Jan. 28 – (Gen. 37) I think we all know the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. He was the favored son and yet that didn’t prevent hardship to come from him.  We also know what the end result will be. He will preserve his whole nation (Israel).  I keep thinking of a verse I read even today that is one we need to live by whether we are in hard times or easy times. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11) 

Jan. 29 – (Gen. 38) What can we say about this chapter? There is a lot there that I don’t understand according to our sense of morals. Even though it is a shocking account of Judah’s relationship with Tamar, that interrupts the story of Joseph in Egypt, it fulfills an important role in Genesis by providing a record of Judah’s family line.  The chapter concludes with a birth account in which a firstborn twin is pushed aside by his younger brother, Perez.  The royal line of David – and therefore of Jesus Christ – will come from Perez.  Although this chapter shows Judah at his worst, it also provides the background for the remarkable transformation in his life that we will see later in in Genesis.  It reminds me that no sin is so great that God can’t transform us…if we surrender to Him. 

Jan. 30 – (Gen. 39) This is a familiar chapter.  Everything Joseph did prospered.  Potiphar’s wife was relentless and yet Joseph did not give in to her enticement.  Then he was accused of the very thing he did not do.  I hear in my head…that was not fair. But, God had not abandoned him. God was not disciplining him.  It was for his good and future. It was part of the plan God had for him…for a future and a hope.  Selah. 

Jan. 31 – (Gen. 40) The story of Joseph and even this chapter reminds of a very great Truth. All history fulfills God’s plans for His children. The offenses of a butler and a baker were planned with the welfare of Joseph in view. Lord, make us breathlessly aware of your working for us…in everything. God directed everyone from the king to the jailer as easily as you turn on a faucet. How sinful, therefore, for a Christian to worry or fret.  God moves the very stars in their orbits to work His will, and He rules the passions of men and the decisions of those in authority to accomplish what He had planned for your life.  Whether it be the anger of your boss, or a drunken man driving his car into yours, God has allowed it to fulfill His purpose for you.  Lord, show us why worry is a sin. Selah 

Feb. 1 – (Gen. 41) Let’s look at the first four words of this chapter: “After two full years…”  This must have been very hard for Joseph. Maybe one of the hardest.  But Joseph didn’t seem to be affected either by the butlers’ lack of response to the king or still living in the pit.  He always seemed to display kindness toward all men.  Joseph was about to stand before Pharaoh, and those years of sandpapering gave him calmness of spirit and maturity of judgment.  Never grow weary of the leading of the Lord, for impatience is denial of His wisdom… Not only your steps, but your stops are ordered by Him (Ps. 37:23; Num. 9:18).  Lord, make us patient.  

Feb. 2 – (Gen. 42) The commentary on these verses is so rich and brings conviction through His Word explained. I will comment on only 3 verses, but there is so much more. Verse 2: “I have heard that there is corn in Egypt.” Let’s look at the providence of God as we review just a few past events that led to this moment. Joseph has dreams that cause jealousy of his brothers, the caravan of Midianites, the lust of Potiphar’s wife, the forgetfulness and remembrance of Pharaoh’s butler, the dreams of Pharaoh, the famine, and now the caravan gossip that brings the news to Canaan.  How God holds things in His hand and releases them as He knows is best!  You, me, we may be sure that God is working all things after the counsel of His will, and for our good, in order that Christ might be formed in you, me, us (Rom. 8:28-29).  I know so many hate verse 28, when said to them in difficult times, but I find greatest comfort in them when we don’t stop at verse 28 but immediately include verse 29. Lord, may we rest in Your eternal purpose.

                Verse 21: “Therefore this distress is upon us.”  This is something I am trying to get out of my thinking.  Though this might be true in the brothers’ case, it does not follow that distress is always retribution for past sin.  It is a medieval idea that God punishes all deviation in the believer.  It is alien to the Word of God.  Look at Job, the blind man, and Peter’s denial of Christ (his was covered and forgotten). Some sins carry delayed sting, but the Lord Jesus Christ dealt with sin and sins, so that even the consequences are not felt by the redeemed.  Lord, thank You that you have taken our distress.

                Verse 28: “He …. took from them Simeon and bound him.”  I wondered why Joseph picked him. Now I understand. Simeon was the ringleader in the murder of the Schechemites (34:25,30).  Jacob, in his dying blessing, had nothing good to say about Simeon, but spoke of him as cruel, and his sword as a weapon of violence (49:5).  It is likely Simeon who urged the plot against Joseph. Joseph placed him in prison most likely because he didn’t want Simeon to influence the others on the way home. Also, it would take longer to move him to repentance, since he was harder than the others.  Let’s thank our Lord that He measures our hardness and knows how to bring us to our senses.  Lord, go to any lengths to move us to become more like You.     

Feb. 3 – (Gen. 43) Joseph has a change of attitude because he sees his brother Benjamin. It reminds me of all my brothers and sisters… in Christ.  How are we to look at each one? Even if we are hurt by them or even rejected by them?  Selah.