah, God says, "I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? (Isaiah 51:12-13)
Before The Throne:
Do not live another moment with unconfessed sin in your life. Give it all up to God. You should never have to go through life looking over your shoulder in fear. Pray that God would help you to realize how complete His protection is for you. Ask Him to comfort you. Ask yourself, "Where is the fury my oppressor?" Let God assure you that He is in control.
For Further Study:
(v.16) ** the ruler. Gen 15:2; 24:2-10; 39:4,5; 44:1; ** slay. Gen 21:8; 26:30; 31:54; 1Sa 25:11;
(v.18) ** the men. Gen 42:21,28,35; Jud 13:22; Job 15:21; Ps 53:5; 73:16; Isa 7:2; Mt 14:26,27; Mr 6:16; ** seek occasion against us. De 22:14,17; Jud 14:4; Job 30:14; Ro 7:8;
(v.20) ** we came indeed down. Gen 42:3,10,27,35;
(v.21) ** we came. Gen 42:27-35; ** we have. Ro 12:17; 13:8; Heb 13:5,18; 1Pe 2:12; 3:16;
(v.23) ** Peace. Jud 6:23; 19:20; 1Sa 25:6; 1Ch 12:18; Ezr 4:17; Lu 10:5; 24:36; Joh 14:27; 20:19,21,26; ** Simeon. Gen 42:24,36;
(v.24) Gen 18:4; 19:2; 24:32; Lu 7:44; Joh 13:4-17;
Preparing to Return
11 And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds: 12 And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: 13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: 14 And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.
So, Jacob finally accepted the fact that his family would starve to death unless he sent Benjamin and his brothers back to Egypt to purchase more food. He, therefore, ordered his sons to gather the best fruits in the land to take as gifts for the Egyptian. This reminds us of the many gifts that he had sent before him when he went to meet his brother, Esau. However, it was the custom in those days to take a gift when going before an important person. "A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men." (Proverbs 18:16)
It is good for us to use the resources, which God has provided, to help us out of difficult situations. Our enemies or those whom we perceive might pose a danger to us can often be turned into friends with a small gift. "A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath."
The gifts, which Jacob sent, were simple gifts, yet in a time of famine were very meaningful. The honey, pistachio nuts and almonds from the area were far superior to those of Egypt and they were a part of Jacob's precious and rapidly dwindling food supply.
He also sent along the extra money that was found in their sacks. Honesty is the best policy, and the brothers did not know how the money had gotten into the sacks. They certainly did not want to be accused of stealing it, and its return would serve as evidence that they could be trusted.
Jacob also seems to have understood that even the best of plans are subject to the will of God. They cannot succeed without His divine intervention, and we should not be so presumptuous as to make them without His counsel. "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil." (James 4:13-16)
So Jacob prayed to El Shaddai, God Almighty, asking Him to change the heart of the Egyptian. Even the most wicked of men are under the full control of the will of God. They can do us no harm without His consent and they will not change without the working power of His Holy Spirit. Their life is nothing but a vapor, quickly extinguishable at the hands of El Shaddai, and their wicked plans are in vain.
It should be the practice of every Christian to pray for every person with whom he must have any dealings. We should recognize that God is sovereign over the hearts of men and trust Him to intervene in our relationships. Our lives would flow much more peacefully, if we prayed for them before we had to deal with them.
However, it may not always be God's will for people to treat us fairly or kindly. Jacob's final statement in our passage is variously interpreted to be a statement of doubt within his own prayer, but I do not think that is true. Jacob was either saying that he would accept the will of God, if something terrible happened to his sons, or that he would have to accept the fact that he would be childless for a while until his sons returned. I think it was the latter case with him. He was sending all of his sons, even his youngest and most beloved son, and is saying, "If I must be childless for a time, so be it." He was resigned to accept and to trust in the will of God.
When others deal unjustly with us, we must make every effort to place all of our trust in God. "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44) That is what Jacob did. He prayed for God to give Joseph a merciful heart.
Before The Throne:
Who will you see today? Pray for them. Ask God to help you get along with them. Pray for them to be kind to everyone around them. Pray for them to receive the joy of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. What will you do today? Pray for God to intervene in your plans and to mold them to fit His plans. Place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for every moment of this day.
For Further Study:
(v.11) ** If it must be. Es 4:16; Ac 21:14; ** carry down. Gen 32:13-21; 33:10; 37:25; De 33:14; 1Sa 9:7; 25:27; 1Ki 4:21; 10:25; 15:19; 2Ki 8:8; 16:8; 20:12; Ps 68:29; 72:10; 76:11; Pr 17:18; 18:16; 19:6; 21:14; Eze 27:1; ** a little balm. Gen 37:25; Jer 8:22; Eze 27:15; ** honey. Le 20:24; ** spices. 1Ki 10:15; So 4:10,14-16; 5:1; 8:14;
(v.12) ** double. Ro 12:17; 13:8; 2Co 8:21; Php 4:8; 1Th 4:6; 5:21; Heb 13:8; ** mouth. Gen 42:25,35;
(v.13) Gen 42:38;
(v.14) ** And God. Gen 17:1; 22:14; 32:11-28; 39:21; Ezr 7:27; Ne 1:11; Es 4:16; Ps 37:5-7; Ps 85:7; 100:5; 119:41; Pr 1:1; 16:7; 21:1; Isa 49:13; Lu 1:50; Ac 7:10; 21:14; 1Ti 1:2,16; Tit 1:4; 2Jo 1:3; ** If I be. Es 4:16;
1 And the famine was sore in the land. 2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food. 3 And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. 4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food: 5 But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. 6 And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother? 7 And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down? 8 And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. 9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever: 10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.
