Spiritual Rants: January 25, Daily Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Genesis 50:1 – Exodus 2:10 Matthew 16:13-17:9 Psalm 21:1-13 Proverbs 5:1-6

Old Testament:   Genesis 50:1-Exodus 2:10

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Genesis 50:1-Exodus 2:10   Two Die, One Is Born

Summary:  

Jacob was buried.  The boys were afraid that Joseph would take revenge on them.  He didn’t.

Joseph died at age 110 and was buried in Egypt.  He made his family promise to take his bones back to Canaan.

A new Pharaoh  came on the scene who didn’t know Joseph.  He ruled that all infant males should be destroyed.  Despite that, Moses was born and raised in the king’s household.  He would deliver the Jews.

In Chapter 50, Jacob was taken back to Canaan to be buried with a large coterie of family and Egyptians (vv. 7 -9).

It had been 39 years since Joseph had been in Canaan (cf. this was Joseph’s first time back in his homeland in 39 years , Joseph had been in Egypt 22 years before Jacob moved there and Jacob had lived there 17 years, Gen. 47:28, see Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 89, Gen. 39:1-6, for full calculations).  As promised, Joseph buried Jacob (v. 12, cf. 46:4). Jacob’s grave in Canaan was a sign of the fulfilled promises to come for Israel (v. 13).

With their father dead, the boys thought that Joseph might choose to have his revenge on them (v. 15). They went to him and bowed down (v. 18, again fulfilling Joseph’s dreams). Joseph said, “I told you so! I told you so! I told you so!” OK, no he didn’t. He actually said, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive” (v. 20).

Here’s what he meant. God used the jealousy and hate of the boys to grow and protect a nation of their father’s descendants! He protected them through famine and extinction by allowing Joseph to go through trials with his brothers, Potiphar and Pharaoh. God knew what He was doing. Joseph knew that God knew what He was doing.  Joseph was explaining that God had turned the boys’ evil around to do good to save the progeny of Jacob and all the people of Egypt and the surrounding area at the same time. Wow. If Joseph was from the east coast, he’d be saying, “Fogettabouttit.” And he promised to take care of them all.

Joseph died at age 110 and was buried in Egypt (v. 26). However, he made his family promise to take his bones back to Canaan which they did (v. 25, cf. Exod. 13:19; Josh. 24:32; Heb. 11:22).

The Book of Exodus

Exodus is the story of what happens if you don’t teach history in school. The Egyptians forgot that it was because of Joseph that they were even in existence after the horrible famine. A new king arose who didn’t know Joseph (Exod. 1: 8). The Egyptians became jealous of the blessing and prosperity of the Israelites. So they put them all to hard labor.

In Exodus 1, we find that the group that had started with 70, now one hundred years later, had grown to possibly 2 million (12:37, 600K males, see The Bible Knowledge Commentary).

The king sought to control the Israelites not only through slave labor but also by killing the male infants at childbirth (see Exod. 1:15ff). When questioned by the king, the midwives pled that the Hebrew mothers popped kids out so quickly that they couldn’t do anything about it (vv. 17-19). For lying so well and disobeying the government, God blessed the midwives with large families (vv. 20-21).

In Exodus 2: 1 -10, Moses’ mother, Jochebed, delivered him and tried to hide him (v. 2). Finally, she got the idea of putting him in a basket and sending him down the river in hopes an Egyptian would find him and have mercy on him (vv. 3-4). After all, she was only following the Pharoah’s orders to put the baby boys in the water. It worked! The Pharoah’s own daughter found him, had mercy on him (v. 6). Miriam, Moses’s sister, just “happened” to be hanging around and asked if Pharoah’s daughter would like her to find a nurse for him (v. 7). Pharoah’s daughter thought that idea was just swell and offered to pay the nurse to raise Moses (v. 9). So Miriam brought Moses back to his mother, Jochebed, who got paid to raise her own child. What a deal! When Moses got older, he went to live in Pharoah’s house. Pharoah’s daughter named him Moses because he was drawn out of the water and because the name Moses sounds like the Hebrew for “drawn out of the waters” (v. 10). Moses also sounds like the Egyptian word for “son.” Is this all an allusion to Hosea 11:1 (“When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son”)?

This Hebrew child born for destruction was instead raised and then adopted into the royal family to live a life of privilege!

New Testament:   Matthew 16:13-17:9

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Summary:

Jesus asked the disciples Who they thought He was. Peter said He was the Christ. Jesus said Peter would be the “point man” for the church.

