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January 22, (Day # 22) – Haunted by the Past

In the last section of Genesis 41, we read that Pharaoh has promoted Joseph to the position of “second-in-command of the whole land of Egypt” (verses 41-42). Truly, the Lord was with Joseph – who has gone from the pit to the prison, and now, to the palace. We have seen how the life of Joseph - by his character (cf., Genesis 39:8), his care (39:8 and 23), his courage (40:19), his commitment (41:46-49), and his compassion (41:51) - points to the person and work of Jesus Christ the Messiah. Joseph has been given the task to save Egypt and that world from the famine (cf., Genesis 41:57). We see how God has sovereignly worked behind the scenes to move the right man for the job – according to God’s plan. Also from today’s readings, we see four other prominent issues. First, in Genesis 42, we notice how Jacob’s problem with deceit has filtered down to his sons and has continued to perpetuate their false view of reality. In the middle of famine conditions, Jacob asks a curious question - “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” (Genesis 42:1). This question is indicative of their hopeless and fearful perspective of reality. These sons of Jacob have all failed to recognize that God is in control, and He is moving heaven and earth to accomplish His purposes to build the nation of Israel, but they are just sitting around staring at each other. As a result of Jacob’s command, they now go down to Egypt, where - unaware - their past will come back to haunt them as they are about to be confronted by the brother they sold into slavery years before. God has a way of turning the tables on evil. Why? How? Because He is sovereign and retains full control. Interestingly, the brothers reveal to Joseph much more than he asks. Although Joseph’s past experiences were extremely painful – and we wouldn’t wish them on anyone – like a good education, they are now serving him well. Notice, “their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?” (41:28). The brothers are coming to realize that a sovereign God overrules.

Second, In Psalm 12, David fears that “the godly are no more” that “they have vanished from among men” (verse 1). We often feel like this today, but we do well to focus on the Lord’s promise in verses 5-8: “’I will now arise’ says the LORD. I will protect them from those who malign them. His words are flawless – like silver refined in a furnace of clay.” He promises to protect us from “such people forever.”

Third, in the Matthew passage, we see Jesus’ authority over nature as He walks on the surface of the lake. The disciples fearfully think He is “a ghost” (verse 26), but Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (verse 27). But Peter doubts, for which reason he asks Jesus to allow him “to walk on the water,” too. Jesus invites Peter to “come,” but Peter gets his eyes off the Savior and onto [the effects of] "the wind” – becoming afraid. Immediately, Jesus caught him” and rebukes their doubt (verse 31). Why would Peter do this? Peter’s doubts reveal our own doubts; but before we doubt, we should remember our Lord’s question: “Why did you doubt? (verse 11). He doesn’t want us to doubt, but to trust Him. After all, Jesus possesses all authority (cf., Matthew 28:18) Then fourth, in Matthew 15:1, we note that the Pharisees come to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem just to ask Him why His disciples don’t hold to the ordinary, human “rules of washing their hands before they eat.” Obviously, their charge is as absurd as their question - the answer to which is also really none of their business. Who mixes in to people’s private affairs? People like “the Pharisees and the teachers of the law” (verse 1). However, Jesus turns the table on them and points out that they have failed to keep the greater law of God by twisting it to their own advantage and dishonoring their parents - a capital offense. This shows the incredible deceit of the human heart.

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wow!! enjoying the devos and art

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