Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 47:7-12.

“Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh;  and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.  Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many years have you lived?”  So Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty;  few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.”  And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from his presence.  So Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had ordered.  Joseph provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to their little ones.”  Genesis 47:7-12.

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The main theme of today’s devotion is God’s providence.  Joseph providing for his family in verse 12 leads us to consider God’s providence.

But first, I do want to deal with the puzzling answer of Jacob to Pharaoh.  “Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many years have you lived?”  So Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty;  few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.”  Verses 8-9.

Jacob could have directly and fully answered Pharaoh’s question by just stating:  “one hundred and thirty”.

Why did Jacob add that his years have been “few and unpleasant”?

First, obviously, Jacob did not know how long he would live.  He in fact would live much longer and his life would be fruitful.  “Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous.  Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years;  so the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years.”  Genesis 47:27-28.

Second, overall, when Jacob blessed Joseph at the time of his death, it seems as if Jacob acknowledges the blessings that he received during his whole life “Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors”.

“The blessings of your father
Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors
Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills;
May they be on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.” Genesis 49:26.

Third, Jacob had a reputation of being a deceiver and maybe he gave that “few and unpleasant” answer to Pharaoh so that Pharaoh would feel sorry for Jacob and would want to do good to Jacob and his family and not be afraid of his family.  We do know what happened later.  

“Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.  But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.

Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.  He said to his people, “Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.  Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.”  So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor.  …”  Exodus 1:6-11.

Now, going back to the main theme of God’s providence in today’s devotion, consider the following from the Heidelberg Catechism.

Q. 26.  What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?

A.  That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them;  who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence) is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;  on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;  and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.

“15 “You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger,
You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst,
And You told them to enter in order to possess
The land which You swore to give them.


19 You, in Your great compassion,
Did not forsake them in the wilderness;
The pillar of cloud did not leave them by day,
To guide them on their way,
Nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way in which they were to go.
20 “You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them,
Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth,
And You gave them water for their thirst.
21 “Indeed, forty years You provided for them in the wilderness and they were not in want;
Their clothes did not wear out, nor did their feet swell.” Nehemiah 9:15 and 19-21.

“Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:9-11.

“11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:11-12.

“8 O taste and see that the LORD is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 O fear the LORD, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.” Psalm 34:8-10.

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32.

“5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:5-6.

“8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.” Psalm 52:8-9.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” Psalm 103:1-5.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 46:31-34 through Genesis 47:1-6.  I will only quote the verses in chapter 46.  Here is a link to the verses in chapter 47 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2047&version=NASB1995

“Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me;  and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock;  and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’  When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ that you may live in the land of Goshen;  for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.”  Genesis 46:31-34.

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Although the thought of a shepherd was (for some reason) “loathsome to the Egyptians” verse 34, Pharaoh recognized the need for keepers of livestock.  “Shepherds” and  “keepers of livestock” are different titles for doing the same necessary work.  Pharaoh said to Joseph, “…  and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.”  Genesis 47:6. 

Today’s Scripture leads us to consider how our LORD is both our Shepherd and our Keeper.  We see both descriptions in the following two Scriptures.  The LORD is described as a shepherd in Psalm chapter 23, and the LORD is described as a keeper in Psalm 121.  In sharp contrast to the Egyptians for whom the thought of a shepherd was (for some reason) “loathsome”, we love and cherish the thought of our LORD being both our Shepherd and our Keeper.   

The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1-4.

“4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.” Psalm 121:4-8.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 46:28-30.

“Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out the way before him to Goshen;  and they came into the land of Goshen.  Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel;  as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time.  Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.”  Genesis 46:28-30.

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At first, it may seem peculiar, even morbid, for Israel a/k/a Jacob to say:  “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.”  Verse 30.  But, we know that he was sincere because we then remember from the following Scripture that he said something similar earlier when he first received all the good news from his other sons. 

“Then they went up from Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob.  They told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.”  But he was stunned, for he did not believe them.  When they told him all the words of Joseph that he had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.  Then Israel said, “It is enough;  my son Joseph is still alive.  I will go and see him before I die.”  Genesis 45:25-28.

But, God is good and does much more than we expect for us!

“Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous.  Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years;  so the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years.”  Genesis 47:27-28.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” Psalm 103:1-5.

“29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:29-31.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”  Romans 8:11.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20-21.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 46:8-26.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+46&version=NASB1995

I quote only the following verses.

“Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt:  Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn.  The sons of Reuben:  Hanoch and Pallu and Hezron and Carmi.  The sons of Simeon:  Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.  The sons of Levi:  Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.  …  All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, were sixty-six persons in all, and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two;  all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy.”  Genesis 46:8-11 and 26-27.

