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January 25, (Day # 25) – Only God Knows with Certainty

In Genesis 47-48, we now see that Jacob is coming to the end of his life. He has lived in Egypt and near Joseph for “seventeen years” (47:28), a significant period of time, considering that he “believed that Joseph was dead,” (42:38); “refused to be comforted” (37:35), never expected to see Joseph alive again” (37:35); and “did not believe when he was told that Joseph was still alive” (45:26). This should teach us that we do not know what we think we know. In truth, only God knows with certainty. Here, each of Jacob’s actions is based on what he believes to be true – not on what is actually true (i.e., the truth itself). How easily we jump to conclusions and make those conclusions our guide for living. In this section, we further recognize that, initially, Egypt represented God’s miraculous provision of deliverance (i.e., salvation) from the famine. However, as the famine becomes “severe,” the government is about to step in and become the taskmaster over the people as they blindly, collectively, and willingly submit the remains of their material wealth to the state in subservient exchange for their natural needs. This is the world’s initial prototype for socialism. Interestingly, we notice that God does not intervene; He allows them to follow after the dangerous desires and the misplaced confessions of their hearts, as expressed in Genesis 47:25 - “You have saved our lives … we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.” Substituting the care of the government for God’s care is a poor exchange.

Proverbs 3:1-10 is a special section of Scripture for me, as verses 5-6 were Terri’s favorite, “life-verses” of Scripture. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” In exemplary fashion, Terri thoroughly applied these verses to her whole life, and I am overwhelmed by her resultant testimony to the Lord before a watching world. I thank and praise God for her example and for the life she lived by these verses. In addition, she truly understood and practiced our Lord’s principles laid out in Matthew 16.

In Matthew 16:21 – 17:13, Jesus now begins to turn His attention to His forthcoming death “at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law – that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life” (verse 21). This is exactly the sign of Jonah – the “only sign” that He would give to “a wicked and adulterous generation” (cf., 16:4). Peter didn’t like to hear this (cf., verse 22), for which Jesus rebuked him because he represented a satanic stumbling block to the completion of His redemptive program. It is a reminder that we need to take our proper places – we have no right to inject ourselves or our ideas in God’s plans or program. In chapter 17, we see the Transfiguration, whereby Jesus was “transfigured before” Peter, James, and John. “His face shown like the sun,” and Moses and Elijah appeared before them” (verses 2-3). This is a special, prophetic event, in which we see a miniature form of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus, the King, is reigning. The presence of Moses is representative of the Old Testament Law and those who have already died. Elijah is a picture of the Old Testament Prophets and the raptured saints who are addressed by the New Testament. Peter, James, and John are representative of the king’s subjects who are alive during His kingdom. Jesus ends this section the way He started it – talking about His death. Today’s readings have given us much to think about and apply to our lives.

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