Patient endurance is not one of my virtues, but it is something that God wants everyone to learn. Therefore, He has allowed life to be full of little trials and temptations so that we might learn to wait on Him. Frequently the problems seem much worse to us than they really are. This was the case with Jacob and his family. God was caring for them by His divine providence, but they only saw the prospect of starving to death.
A family argument ensued. Jacob had evidently resigned himself to the fact that Simeon was lost, because he did not send his sons back for him. The famine was very severe, and the food that the brothers had brought from Egypt on the first trip did not last very long. Jacob's household was probably over three hundred people at this time, and it would have been very difficult for the brothers to carry enough food to survive very long. We do not know what happened to the great wealth that Jacob had inherited from Abraham and Isaac. It is possible that he had to sell his servants to purchase food and that, without food or water, his flocks perished. Nevertheless, the family was desperate for food and began to argue.
Jacob would have rather died than risk the life of his youngest son, Benjamin. He held his other sons at least partly responsible for the situation, "Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?" It was only after Judah convinced him that the whole family was going to starve to death, including Benjamin, that Jacob agreed to allow them to take him and get more food.
The entire family was being tested. Simeon, sitting in his lonely prison cell, must have felt the rejection that Joseph had felt many years earlier. Where were his brothers? Why had they not returned for him? Had something happened to them, leaving him to die there in the darkness of the king's dungeon?
Joseph must have been concerned also. How long could he keep Simeon locked up? He knew very well how cruel his family could be. Had they simply abandoned Simeon in order to save their own necks?
Everyone needed to know how to wait upon the Lord. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)
All of the problems that Jacob's family was suffering were actually for their own salvation. They were severely tested but they would soon be brought to Egypt under the loving protection of the brother whom they had hated. God was in control; God knew exactly how much each could bear; and God had provided for their escape.
Before The Throne:
How heavy are your burdens today? Will you be able to exercise patient endurance? Pray that God will provide a way for you to escape the pressure. Pray that He will keep you from giving in to temptation. Ask Him to help you trust in Him for the outcome of your circumstances. Do not leave your prayer time without the confident assurance that God is in control and everything is OK.
For Further Study:
(v.1) Gen 18:13; 41:54-57; 42:5; Ec 9:1,2; La 5:10; Ac 7:11-13;
(v.2) Gen 42:1,2; Pr 15:16; 16:18; 31:16; 1Ti 5:8; 6:6-8;
(v.3) ** man. Gen 42:15-20,33,34; 44:23; ** did solemnly protest. Ac 7:34; ** see my face. 2Sa 3:13; 14:24,28,32; Ac 20:25,38;
(v.5) ** will not. Gen 42:38; 44:26; Ex 20:12;
(v.8 ) ** lad with me. Gen 42:38; 44:26; Ex 20:12; ** that we. Gen 42:2; De 33:6; 2Ki 7:4,13; Ps 118:17; ** also our. Gen 45:19; 50:8,21; Nu 14:31; Ezr 8:21;
(v.9) ** will be. Gen 42:37; 44:32,33; 1Ki 1:21; Job 17:3; Ps 119:122; Phm 1:18,19; Heb 7:22; ** of my hand. Gen 9:5; 31:39; Eze 3:18,20; 33:6,8; Lu 11:50;
29 And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying, 30 The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. 31 And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies: 32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan. 33 And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone: 34 And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the land. 35 And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. 36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. 37 And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again. 38 And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
The word sin should never be thought of as a singular noun, because, when one sin occurs, more are sure to follow. Unrepented sin always requires the sinner to sin again, sometimes to ease his conscience, sometimes to cover-up his sins, and sometimes to fill an insatiable desire for more of the same.
Sin should never be considered to be a singular noun, because it always affects more than one person. I have frequently heard people say that they see no harm in certain sins, because they are affecting no one but themselves. That is never true. Sin is not a singular event. It is a chain reaction of events that affect many people.
Joseph's brothers returned to their father in Canaan without Simeon. It is obvious, from Jacob's reaction to the news, that the past thirteen years had not eased his grief and suffering from losing Joseph. His other sons may have thought of their act as only one sin, but its effects were many years of suffering for both Joseph and their father.
It is important to see how these returning sons attempt to soften the impact of what happened in Egypt. They did not mention that they had spent three days in the prison or that Simeon was being held in bonds while Joseph awaited their return. They failed to tell Jacob that they had found money in one of their sacks and would likely be accused of stealing, if they returned to Egypt.
Of course, when they opened the other sacks and found the rest of the money, they were even more terrified of what might happen and Jacob was even more upset. His reaction, "Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me," is a surprise to the reader, if not to his sons. The Hebrew shakal literally means to make childless. Jacob now openly voices a suspicion that he has secretly harbored for over thirteen years and blames his sons for Joseph's death. The phrase Simeon is not tells us that he believed Simeon was dead also.
Jacob believed that everything was working against him to destroy his family. Little did he realize that God had everything working together for his good, but he would have to suffer from the sins of his sons for a little while longer.
Who else could their cruelty affect? Oh! Ruben, while trying to cover up their guilt is quick to stupidly demonstrate his lack of compassion. " Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again." How could he offer his sons in such a cruel manner? How could he expect that Jacob would be willing to accept the sacrifice of his own grandsons? Ruben could not even be sure that he himself would come back alive.
Jacob of course refused the offer. Convinced that Simeon was lost, he was not going to entrust the life his favorite son to this bunch. Their sins had destroyed the whole family and covered it in a shroud of deep suspicion and grief.
