Beyond Needing Again

Just before dying, Jacob prophesies over each of his sons.  The prophecies can’t be called blessings, exactly.  They are honest appraisals.  Some soar with praise: Joseph is called prince and compared to a fruitful vine by a spring.  Judah is predicted to rule his brothers.  Others are tongue lashed: Reuben for sleeping with one of…

The Chosen One(s)

Near the end of his life, Jacob told Joseph that Joseph’s sons would be as his own sons. Because of this, Jacob asked to bless them. Joseph brought Manasseh, his first born, and Ephraim, his second born, to Jacob. According to natural order, Jacob would’ve placed his right hand on Manasseh, thereby conferring the greater…

Freely Owned

As famine worsened in Egypt, people came to Joseph seeking food.  The grain Joseph stored up for Pharaoh over seven years was the only food in the land.  For awhile, people paid money for grain. “Joseph collected all the money to be found in the land of Egypt.”  Eventually, people ran out of money (Gen….

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…