Jesus predicted His death for the first time.  Peter disagreed.  Jesus called him Satan.

Jesus told the disciples they should be willing to die on a cross.

Jesus predicted that some of the disciples would see the kingdom before they died.  Some of them did.  Jesus turned white.

Matthew 16:13-17:9   Rock-ers

Jesus asked the disciples what the word was on the street about Him (v. 13). They told Him that some thought He was Elijah, some Jeremiah and some thought He was John the Baptist come back from the dead (v. 14). Jesus asked them what THEY thought (v. 15). Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 16). Jesus told him he got an “A” on that one even though he had a lot of divine help (v. 17). Jesus said to Peter, “your name is Rocky and on this rock I will build my church” (v. 18). Peter in Greek meant ” little rock.” It didn’t mean he was from Arkansas. It did mean that he wasn’t the big Rock like in the hymn, “On Christ, the Solid Rock I Stand.” It may have also had the connotation that Peter was going to be the point man for the new program (cf. Eph. 2: 20; Rev. 21:14). After all, he did do the preaching on Pentecost and led the disciples until Paul came on the scene. This is the first time the church is mentioned in the New Testament.

For the first time in Matthew, Jesus told the disciples He was going to have to die (v. 21, cf. two other times in Matthew 17:22-23 and 20:18-19). Peter didn’t like the idea and he told Jesus so (v. 22). He didn’t have any divine help this time. He came up with his ideas all on his own. Jesus called him “Satan,” meaning that Peter’s kind of talk would distract Jesus from His purpose, the same as Satan would try to do (v. 23).

Jesus said it was better to do what God wanted and to end up dead than to stash up whatever the world could give them (v. 24). He said it in terms of bearing a cross and trading spiritual things for worldly things but He said it (vv. 25-26). He was building on what He told Peter about acting like Satan.

Then he said that some of them would get to see His kingdom before they died (v. 28). Sure enough, John, James and Peter saw Jesus change from six days later (Matt. 17:1-2). Moses and Elijah were there, too (v. 3a)! Jesus turned glowingly white (v. 2). A voice from heaven said that Jesus was His Son, that He was doing a really good job and they should do whatever He tells them (v. 5). He told the disciples not to tell anyone about it till He raised from the dead (v. 9). It was a preview of coming attractions for the kingdom and fulfilled the promise Jesus made to James, John and Peter (v. 4, see blog Watergate Crisis, paragraph 5).

Psalm 21:1-13   Give That Man A Crown    A Royal Psalm Of David

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Psalm 21:1-13   Give That Man A Crown

Psalm 20 is a royal psalm because it is about David and in a figurative way about Jesus.  Psalm 20 is prayer by the king for victory in battle.  Psalm 21 is his thanksgiving prayer after winning the battle.

In verse 3, David is given a gold crown to wear.  In Heaven, those who have been faithful to Christ will be given rewards (see Bema Me Up, Scotty!).  Some of the rewards will be crowns (cf. Phil. 4:1; 1 Thess. 2:19; 2 Tim. 2:5; 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 5:4; Rev. 2:10; 3:11).  I don’t understand what they will be but I think they will be something really good.  Revelation 4:10 may indicate that whatever they are, we’ll throw them at Jesus’ feet anyway.

Have you ever heard that we are King’s kids?  Do you know what King’s kids become?  Well, usually princes, at least.  They have a lot of the privileges of the King.

David asked for victory in battle (Ps. 20:1-5) and it was granted in (Ps. 21:1-5).

David trusted God for victory in Ps. 20:6-8.  He exclaims his trust in God for further victories in Psalm 21:8-12.

David expresses his praise again to cap his prayer in verse 13.

Do you trust God for life (v. 5)?

Do you trust Him for victory over your foes (v. 8)?  Perhaps someone is oppressing you at work or you’re fighting a snow storm on the way to work or school?  Perhaps, demons are harassing you.  God guarantees victory against His oppressors as well as your oppressors.

Do you trust the Lord (v. 7) and in his hesed (lovingkindness and binding love)?

Are you trusting God’s promises as His royalty (cf. 1 Pet. 2:9)?

Can you sing Yahweh’s praises (vv. 1, 13)?

Proverbs 5:1-6   A Real Hag

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Since Proverbs is primarily a book of advice from a father to a son, there are a lot of exhortations to avoid ungodly women (cf. Prov. 31:23, e.g.).  They can just as well be taken as exhortations for young women to avoid dorky guys.