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Today’s Scripture counts and totals, even identifying by name:  “All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, were sixty-six persons in all, and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two;  all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy.”  Verses 26-27. 

But, their descendants could not be counted nor totaled nor identified by name by man.  “Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.”  Deuteronomy 10:22.

Let us consider first the difficulty facing Abraham and God’s promise to Abraham, then let us consider the difficulty facing Jacob and God’s promise to Jacob.

Abram was looking at nothing: no children to be his heir.  “Abram said, “O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”  Genesis 15:2.

“After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying,

“Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.”

Abram said, “O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”  And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.”  Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir;  but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.”  And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”  And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”  Then he believed in the LORD;  and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”  Genesis 15:1-6.

Jacob was also looking at nothing: no food in Canaan.

“God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.”  And he said, “Here I am.”  He said, “I am God, the God of your father;  do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there.  I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again;  and Joseph will close your eyes.”  Genesis 46:2-4.

We too may feel hopeless either looking at “our nothing”, whatever that may be.  Or, on the other side of the range, we may feel hopeless, small and insignificant, when either we literally look at the stars of heavens or figuratively look at the number and size of our problems.

But, there is hope!

“‘Ah Lord God!  Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm!  Nothing is too difficult for You,”  Jeremiah 32:17.

“In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.”  Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;  yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.  Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”  Romans 4:18-25.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 46:1-7.

“So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.  God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.”  And he said, “Here I am.”  He said, “I am God, the God of your father;  do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there.  I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again;  and Joseph will close your eyes.”

Then Jacob arose from Beersheba;  and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob and their little ones and their wives in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.  They took their livestock and their property, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and came to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him:  his sons and his grandsons with him, his daughters and his granddaughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.”  Genesis 46:1-7.  

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We see God’s promises to guide Jacob and to be with Jacob.

God promises to guide us and to be with us too.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.

“The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3.

“7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.” Psalm 121:7-8.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4.

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”  John 14:16-17.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak;  and He will disclose to you what is to come.”  John 16:13.

“…  for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”  Hebrews 13:5.

“3 “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
You who have been borne by Me from birth
And have been carried from the womb;
4 Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you!
I have done it, and I will carry you;
And I will bear you and I will deliver you.” Psalm 46:3-4.

“For such is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will guide us until death.” Psalm 48:14.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 16, 2022

“Do not quarrel on the journey.”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 45:21-28.

“Then the sons of Israel did so;  and Joseph gave them wagons according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey.  To each of them he gave changes of garments, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments.  To his father he sent as follows:  ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and sustenance for his father on the journey.

So he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the journey.”  Then they went up from Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob.  They told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.”  But he was stunned, for he did not believe them.  When they told him all the words of Joseph that he had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.  Then Israel said, “It is enough;  my son Joseph is still alive.  I will go and see him before I die.”  Genesis 45:21-28.

——————-

At first, it may seem puzzling and unnecessary for Joseph to tell his brothers:   “Do not quarrel on the journey.”  After all, his brothers escaped slavery, famine, and death.  And, even more, his brothers received such favor and gifts from Pharaoh. Rather than having lost two brothers, Joseph and Benjamin, they regained them.  They were like in a victory parade going back to their father to bring him such stunningly great news. In summary, Joseph’s brothers should not need to be told by Joseph to not quarrel on the journey back to their father.    

But, we do see Joseph telling them:  “Do not quarrel on the journey.”  And, we too need to be so instructed to not quarrel with each other as we journey through life even though we too have received such blessings and have no good reason to quarrel.

Consider that after counting the blessings of the church in Corinth, Paul instructs them to not quarrel.  

“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.  For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.”  1 Corinthians 1:4-11.

In conclusion, we should guard against our propensity to quarrel.  We should put off the “old self” and put on the new self”.  Instead of quarreling, consider this summary as to how we should be.

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;  bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone;  just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.  Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body;  and be thankful.”  Colossians 3:12-15. 

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 45:16-20.

“Now when the news was heard in Pharaoh’s house that Joseph’s brothers had come, it pleased Pharaoh and his servants.  Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this:  load your beasts and go to the land of Canaan, and take your father and your households and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you will eat the fat of the land.’  Now you are ordered, ‘Do this:  take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father and come.  Do not concern yourselves with your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’” Genesis 45:16-20. 

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In sharpest contrast to the world’s retirement messages which create panic and anxiety that we have not saved/invested enough, Scripture teaches us to trust God to provide what we need and to be peaceful and patient.

In today’s Scripture, God uses Pharaoh to lead us to meditate on this point by Pharaoh’s words to Joseph and his brothers:  “come to me, and I will give you the best …  Do not concern yourselves with your goods”.

Scripture is bold.  