Before The Throne:
Have you thought about the sweeping consequences of even a small sin? Pray that God would help you to live in righteousness and truth. Confess your sins and pray for those whom you have hurt. Commit yourself to restoring relationships that have been ruined due to sin. Praise God that He has given you a Savior whose blood was shed for your redemption.
For Further Study:
(v.34) ** traffick. Gen 34:10,21; 1Ki 10:15; Eze 17:4;
(v.35) ** every man's. Gen 43:21;
(v.36) ** Me have ye. Gen 37:20-35; 43:14; * all these things. Gen 45:28; 47:12; 1Sa 27:1; Job 7:7; Ps 34:19; Ec 7:8; Isa 27:9; 38:10; 41:10,13,14; Mt 14:31; Ro 8:28,31; 1Co 10:13; 2Co 4:17; Jas 5:7-11;
(v.37) ** Slay my. Gen 43:9; 44:32-34; 46:9; Mic 6:7;
(v.38) ** his brother. Gen 30:22-24; 35:16-18; 37:33,35; 44:20,27-34; ** if mischief. Gen 44:29; ** bring. Gen 37:35; 44:29,31; 1Ki 2:6; Ps 71:18; 90:10; Ec 1:14; 2:26; Isa 38:10; 46:4;
The Guilty Conscience
21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. 22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required. 23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter. 24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes. 25 Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them. 26 And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence. 27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack's mouth. 28 And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?
No greater suffering has ever been inflicted upon man than that which is imposed by his own conscience. Conscience lives within us, always reminding us of our guilt. Its torments can be unbearable, yet it is a wonderful gift from God. "How necessary to hear its voice in time, for here it may be the instrument of salvation; but if not heard in this world, it must be heard in the next; and there, in association with the unquenchable fire, it will be the never-dying worm." (Clarke)
Conscience is that insufferable voice, which drives us to our knees in search of redemption and forgiveness. It is the instrument that brings us into full submission to our Lord. Conscience blots out the excuses, which man 's vain imagination dreams up in order to justify him.
Speaking of the Gentiles, who were not given the revealed law of God, Paul wrote, "Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another." (Romans 2:15) Although they do not have the written law of God, every heathen has an ingrained sense of right and wrong and a conscience by which to judge his own thoughts and actions.
Joseph was not being cruel to his brothers. He was reproving them in a very tender and wise way. He placed them in a situation whereby they would come to judge their own sins and repent. His love for them is clearly shown to us, as he turns and hides his tears from them.
When Jesus looked out over Jerusalem he wept over her sins. "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." (Luke 19:41-42) Jesus longed for His people to recognize their sins and to repent.
Joseph was also crying for the sins of his brothers and for their torment, which he now witnessed them suffering at the hands of their own consciences. Their peace, their family's salvation was hidden from them. Just as Jerusalem did not recognize who Jesus was, Joseph's brothers did not recognize him. And he had compassion for them.
The brothers' fears were compounded when they found their money in the sacks of grain, which they had purchased. Now they were certain that God was punishing them and that they would be accused of stealing and cast back into prison. So it goes with the guilty conscience. Even a blessed gift can be turned into a fearful curse as guilt burns within the heart of man.
It is not only important for us to reprove one another in the most wise and tactful manner, as Joseph did to his brothers, but it is also important that we maintain a conscience, which is clear of all sins. Paul's defense before the governor, Felix, is reported as follows: "And (I) have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." (Acts 24:15-16)
Before The Throne:
How is your conscience? Confession, repentance, and submission to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are the only remedies for the torment of a guilty conscience. If you are one of God's children, He will not let you rest until you take the cure. Spend this time submitting yourself to Him. Pray for those who have sinned against you. Seek God's wisdom, as you try to determine what He would want you to do.
For Further Study:
(v.21) ** they said. Gen 41:9; Nu 32:23; 2Sa 12:13; 1Ki 17:18; Job 33:27,28; 34:31,32; Job 36:8;,9; Ho 5:15; Mt 27:3,4; Mr 9:44,46,48; Lu 16:28; Ac 19:18; ** we saw. Gen 37:23-28; Jud 1:7; Pr 21:13; 24:11,12; 28:17; Jer 2:17,19; 4:18; Jer 34:17; Mt 7:2; 1Jo 1:9; Jas 2:13; ** this distress. Pr 1:27,28;
(v.22) ** Spake I. Gen 37:21,22,29,30; Lu 23:41; Ro 2:15; ** his blood. Gen 4:10; 9:5,6; 1Ki 2:32; 2Ch 24:22; Ps 9:12; Eze 3:18; Lu 11:50,51; Ac 28:4; Re 13:10; 16:9;
(v.24) ** wept. Gen 43:30; Isa 63:9; Lu 19:41; Ro 12:15; 1Co 12:26; Heb 4:15; ** Simeon. Gen 34:25; 49:5-7; Jude 1:22,23;
(v.25) ** commanded. Gen 44:1,2; Isa 55:1; ** to give them. Gen 45:21; Mt 6:33; ** and thus. Mt 5:44; Ro 12:17-21; 1Pe 3:9;
(v.27) ** the inn. Gen 43:21; 44:11; Ex 4:24; Lu 2:7; 10:34;
(v.28) ** their heart. Gen 27:33; Le 26:36; De 28:65; 1Ki 10:5; Ps 61:2; So 5:6; Lu 21:26; ** What is. Isa 45:7; La 2:17; 3:37; Am 3:6;
7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food. 8 And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him. 9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. 10 And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come. 11 We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies. 12 And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. 13 And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not. 14 And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies: 15 Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. 16 Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies. 17 And he put them all together into ward three days. 18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God: 19 If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses: 20 But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.
