Day 150 | Sunday, 16 August 2020
The assigned scripture lessons for this the 11th Sunday after Pentecost are: Genesis 45: 1-15; Psalm 133; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32 and Matthew 15:21-28.
Last weeks lesson from Genesis was Joseph being sold by his brothers. This week we skip ahead a bit to Joseph revealing his identity to his brothers. He has been in Egypt and was now Pharaoh’s right had man. He was helping the people through the famine. The brothers were very jealous of Joseph, the youngest. Remember that they wanted to kill him, but his brother Rueben convinced them to just throw him in the cistern. Then along came the caravan so they sold him to the Midianites. The Midianites later sold Joseph to the Egyptians. Joseph rises to power with Pharaoh after interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams.
Joseph’s brothers, because of their jealousy, intended something very evil to happen to Joseph and they lied to their father about Joseph.
Genesis 45:1-15 The Message
“1 Joseph couldn't hold himself in any longer, keeping up a front before all his attendants. He cried out, "Leave! Clear out - everyone leave!" So there was no one with Joseph when he identified himself to his brothers. 2 But his sobbing was so violent that the Egyptians couldn't help but hear him. The news was soon reported to Pharaoh's palace. 3 Joseph spoke to his brothers: "I am Joseph. Is my father really still alive?" But his brothers couldn't say a word. They were speechless - they couldn't believe what they were hearing and seeing. 4 "Come closer to me," Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. "I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. 5 But don't feel badly, don't blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. 6 There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years - neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance. 8 So you see, it wasn't you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt. 9 "Hurry back to my father. Tell him, 'Your son Joseph says: I'm master of all of Egypt. Come as fast as you can and join me here. 10 I'll give you a place to live in Goshen where you'll be close to me - you, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and anything else you can think of. 11 I'll take care of you there completely. There are still five more years of famine ahead; I'll make sure all your needs are taken care of, you and everyone connected with you - you won't want for a thing.' 12 "Look at me. You can see for yourselves, and my brother Benjamin can see for himself, that it's me, my own mouth, telling you all this.
13 Tell my father all about the high position I hold in Egypt, tell him everything you've seen here, but don't take all day - hurry up and get my father down here." 14 Then Joseph threw himself on his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15 He then kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Only then were his brothers able to talk with him.”
“Holiness of heart and Life” “’You Meant It for Evil; God Meant It for Good’”
“How often can we see in retrospect that good outcomes were birthed from treachery? The story of Joseph’s astonishing reversal of fortunes teaches that all things can indeed work together for good for those who love God, that any given moment is not the last moment, that life in God’s hands has forward movement and holds the possibility for restoration (resurrection?) on the other side of desperate circumstance. Notice that this good outcome is accompanied by forgiveness and restitution of family and community, products of Joseph’s own choices.” Wesley Study Bible CEB page 63.
Lord, our God, thank you for taking circumstances in our lives that we deem to be disastrous and turning them into something good. Lord, Hear our prayers.
Today: Stamp out jealousy when you see it.