Insignificant and Despised

Verses 8 through 27 in Genesis 46 list Jacob’s descendants.  After this, Jacob and his family come to Egypt, settle in Goshen, and meet Pharaoh.  Before meeting Pharaoh, Joseph instructs his relatives to tell Pharaoh they are shepherds.  “Then you will be allowed to settle in the land of Goshen,” Joseph explains, “since all shepherds…

There, There

Spiritually, we don’t mature unless God brings us “there,” to those places of pressure and pain.  We may well ask, “Why?”, and this is the question most on our lips during such seasons.  It is tempting to think we can grow without going “there,” to assure ourselves that suffering isn’t a necessary part of spiritual…

There

After Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, he asked them to bring his father, Jacob, and the rest of their family to Egypt. Jacob was stunned and didn’t believe his sons at first.  But when he at last accepted their report, he couldn’t wait to see Joseph (Gen. 45:26-28). His first night on the…

Process

“God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.  Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Gen. 45:7-8). Joseph said the above words after revealing his identity to his brothers.  It is striking that he absolves…

Dead in the Water

Not long ago, I was going about my day when a bit of pride strutted through my soul. I can’t even remember what it was about. But my reaction was, Ugh. Every thought of my mind is only evil all the time! I realized I was paraphrasing Genesis 6:5, where God is grieved he made mankind because…

The Stranger Inside

Because there was famine in Canaan, Jacob sent 10 of his sons to Egypt, where he heard there was grain for sale (Gen. 42:2-3).  When Jacob’s sons came before Joseph, he recognized them, but they didn’t recognize him (Gen. 42:7-8). We have seen how Joseph’s life foreshadows Christ’s death and resurrection.  Joseph’s brothers hated him…

Life out of Death

Joseph embodies the key reality of spirituality: life out of death.  God is a God of life out of death.  This is His way.  Everything He does or creates expresses it.  If we would truly know the Lord, our experience will be marked by life out of death. Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit…

Turning Tricks (Part 2)

When Tamar posed as a prostitute in order to get Judah to sleep with her, he promised to pay her a goat.  Tamar wanted some assurance.  She didn’t care about the payment; if she got pregnant she would need to show that her pregnancy fell under the duty Judah’s family had to carry on the…

Turning Tricks (Part 1)

Genesis 38 shows that God doesn’t function by the knowledge of good and evil.  The Lord put Judah’s son, Er, to death because he was evil.  This left his wife, Tamar, alone without a child or heir.  Er’s brother, Onan, should’ve fathered a child with Tamar but didn’t.  The Lord also put Onan to death….

Dreams and Suffering

Joseph dreamt his brothers were sheaves of wheat that bowed to his sheaf; he dreamt the sun, moon, and 11 stars all bowed to his star.  His brothers hated him because of his dreams, and because he was his father’s most loved son.   One day, their hatred brimmed over.  They stripped Joseph of the…