We live in a world where bad things happen. It has been that way since Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden and will remain that way until Jesus Christ returns. How we should react to the people who do bad things is the question presented to us by our text.
Some Christians are very kind hearted and will simply suffer silently at the hands of others, forgiving them unconditionally. However, I do not believe that this is what the scriptures teach us to do. Oh, we are certainly commanded to forgive those who trespass against us, but that is the easy part. Paul told Timothy to, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2)
We must not only forgive a person, but we have the obligation to be certain that he or she realizes the gravity of their sin. To reprove a person means to cause a person to understand that what they did was wrong. It is frequently very difficult to do this with any kind of tact. Then, we are also told to rebuke the wrongdoer, which means to charge him with the facts of his sin. In other words, we must cause him to both understand that what he did was wrong and to accept the blame for what he did. This must be done with patience and should be based upon solid biblical doctrine.
Many commentators read the story of Joseph and accuse him of seeking revenge on his brothers. However, I think that over the next few days we will see how Joseph did exactly what Paul commanded Timothy to do.
When Joseph's brothers were brought before him, he immediately recognized them, but they did not know him. This was because twenty-two years earlier, when they had sold him, he was still very young and they had already matured. Their appearance had not changed significantly, while he had changed from a young man, whom they would have expected to be working as a slave, into a wizened and very distinguished looking ruler of the most powerful nation on earth.
Joseph acted the part of a suspicious ruler. It was not uncommon in those days for wandering tribes to send spies into a country to discover its weaknesses. His brothers protested and said that they were not of different tribes but were all from one family. One family would not attempt to invade Egypt. The pretext gave Joseph the opportunity to learn about the welfare of his father and younger brother without disclosing his identity.
He first had all of the brothers bound in prison for three days. It was common for the people to think that bad things happened to them because God was punishing them. Their short stay in the king's prison would cause them to think about their sins and help bring them to repentance. After three days they were all released except Simeon, who was probably the leader when they had placed Joseph in the pit.
The nine brothers were commanded to take food for their families and to return with their youngest brother, Benjamin. Since the disappearance of Joseph, Benjamin had been Jacob's favorite son. Now, the brothers were faced with the task of convincing their father to risk Benjamin in order to save Simeon. It is difficult for us to imagine how this must have played on their minds to remind them of what they had done twenty-two years earlier to a younger brother.
This technique of placing someone in an imaginary situation whereby he might realize the wickedness of what he had done is not strange to the scriptures. It is the method used by Nathan when he had to convict David of his sin in 2 Samuel 12:1-9 and by Jesus when he confronted the Pharisees about the woman who had been caught in adultery. Jesus often used parables, fictitious stories that illustrate divine truths, to reprove his listeners.
Reproof must be done wisely with a loving and forgiving heart or it will result in vicious confrontation. This is why so many people are reluctant to do it. Sometimes, no matter how kind we try to be with our reproof, we will be attacked. That is part of being a Christian. The darkness of the world hates the light of Jesus Christ because He exposes its sins.
Before The Throne:
Pray about how you will handle situations where sin needs to be confronted. Ask God to give you wisdom, patience, kindness and a forgiving heart. Pray for the person or persons who need your reproof before you do anything. Study the many examples of reproof in the scriptures. Ask God to show you the most effective methods for your situation.
For Further Study:
(v.7) ** roughly unto them. Mt 15:23-26;
(v.8 ) ** but they knew. Lu 24:16; Joh 20:14; 21:4;
(v.9) ** remembered. Gen 37:5-9; ** Ye are spies. Nu 13:2,16-20; Jos 2:1; 6:23; Jud 1:24; 1Sa 26:4; Lu 20:20; Heb 11:31; ** nakedness. Ex 32:35;
(v.10) Gen 27:29,37; 37:8; 44:9; 1Sa 26:17; 1Ki 18:7;
(v.11) ** true men. Joh 7:18; 2Co 6:4;
(v.13) ** Thy servants. Gen 29:32-35; 30:6-24; 35:16-26; 43:7; 46:8-27; Ex 1:2-5; Nu 1:1-54; 10:1-36; 26:1-65; 34:1-29; 1Ch 2:1-8:40; ** one is not. Gen 37:30; 44:20,28; 45:26; Jer 31:15; La 5:7; Mt 2:16,18;
(v.14) Job 13:24; 19:11; Mt 15:21-28;
(v.15) ** By the life. De 6:13; 1Sa 1:26; 17:55; 20:3; Jer 5:2,7; Mt 5:33-37; 23:16-22; Jas 5:12; ** except. Gen 43:3; 44:20-34;
(v.17) ** put. Isa 24:22; Ac 5:18; ** ward. Gen 40:4,7; 41:10; Le 24:12; Ps 119:65; Ac 4:3; Heb 12:10;
(v.18) ** I fear God. Gen 20:11; Le 25:43; Ne 5:9,15; Lu 18:2,4;
(v.19) ** house. Gen 40:3; Isa 42:7,22; Jer 37:15; ** carry corn. Gen 41:56; 43:1,2; 45:23;
(v.20) ** bring. Gen 43:5,19; 44:23|; ** And they. Gen 6:22; Joh 2:5;
Go to Egypt
1 Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? 2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die. 3 And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. 4 But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him. 5 And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan. 6 And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.
Famine seems to have been common in Canaan during the years of the patriarchs. There was one in the time of Abraham (Genesis 12:10); another in the days of Isaac (Genesis 26:1); and now a third in the time of Jacob. This one, according to Stephen in Acts 7:11, was unusually severe.
As I am writing this devotion, the area in which I live is suffering from a severe drought. I keep a vegetable garden and have a freshly planted lawn. Because the weather has been so dry, there has been little work for me to do on my lawn and garden. My vegetables have not grown to the size they should have been; there have been no weeds to pull from the garden; and I have not had to mow the grass, because it all died.
