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…

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…

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…

Where Sword Edges Crash

Joseph’s name means “He adds” or “Add to” and was a prayer of Rachel’s: “May the LORD add another son to me” (Gen. 30:24). Jacob agreed to work seven years in exchange for Rachel.  Joseph’s birth coincided with the completion of that seven years. The timing of these things is significant. Jacob asked Laban to…

Dead Men, Has-Beens, and Jailbirds

God brought forth the promised son when Abram was as good as dead (Rom. 4:19). God used Moses to deliver Israel from slavery only after he was a has-been tending sheep in the desert for 40 years. Paul is remembered as a powerhouse of ministry, a fearless preacher, a worker of miracles. But when was…