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January 21, (Day # 21) – Bring Them to Me

In our readings yesterday, we saw that Joseph had been removed from the pit and “taken down to Egypt” where Potiphar “bought him” (Genesis 39:1). Today’s readings contain several important principles for us to apply to our hearts and daily lives. Interestingly, of Joseph, the Bible records no sin, and as we think about him in these next few days, we should remember that Joseph’s character parallels and points to the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. We read that “the LORD was with Joseph” and that “he prospered” (verse 2).

“Potiphar put him in charge of his household” (verse 4), and this resulted in “the blessing of the LORD on everything Potiphar had” (verse 5). We recall that Potiphar’s wife seduced and falsely accused Joseph – which took him further from the pit to the prison – but we must remember that God is in charge, and His will is operational. A man whose character and caliber would point us to the Lord Jesus Christ will likely undergo the hardships necessary to develop that character. In prison, “the LORD was with him” (verse 21). Here then, in chapter 40, Joseph, who has previous experience with dreams, will encounter Pharaoh’s cupbearer and his baker - whose dreams Joseph will interpret – to the one’s fortune, and the other’s misfortune, but both interpretations are completely accurate. Why? How? Because “interpretations belong to God” (40:8). In spite of his circumstances, Joseph knows that God is in charge.

In Genesis 41, we see that now it’s Pharaoh’s turn to dream, but his dreams have more wide-ranging implications. Suddenly, the cupbearer “is reminded” of what Joseph asked him to remember two years before, and Joseph is “quickly” summoned to the palace. In response to Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph gives glory to God alone and tells Pharaoh twice that God has revealed to him “what He is about to do” (verses 25 and 28). In a very real sense, this statement summarizes the entire Bible – in His Word, God is revealing to us “what He is about to do.” Joseph rightly interprets Pharaoh’s dreams, and we notice Pharoah’s reply to Joseph: “God has made all this known to you; no one is so discerning and wise as you” (verse 39). Joseph is promoted.

In Proverbs 2:12-22, we are informed how we can live wisely - twice it says that “wisdom will save you.” As the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (cf., Proverbs 1:7), and as salvation is found in Jesus Christ, “Who is the Wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18), we recognize therefore the truth of this verse. Here, we are also reminded of the dangers of the “seductive woman” (verse 16). Living wisely means living for Christ; His wisdom keeps us on “the straight paths and saves us from the adulteress” (verses 13-16). It means walking “in the ways of good men and keeping to the paths of the righteous” (verse 20). Living a wise life means staying out of trouble - which unfortunately - only complicates life and makes it more difficult. People who are constantly in trouble are also those who usually have to walk a difficult road, and often, that road leads to a bad end.

In Matthew 14:1-21, we see this same foolishness in Herod (Antipas) who did not lead a wise life. He repudiated the wisdom of God (by his adultery with Herodias) and further pursued a licentious life of sin by pleasing men rather than God. Herod’s wicked lifestyle – a classic illustration of living the foolish life – resulted ultimately in the indiscriminate murder of John the Baptist – clearly leading the man down the wrong path. For all his pomp, eventually he fell out of favor with Rome, lost his authority, and was exiled to Gaul – not a very good end. Also, in this same section of Matthew, we read that Jesus tells his disciples, “they [i.e., the people] do not need to go away. Give them something to eat” (verse 16). They need to be fed, but the disciples have only “five loaves of bread and two fishes” (verse 17). Jesus says, “Bring them to me,” and then He demonstrates that He alone can meet their actual need – providing both material and spiritual food.

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