It must have been the same for Jacob and his sons. "Why do ye look one upon another?" This is the same as asking, "Why are you sitting around doing nothing?" There was nothing to do. When even weeds cannot grow, the farmer sits idle.
So Jacob sent his sons to Egypt, where he had heard that there was plenty of food available. However, Benjamin, the youngest son, was to stay at home with Jacob. Benjamin was the only remaining son from his beloved wife, Rachel, and Jacob would not risk losing him.
We can only wonder what went through the minds of the others. Were they reminded of the jealousy that they had felt when Jacob favored Joseph? Were they worried that they might see Joseph in Egypt laboring or suffering as a slave? Or did they think of him at all? It is certain that they did not recognize the way that God was controlling their destiny and using their own sins to save their lives.
The ten brothers arrived in Egypt and, because they were foreigners, they had to go before Joseph to obtain their supplies. When they bowed down before him, the prophecy, which God had given to Joseph and which they had mocked many years before, was fulfilled.
The prophecy that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess (Isaiah 45:22-23) will just as surely be fulfilled. At that time there will be a great harvest, but if Jesus were here today, He would most likely ask, "Why do ye look one upon another? Why are you sitting around doing nothing?"
There is no drought! Jesus said, "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." Egypt nearly always represents a sin-filled world in biblical prophecy. It was in Egypt, the land of the heathen, where Joseph was doing his work of saving many. That is where his brothers needed to be, if they wanted to benefit from the harvest.
We cannot sit in our churches and look at one another, wondering why no one is coming and thinking that there is a great drought. The harvest is great, but we must go into the world and pick it. God is doing marvelous works all around this world. It is estimated that in China alone there are 40,000 people per day receiving Christ as their Savior. "Why do ye look one upon another?" Go out into the world and reap!
Before The Throne:
Pray that God would lead you to the land of plenty. Ask Him to show you someone who is ready to receive the word of truth today. Pray for that person before you speak to him. Thank God for allowing you to labor in His fields.
For Further Study:
(v.1) ** when Jacob. Gen 41:54,57; Ac 7:12; ** saw. Ex 5:19; 20:18; 1Ki 19:3; Ho 5:13; Ga 2:7; ** Why do ye. Jos 7:10; 2Ki 8:3,4; Ezr 10:4; Jer 8:14;
(v.2) ** get you. Gen 43:2,4; 45:9; ** that we. Gen 43:8; Ps 118:17; Isa 38:1; Mt 4:4;
(v.4) ** Benjamin. Gen 35:16-19; ** Lest. Gen 3:22; 11:4; 33:1,2; 43:14,29; 44:20-22,27-34;
(v.5) ** for. Gen 12:10; 26:1; 41:57; Ac 7:11; 11:28;
(v.6) ** governor. Gen 41:40,41; 45:8,26; Ps 105:16-21; Ac 7:10; he it was. Gen 41:55,56; bowed. Gen 18:2; 19:1; 37:7,9; 44:14; Re 3:9;
In His Image
6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
As you have probably realized
from yesterday's study, misunderstanding these verses can be the source of a great deal of contention. They are also very difficult to interpret. We tend to come to them with preconceived notions that often disagree with our superficial understanding of them. Then, we decide that they must be interpreted according to the culture of the time and place for which they were written, only to find that we know very little about that culture.
We must try to understand this whole matter of the veil worn as a head covering from the context of what Paul had previously written as well as the whole of scripture. We said in yesterday's note that it would be inappropriate for the woman to overturn God's order by appearing without a head covering as though she were a man. Perhaps we could trace this principle back to Deuteronomy 22:5 "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."
Then we must also remember Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 10:23 "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." Paul certainly is not creating a new law here but is describing that which is expedient. If then it is shameful for the woman to have her hair cut short like a man's or to have her head shaved, it would be just as shameful to have her head uncovered in worship like a man. The expedient thing to do is to cover her head. Unfortunately, there will always be legalists who will insist that this is an absolute rule that women must follow.
A man is the image and glory of God, the reflection of his Creator, and should not cover his head as though he is ashamed of that high honor. The woman is the reflection of her husband. The man has his origin in God the woman has her origin in man. " And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (Genesis 2:21-23) She was created for the man, to be his helper.
" For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head..." The word power is from the Greek ἐξουσία exousia
(ex-ou-see'-ah) which means, "authority." The veil worn on her head represented the fact that she was under the authority of her husband. It was a good thing for a woman to demonstrate such a humble attitude.
I do not understand what Paul meant by the last phrase, "because of the angels." It has also been difficult to find any two commentators who agree on the meaning. John Calvin's explanation makes as much sense as any, although there is no real biblical support for any one interpretation. Calvin wrote, "This, therefore, was said by way of amplifying, as if he had said, “If women uncover their heads, not only Christ, but all the angels too, will be witnesses of the outrage.” And this interpretation suits well with the Apostle’s design. He is treating here of different ranks. Now he says that, when women assume a higher place than becomes them, they gain this by it — that they discover their impudence in the view of the angels of heaven."
Before The Throne:
Pray that order will prevail in our churches and that both men and women will do those things that are expedient and edifying for the other members and for the church as a whole. Ask the Lord to protect the inner peace of the church by silencing the legalists who insit on certain dress codes. Ask Him to use every person in the congregation to reflect His image and glory, the men directly and the women through the men.
