Genesis 37:1 – Abraham was a stranger. His blessing of being a father of many nations wouldn’t be realized until after he was dead. Obeying someone for a reward in the distance – what’s that called? (Hebrews 11:9). By the way, Joseph seemed to have the same youthful lack of discretion (albeit less violent) that his siblings had (37:6-8, 9-11). Reuben had a grosser lack of discretion (Genesis 35:22) but seems to have improved some that he stopped the fratricide in v. 21. (Ever wonder why Proverbs always talks about wisdom? Children have needed it for thousands of years!) Joseph – was sold for twenty pieces of silver (v. 28), similar to Someone who was sold for thirty pieces of silver (26:15). Judah still had lessons to learn. He sold his brother for a quick buck (37:27) and then looks to buy a favor from a harlot (38:15). I Timothy 6:10 has something to say about money….
Bonus thought – Scripture is not just ‘character lessons’ – i.e. Judah wanted to kill Joseph, we shouldn’t want to kill our brothers. Rather all of Scripture points to Jesus. Jack Klumpenhower has lesson notes on most of Genesis including today’s reading. He wrote a book emphasizing that Sunday School has become ‘character lessons’ – not showing how every passage of Scripture points to Jesus. Over the next few days see how Joseph’s life points to Jesus.
Matthew 12:25 was alluded to by Founding Father John Dickinson – “By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” Patrick Henry declared in his final speech “United we stand, divided we fall.” Abraham Lincoln talked about a house divided on slavery. Ross Perot named his political committee “United We Stand.” But are we united with Jesus? (v.30). BTW – notice Jesus believed Jonah was a real person? (Matthew 12:40). As we were talking yesterday about how great Jesus is – He claimed to be greater than Jonah! (12:41) greater than Solomon! (12:42). Finally let’s make sure to be careful of our words – 12:36. (Reading Scripture tends to be sobering, does it not?)
Psalm 16:1 – Once when I was feeling under attack and overwhelmed, I started copying the Psalms by hand. Not because I didn’t have access to a photocopier, but because I felt I was reading thru the Bible too quickly and I needed to force myself to slow down and meditate. The Psalms really came alive as I realized that God deals with hurting people throughout the book again and again. But some promises are conditional – if He is at my right hand – then I shall not be moved (v.8). God promises deliverance, but we must obey.
Proverbs 3:27 – Solomon is giving the wisdom that Jacob and his descendants needed early. A variation of the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12), v.27 is a simple command – if you can be a help to someone, be a help to someone. Sometime I’d be afraid to do something because it wasn’t my place, but it was always appreciated when I would tell someone – I think you need help – can I help you? If you’ve had a friend on Facebook who’s a Multi-Level Marketing distributor, I’m sure they’ve shared with you how they’ve been paid early and how wonderful it is to receive early (Proverbs 3:28).
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