“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”  Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  John 6:27-29.

“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”

3 What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?” Ecclesiastes 1:1-3.

“For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun?  Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest.  This too is vanity.”  Ecclesiastes 2:22-23.

“As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return as he came.  He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand.”  Ecclesiastes 5:15. 

“And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come;  take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘You fool!  This very night your soul is required of you;  and now who will own what you have prepared?’  So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”  Luke 12:19-20.

But, there is hope!

“3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:3-4.

“7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

11 But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” Psalm 37:7 and 11.

“And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.  For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.  But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.  Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:29-32.

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places;  if it were not so, I would have told you;  for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”  John 14:1-3. 

“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes;  and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;  the first things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:2-4.


Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 45:1-15.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+45&version=NASB1995

I quote only the following verses.

“Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come closer to me.”  And they came closer.  And he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.  Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.  For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.  God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.  Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God;  and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.  Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay.”  Genesis 45:4-9. 

—————-

Man may think that he has free-will to control events, but God totally controls all events.  God’s sovereignty rules over all.  We see that clearly in today’s Scripture.  

“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.” Psalm 103:19.

Moreover, if there ever was motivation to reserve at least one percent control and blame to man, and therefore the right to maintain some grudge and leverage over man, Joseph had it.  But instead, we see Joseph comforting his brothers and delighting to help all of his brothers.  “You shall live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children and your flocks and your herds and all that you have.  …  He kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked with him.”  Genesis 45:10 and 15.   

“9 “Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose from a far country.
Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.” Isaiah 46:9-11.

“But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.” Psalm 115:3.

“Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23-24.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.

“The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4.

“Praise the LORD!
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart,
In the company of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the LORD;
They are studied by all who delight in them.” Psalm 111:1-2.

“For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done,
I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.” Psalm 92:4.

Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.” Revelation 19:6.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 44:18-34.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+44&version=NASB1995

I quote only the following verses.

“Now, therefore, when I (Judah, the brother of Benjamin and Joseph) come to your servant my father (Jacob), and the lad (Benjamin) is not with us, since his life is bound up in the lad’s life, when he sees that the lad is not with us, he will die.  Thus your servants will bring the gray hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in sorrow.  For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then let me bear the blame before my father forever.’  Now, therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers.  For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me—for fear that I see the evil that would overtake my father?”  Genesis 44:30-34. 

—————————

Judah did not know he was speaking to his brother Joseph.  Judah thought he was speaking to the ruler of Egypt who blamed Benjamin for stealing his silver cup and to whom all of Judah’s brothers had previously exclaimed when accused:  “With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.”  Genesis 44:9.  Certainly, Judah thought he had good reason to fear that evil would overtake his father.

We too may be confronted with fear that we think will overtake us.

But, God is our refuge.  No evil will befall us. 

“9 For you have made the LORD, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.” Psalm 91:9-10.

“No harm befalls the righteous,
But the wicked are filled with trouble.” Proverbs 12:21.

“But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
3 “For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your place.
4 “Since you are precious in My sight,
Since you are honored and I love you,
I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.
5 “Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
And gather you from the west.
6 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring My sons from afar
And My daughters from the ends of the earth,
7 Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” Isaiah 43:1-7.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 11, 2022

“God has found out the iniquity”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 44:14-17.

“When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there, and they fell to the ground before him.  Joseph said to them, “What is this deed that you have done?  Do you not know that such a man as I can indeed practice divination?”  So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord?  What can we speak?  And how can we justify ourselves?  God has found out the iniquity of your servants;  behold, we are my lord’s slaves, both we and the one in whose possession the cup has been found.”  But he said, “Far be it from me to do this.  The man in whose possession the cup has been found, he shall be my slave;  but as for you, go up in peace to your father.”  Genesis 44:14-17.

——————-

Today’s Scripture leads us to meditate on the all-knowing (a/k/a omniscient) quality of God.

“Would not God find this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:21.

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”  Hebrews 4:13. 

Consider the following from the Westminster Larger Catechism.

Q7:  What is God?

A7:  God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection;  all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

“… God is greater than our heart and knows all things.”  1 John 3:20.

“His disciples *said, “Lo, now You (Jesus) are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech.  Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You;  by this we believe that You came from God.”  John 16:30.

To borrow language from the Heidelberg Catechism, especially Questions and Answers 26-28, that speaks this way from time to time, what advantage is it to us to know that God knows all things?

God knows and will forgive all evils that I do, in this valley of tears, and even turn them out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.

“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.  And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us;  for after saying,

“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,
AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”

He then says,

“And their sins and their lawless deeds
I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:14-17.

Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.”  Hebrews 10:14-18.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  Romans 8:28-30.

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