For Further Study:
** but. Num 5:18; Deut 22:5;
** he is. Gen 1:26-27; Gen 5:1; Gen 9:6; Ps 8:6; Jas 3:9; ** but. 1Cor 11:3; Gen 3:16;
Gen 2:21-22; 1Tim 2:13;
** the man. Gen 2:18, 20, 23, 24;
** power Gen 20:16; Gen 24:64-65; ** because. Eccl 5:6; Matt 18:10; Heb 1:14;
Heaven's First Law
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
This passage is not, as many would interpret it
, discriminating against or diminishing the role of a woman. Instead it establishes the natural order of God's creation. Paul says, "I want you to know..." The Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges explains, "According to St Paul’s invariable rule, the question is argued and settled upon the first principles of the Christian Revelation. ‘Order is heaven’s first law.’ And no assembly of Christians is rightly constituted where this principle is put out of sight."
"The head of every man is Christ;" It is important that we understand what Paul means by "the head" throughout this and the following passages. The Greek word is κεφαλή, kephale
(kef-al-ay') n. Writing on the origins and usage of this word Gerhard Kittel wrote that, "...the first important point in secular usage is that it denotes what is first, supreme, or extreme. ...this leads us already to the second aspect i.e., not merely what is first or supreme, at the beginning or the end, but also what is 'prominent,' 'outstanding' or 'determinative.' Thus man's head is not just one member among others... It is also the first and chief member which determines all the others...
"...From 11:7... we learn that to the direct subjection of the man to Christ corresponds the fact that the man is the image and glory of God, and to the position of man as "head" of the "woman" corresponds to the fact that she is the "glory of man," image and glory have here the sense of image and reflection... Hence man is the image and reflection of God to the degree that in his created being he points directly to God as Creator. Woman is the reflection of man to the degree that in her created being she points to man, and only with and through him to God. In this relation of man and woman we are dealing with the very foundations of their creaturehood.' (Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. 3, pp. 673, 675, 679)
Then Paul wanted the Corinthians to understand that the natural order in the church was designed for one purpose... to point to God. And, "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head." He was the image and glory of God, he represented Christ who was his head. To cover his head was to demean the office to which Christ had called him. It was a symbol of shame, the shame from which he had been set free, the shame which Christ had taken upon Himself. He was to neither pray nor prophesy with his head covered. To prophesy is to act as God's spokesman and he should not do that with anything that might show he was ashamed or inferior to others.
A woman, on the other hand, should not assume a position that, in the order of things, was granted to the man. She should not uncover her head in worship. It would be the same as cutting or shaving her hair in order to look like a man. She is the glory of man, the reflection of man, she was taken from the side of man and she should not attempt to overturn God's order by acting or looking like a man, especially in worship. To do so dishonors her head. Whether that means she dishonors herself or the man who is her head is irrelevant, because it would do both.
Man and woman were created as equals, but with different purposes. A military general is a servant to the citizenry of which the CEO of a large corporation is a member, but he is not inferior to the CEO. They have different positions in life and different purposes, but they are equal in the eyes of God. Likewise, the woman was created to be the man's helper without whom Adam might not have survived and the human race certainly would have ended. She has a different position and purpose in life but she is equal to man in God's eyes.
Before The Throne:
"Let all things be done decently and in order." (1 Corinthians 14:40) There is too much disorder in our churches today. Pray for your church to respect the natural order of things as God has designed them. Pray that all peoples, male, female, white, black, Hispanic etc. be treated as equals who are loved by God.
For Further Study:
** the head of every. Eph 1:22-23; Eph 4:15; Eph 5:23; Phil 2:10-11; Col 1:18; Col 2:10, 19; ** and the head of the. Gen 3:16; Eph 5:22, 24; Col 3:18; 1Tim 2:11-12; 1Pet 3:1, 5-6; ** and the head of Christ. 1Cor 3:23; 1Cor 15:27-28; Isa 49:3-6; Isa 52:13; Isa 55:4; Isa 61:1-4; Matt 28:18; John 3:34-36; John 5:20-30; John 14:28; John 17:2-5; Eph 1:20-22; Phil 2:7-11;
** or. 1Cor 12:10, 28; 1Cor 14:1-25;** having. 1Cor 11:14; 2Sam 15:30; 2Sam 19:4;
** or. Luke 2:36; Acts 2:17; Acts 21:9; ** shaven. De 21:12;
Focus on the Work
46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number. 50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. 51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. 53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. 54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. 56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. 57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.
Joseph was seventeen years old when his brothers sold him as a slave to the Midianites. He was thirty years old when the Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt. Having suffered the agony of slavery and the dungeon for a total of thirteen years, Joseph was very experienced and wise for his age. God had prepared him for the important role that he was going to play in world history.
Any ordinary man might have used his newfound power and freedom to escape and thus avoid any risk of being returned to the prison. Joseph could have also spent his time trying to find his family and let his father know that he was safe. Perhaps it is to his discredit that he did not, at the very least, send such a message.
However, Joseph realized that he was elevated from the prison to the throne by the hand of God. He felt a responsibility for the welfare of the Egyptian people over whom he ruled. Therefore, we see no signs of any self-indulgence on his part. Instead, he went straight to work. We are told that he went throughout the land of Egypt, perhaps to plan and supervise the construction of storage buildings for the abundance of grain that he knew God would give. He laid up an immeasurable quantity of food over the next seven years.
During those first seven years, Joseph's wife bore him two sons. It is certain that Joseph viewed his sons as blessings from God and he named them as memorials to what God had done for him. Manasseh means to forget. The child was so named because God had helped Joseph to forget the harm that was done to him and relieved him of homesickness during the past thirteen years. The second child was named Ephraim, which means double fruit, because God had caused him to be fruitful despite the fact that he was sold into slavery.
