Genesis 38-40

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor

Joseph didn’t deserve the situation he found himself in. His brothers were jealous of the position God would give him, so they sold him into slavery, SLAVERY! He ended up as a servant in a great man’s home, and just when he found himself in his master’s good graces, the man’s wife ruined Joseph’s life. Honestly, Potiphar probably would not have found out (at least not at first) so Joseph did the right thing by honoring both his master and his God. The hard thing and the wright thing are very often the very same thing. Don’t take the easy way out. Don’t only have a good attitude when you get what you feel like you deserve. Be like Joseph, in whatever situation he found himself in, he honored the Lord by working hard and showing respect. Even in prison, God gave him favor. We might not think God is showing us favor because of our current situation. We might think God has left us because of our present state of affairs, yet, when we honor God with our choices, he is always with us. Trust him today!

*Reading the OT in 2017 plan can be found here

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Genesis 36-37

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?”

You can be 100% right, and still be wrong. It is true, Joseph would become great and all his brothers would bow down to him, even his father would be subject to him… but he didn’t have to say it like that. You may think “hey, what I’m saying is true” but if you say it in such a way so as to needlessly offend or hurt feelings, your not in the right. How you communicate things matter. We should be gentile, kind, humble, and yet still speak the truth. We all need a filter between our brain and our mouth. God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth, use them proportionally.

*Reading the OT in 2017 plan can be found here

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Genesis 33-35

But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.

There’s no way around it, Jacob had done Esau wrong… but Esau didn’t harbor any resentment. We need to be more like Esau. How much of our worry and high blood pressure is a result of not being able to “let it go.” In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus tells us to ask God to forgive us to the extent we forgive others. This can be especially difficult with those whom we love, our friends and family. When we choose not to forgive, it’s like drinking poison and hoping our enemy dies as a result. Lighten your load. Esau was lighthearted and overjoyed to see how his brother, who had done him wrong, was prospering. He wasn’t jealous, he wasn’t calculating how all that could have been his, no… that’s not how we should be. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive… let. it. go. It’s a burden you no longer have to carry.

*Reading the OT in 2017 plan can be found here

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Genesis 31-32

“Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

You don’t really ever “win” when you wrestle with God, yet, if you hang in there, you can prevail. God doesn’t want someone who just sort of “ho-hum” follows along and never asks any questions. What we see in the lives of those who strive after God, there are questions, there is deep thought, there is “wrestling” with what it means to truly be “all in” with God. That’s what God wants. If he just wanted robots who would blindly follow every order, he already had that with the angels. He made man. He wants us to choose to follow him, after a struggle, through the wondering, and the questions. We choose to follow him, not because we know what it will bring, but because we trust him. That’s the kind of faith that honors the Lord.

*Reading the OT in 2017 plan can be found here

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Genesis 29-30

And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.

Everyone looks out for their own interest. Laban needed to marry off his first daughter before he could let Rachel wed Jacob, and he needed help around the farm too. He was not honest with Jacob, but he was able to justify it to himself. Yet, how did Jacob respond? “well, I was tricked, so we aren’t really married, I need to get what we agreed…” nope. He honored his wedding vows to Leah. How many of us have the integrity to do what is right, even if we are tricked into it, it wasn’t what we expected, and the other party was acting wrongly? Not many of us. Even when others are intending to pull one over on you, even though others are not acting with honor, we still should.

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