Years ago, I was having lunch in one of the hipper sections of Indianapolis with a Christian brother.  I was still single.  We discussed the necessity of finding women with good, Christian character.  We talked about how a woman’s inner being was often ignored when looking for a partner.  We paid our bill and left, walking down the sidewalk.  A really pretty girl sauntered by us.  I turned to my friend and said, “I wonder what her character is like!?”  OK.  It was a joke but it points to the fact that Christians should be looking for inner beauty in their life’s mate, not just external good looks (cf. 1 Pet. 3:3-5).

I was watching an old movie the other day.  The female was a drop-down gorgeous Italian woman.  The movie was from 1970.  I seemed to remember some things about her that were not flattering.  So I looked up her history since she had starred in that movie.  She had turned into an absolute hag.  She had gone from gorgeous to hag in fifty years.  She had had flings with three of the Rolling Stones.  She had also gotten into black magic and heroin addiction.  She was accused of manslaughter at one point in her life.  Her transformation was astonishing.  She had gone from one of the most beautiful women in the world to the one of the worst looking.  It reminded me of the horror films when someone looks normal enough and then transforms in an evil-looking skeleton (one of the last scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark comes to mind).

Prov. 6:26 says,  “For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, And an adulteress hunts for the precious life.”  In other words, prostitutes only look at men as a source of income.  So remember guys, even those gorgeous women on the internet only see you as a paycheck.  Those digital images don’t have any love for you.  They may even hate you.

An adulteress is bankrupting her marriage and destroying her husband.  She may come on as sweetness personified but she ends up being a poison.  C.S. Lewis titled one of his poems, “Wormwood” (v. 4).  It was about Satan.  Does that tell you anything?

Evil women, no matter how beautiful, will lead you to death and H-E- double hockey sticks (v. 5, Sheol was the abode of the dead).

She is not going to be edifying, to say the least.  She is a wreck (“unstable,” v. 6b).  She doesn’t know how to imbue life (v. 6a).

Stay away from her!  Or you could wake up next to one someday.  Ugh.

Choose Life:  Genesis 50:20   NASB    “God Meant It For Good”

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”   Genesis 50:20

It’s easy to look back on the story of Joseph and see that God has His hand all over things.  His ultimate purpose was the preservation of His people.  Well, and teach them a few lessons along the way.  He is always looking to teach us stuff.

When I was having trouble getting from Atlanta to Dallas to go to seminary, my pastor was the famous Charles Stanley.  When I’d see him in the hallway at church, he’d often say, “God is still on His throne.”  I thought, yeah, I know that . . . .  He was trying to impress upon me that God was still in control.  There were probably times when Joseph wondered if that was true.

Maybe you are going through some things in your life and you wonder if God is still in control.  You may wonder why people treat you so poorly or why you don’t have enough money or why everything seems to be going haywire.

God was in control of Joseph’s life and He’s in control of everything in your life, too.  Joseph realized that at the end of his ordeal so he could say to his brothers, it doesn’t matter what your motives were, God was in control of my life for good.

Can you agree with him today?

And if you can, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:

There is a great verse you may already know, Romans 8:28.  It says, “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.”

I once interviewed some of the New York Yankees that I knew were Christians.  I asked them what their favorite verse was.  They said things like, “God works good for those who have a purpose.”  The next guy said, “Whoever God calls has a purpose in God.”  And the next, “God purposes those who love Him.”  Finally, the last guy I asked, Bob Watson (later a VP of the American League), said, ” . . . 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.”  He nailed it.  Then I knew who had taught it to everybody else!

It’s not a good verse to tell someone right after they’ve lost someone at a funeral.  Though it does cover that situation.  And it does cover every other situation, too.  Everything had worked out for the best for Joseph though he didn’t know it at the time.

Someone has likened Romans 8:28 to embroidery.  If you look just at the back of an embroidery, it looks chaotic with threads going everywhere and no order to it at all.  But when you flip it over, you can often see a masterful work of art.  In life, sometimes we can only see the threads God is weaving.  We don’t see the masterwork.

Are you looking at the threads that God is using today or having faith for the masterwork He is weaving?

Have faith!

You will be blessed if you do!

And you will end up one of God’s masterpieces (cf. Eph. 2:10)!

The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:  Rock-ers

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