The famine, which followed the seven years of plenty, increased Joseph's power. This was not a localized famine. It struck all of the countries of the region. Being caused by a lack of rain, the famine affected even those countries that were not dependent on the rising waters of the Nile. Joseph had wisely laid up enough food to be able to sell to these other nations. His wisdom, planning skills, business sense, and godly work ethic made Pharaoh extremely rich.
Joseph gives us an example of someone who seems to have been content with whatever circumstances God gave to him. He was diligent in Potiphar's house, successful in prison, and focused on his work as ruler of Egypt. Contentment is the opposite of covetousness. Contentment enables us to be about God's business without distractions or complaints.
God is in control, and we must be focused on the work that He gives us to do. Our desires should be for the blessings that He has for us in eternity. Our lives should be hidden with Christ in God. Adversity is good, slavery is good, and prosperity is good, if we understand them from God's point of view.
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." (Philippians 4:11)
"But godliness with contentment is great gain."(1 Timothy 6:6)
Before The Throne:
What is keeping you from the work? Pray for God to remove these distractions. Ask Him to help you be content with what He has provided. Ask Him to help you focus on what He wants to accomplish through you. Place your ministry, your finances, your plans and goals at His disposal. Pray for Him to help you place more trust in Him. Give thanks for the work that He has already done in and through you.
For Further Study:
(v.46) ** years. Gen 37:2; Nu 4:3; 2Sa 5:4; Lu 3:23; ** he stood. 1Sa 16:21; 1Ki 12:6,8; Pr 22:29; Da 1:19; Lu 21:36; Jude 1:24;
(v.47) ** handfuls. Gen 26:12; Ps 72:16;
(v.48) Gen 47:21;
(v.49) Gen 22:17; Jud 6:5; 7:12; 1Sa 13:5; Job 1:3; Ps 78:27; Jer 33:22;
(v.50) ** unto Joseph. Gen 46:20; 48:5; ** Asenath. Gen 46:20; ** priest. 2Sa 8:18;
(v.51) ** called. Gen 48:5,13,14,18-20; De 33:17; ** Manasseh. Ps 45:10; Isa 57:16; ** forget. Ps 30:5,11; Pr 31:7; Isa 65:16;
(v.52) ** called he. Gen 29:32-35; 30:6-13; 50:23; ** Ephraim. Gen 48:16-19; 49:22; Isa 40:1,2; ** the land. Ps 105:17,18; Am 6:6; Ac 7:10;
(v.53) 73:20; Lu 16:25;
(v.54) ** the seven. Gen 45:11; Ps 105:16; Ac 7:11; ** and the dearth. Gen 42:2,5,6; 43:1; 45:11; 47:13;
(v.55) ** famished. 2Ki 6:25-29; Jer 14:1-6; La 4:3-10; ** Go unto. Gen 40,41; Ps 105:20-22; Mt 3:17; 17:5; Joh 1:14-16; Php 4:19; Col 1:19;
(v.56) ** the face. Isa 23:17; Zec 5:3; Lu 21:35; Ac 17:26; ** sold. Gen 42:6; 47:14-24;
(v.57) ** all countries. Gen 42:1,5; 50:20; De 9:28; Ps 105:16,17;
Revealer of Mysteries
33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine. 37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? 39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. 41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. 44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
Joseph was full of the Holy Spirit. He interpreted Pharaoh's dreams, a task that none of Egypt's wise men could perform. Next, he boldly advised the Pharaoh as to what he should do about the impending crisis. He never took credit for anything, but humbly gave all the glory to God. Whom the Pharaoh should appoint to oversee the storage and distribution of food was left open. Joseph did not try to exalt himself.
"Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?" Those were remarkable words coming from the mouth of this heathen king. The presence of God in His people is visible to the world. Their countenance, their humility, their inner peace, and their kindness radiate His presence. "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." (James 3:17) There is no doubt that God also prepared the Pharaoh's heart to enable him to recognize that the Holy Spirit was present in Joseph.
Thus, after years in the dungeons of the king, Joseph suddenly found himself being exalted to the status of ruler over Egypt. He would be second only to the Pharaoh and would have all of the Pharaoh's authority. The first thing that he gave Joseph was his ring, the signet, which was the king's seal of authority. Joseph now had the power to save his family when the famine would strike.
Pharaoh gave Joseph a new name, Zaphnathpaaneah. The name is very interesting. In the Egyptian language it probably meant creator or preserver of life or even savior of the world. This was a name that only God Himself deserved. However, since God was working through him, Joseph truly would preserve the lives of the Egyptian people.
Zaphnathpaaneah was interpreted by the ancient Rabbins to mean revealer of secrets. This name was very appropriate for Joseph. Because of his relationship with God, Joseph was able to reveal the mysteries of God to Pharaoh. He was able to tell him about God's plan for the next fourteen years.
As Christians, we are also able to have a close relationship with God. We can be filled with the Holy Spirit and exhibit godly wisdom in everything we do. We are also supposed to be the revealers of the mysteries of God. Paul wrote, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." (1 Corinthians 2:7)
"Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself." (Ephesians 1:8-9) This wisdom and the secrets of His will are given to us for a purpose, which is to share them with the rest of the world. Like Joseph, we have the opportunity to save many by leading them to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been given the power to save the lost. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
What will you do today to save someone?
Before The Throne:
Praise God for the gift of His Holy Spirit. Thank Him for the depth of wisdom and knowledge that is available to you. Commit yourself to spending more time in His word seeking His knowledge and more time in prayer seeking the wisdom to use His knowledge. Thank Him for your salvation and for entrusting you with the gospel and the power that accompanies it. Pray for someone whom you know is lost and then go tell him or her about God's plan for his or her life.
For Further Study:
(v.33) ** therefore. Da 4:27; ** look out. Ex 18:19-22; De 1:13; Ac 6:3;
(v.34) ** officers. Nu 31:14; 2Ki 11:11,12; 2Ch 34:12; Ne 11:9; ** and take. Job 5:20; Ps 33:19; Pr 6:6-8; 22:3; 27:12; Lu 16:5;
(v.35) ** gather. Gen 45:6,7; ** hand. Ex 4:13;
(v.36) ** that the. Gen 47:13-25;
(v.37) ** the thing. Ps 105:19; Pr 10:20; 25:11; Ac 7:10; ** good. Jos 22:30; 2Sa 3:36; 1Ki 21:2;
(v.38) ** in whom. Nu 27:18; Job 32:8; Da 4:6,8,18; 5:11,14; 6:3;
(v.40) ** Thou shalt. Gen 39:4-6; 45:8,9,26; Ps 105:21,22; Pr 22:29; Da 2:46-48; 5:29; 6:3; ** be ruled. 1Sa 10:1; Job 31:27; Ps 2:12;
(v.41) Gen 39:5,22; Es 10:3; Pr 17:2; 22:29; Da 2:7,8; 4:2,3; 6:3; Mt 28:18; Php 2:9-11;
(v.42) ** his ring. Es 3:10,12; 6:7-12; 8:2,8,10,15; 10:3; Da 2:46,47; 5:7,29; Lu 15:22; ** fine linen. Eze 27:7; ** a gold chain. Pr 1:9; 31:22,24; So 1:10; Eze 16:10,11; Da 5:7,16,29; Lu 19:16-19;
(v.43) ** and they. Es 6:8,9; ** Bow the knee. Gen 45:8; ** ruler. Gen 42:6,30,33; 45:8,26; Ac 7:10;
(v.44) ** lift up his hand. Ex 11:7;
(v.45) ** priest of. Gen 14:18; Ex 2:16; ** marg: 2Sa 8:18; 20:26; ** On. Gen 46:20; Eze 30:17; ** Aven.
Established by God
17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river: 18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow: 19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: 20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: 21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good: 23 And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: 24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me. 25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. 28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. 29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. 32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Joseph was brought before Pharaoh, and Pharaoh repeated the details of the two dreams to him. The meaning of the dreams was that there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.
Although we know that the famine stretched far beyond Egypt, from the Egyptians' viewpoint, the River Nile caused times of plenty or famine. That is why the cattle came out of the river in Pharaoh's dream. Egypt depends on the Nile for its fertility. When the banks overflowed sufficiently, the land would be well saturated with water and crops would flourish. However if the Nile did not overflow to a certain height, there would be a poor growing season. If the river overflowed to too great a height, it would take too long for the waters to recede and the planting season would be missed entirely.
Therefore, the Nile was one of Egypt's many gods. Like all of their gods, it was unreliable and temperamental. Joseph's words would teach the Pharaoh that there was a greater and a more reliable God, than all of the gods in Egypt.
"What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh." Our God is not one who simply has the ability to predict the future. He is the sovereign God who controls the future. He has control over the Nile, over the cattle and over the crops of wheat. He is a merciful God who has revealed His plan to the king so that the people of Egypt could be prepared.
"And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass." There was nothing that could be done to change God's plan. The thing was established by Him and it must come to pass.
God has likewise revealed things to us that are established by Him and that must come to pass. He has told us that Jesus will return to gather His people unto Him. He has also told us that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Therefore, when you worship, use songs that celebrate His sovereignty, His power, His promises, His mercy and His grace. Bow the knee and celebrate His Lordship over your life.
Before The Throne:
On what gods do you depend? Do you worship your job, your retirement check, your salesmanship, your musical talents, or some other thing that you think will help you to prosper? Turn to the one true God and acknowledge that He is in control over these things. Thank Him for the assurances of a prosperous eternity that He has given you through His word. Seek to have the kind of confident relationship with Jesus Christ that Joseph must have enjoyed.
For Further Study:
(v.18) Jer 24:1-3,5,8;
(v.21) ** eaten them up. Eze 3:3; Re 10:9,10; ** still. Ps 37:19; Isa 9:20;
(v.23) ** withered. or, small. thin. 2Ki 19:26; Ps 129:6,7; Ho 8:7; 9:16; 13:15;
(v.24) ** I told this. Ex 8:19; Da 4:7;
(v.25) ** God. Ex 9:14; Jos 11:6; Ps 98:2; Isa 41:22,23; 43:9; Da 2:28,29; 2:45,47; Am 3:7; Mt 24:40; Mr 13:23; Eph 1:17; Re 4:1;
(v.26) ** are. or, signify. Gen 40:18; Ex 12:11; 1Co 10:4; ** good ears are seven. Gen 40:12; ** the dream is one. Gen 2:24; Ex 26:6; 1Jo 5:7;
(v.27) ** seven years of famine. 2Sa 24:19; 2Ki 8:1;
(v.30) ** seven years. Gen 27,54; 2Sa 24:13; 1Ki 17:1; 2Ki 8:1; Lu 4:25; Jas 5:17; ** shall be. Pr 31:7; Isa 65:16; ** consume. Gen 47:13; Ps 105:16;
(v.31) ** grievous. 1Sa 5:6; Isa 24:20;
(v.32) ** doubled. Gen 37:7,9; Job 33:14,15; 2Co 13:1; ** it is because. Nu 23:19; Isa 14:24-27; 46:10,11; Mt 24:35; ** established by. Isa 30:33; Mt 25:34,41; Mr 10:40; 1Co 2:9; Re 9:15;