chronological day 21 :)

Please read Job 8-11, and come on back.  Job’s test have begun, and his friends are starting to chime in…. Here’s what I am thinking about this morning:

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I think Job’s friends mean well, and there are even words they say that are true –

“God is famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to His surprises” 5:9

“what a blessing when God steps in and corrects you” 5:17

Does God mess up? Does God Almighty ever get things backward?” 8:2

“God will set everything right again, reestablish your fortunes” 8:6

Isn’t God full of surprises? Yes! Isn’t it a blessing when God offers His correction? Surely, it is motivated by His love and care for us. Does He ever gets things wrong?  No, never! Will He set everything right again when His children are hurt?  Every single time!

I do think they mean well, but it is almost as if they are speaking without the experience of deep pain.  They want to point out God’s goodness, but then immediately connect Job’s troubles to Job’s behavior. They cannot seem to understand why these things would happen when a God that they know as good is on the throne.  They’ve got to explain it away by calling Job’s test a punishment. It’s as if they want to plug God into a “if you’ll do this, He’ll do that” formula, but life isn’t that simple.

People today do that too – we want to make sense of trauma and we can’t always do that. The only answer is trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6)!

chronological day 20 :)

Please read Job 5, 6, 7 and come on back.  Let’s highlight a few things together – I’d love to know what you are thinking as well!

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It’s so powerful seeing Job faithful to God while he is in so much pain.  Our faithfulness to the Lord cannot be determined by our circumstances. God is always faithful to us!

Job’s friends have a great deal to say, and I’m not sure it is all helpful.  Let’s talk about that tomorrow!

chronological day 19 :)

Please read Job chapters 1-4. Are you surprised that we are already in Job?  The first time I read through the Bible in chronological order, it was a surprise to me!  This is where this order gets exciting – we see prophets and people who used to be separated by hundreds of pages brought close together in time.  I love it! I also love how this order “keeps me on my toes” – we may have read the Bible over and over again, but this new order lets us read it in a new way, connect different events and people, and really see the timeline of Bible history come to life.

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What a powerful testimony Job had – the first words about him were that he was blameless and full of integrity.  The Message translation says it like this:

He was honest inside and out, a man of his word,

who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion.

What else is there to say: LIFE GOALS!

Job’s tests begin: first his family and fortune, then his health.  I know his friends get a “bad rap”, but I honestly think they are trying to help, in their limited experience. Let’s see what you think as we get further into the book of Job!

chronological day 18 :)

Genesis 47:28-31, Genesis 48, Genesis 49, and Genesis 50:

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Jacob’s final words were powerful – what a legacy he left. I love how personal he was with each of his sons, blessing them specifically.  Our Father God is just as specific with each of us, giving us exactly what we need when we need it, and encouraging each of us in our varied gifts and skills and personalities.

Again, we see a tremendous example of restoration, forgiveness and love when Joseph speaks to his brothers after Jacob’s death – it’s worth reading one more time:

So they sent Joseph a message, “Before his death, your father gave this command: Tell Joseph, ‘Forgive your brothers’ sin—all that wrongdoing. They did treat you very badly.’ Will you do it? Will you forgive the sins of the servants of your father’s God?” When Joseph received their message, he wept. Then the brothers went in person to him, threw themselves on the ground before him and said, “We’ll be your slaves.” Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart. Genesis 50:16-21

Why did Joseph weep at his brothers’ request?  I think maybe (one reason of many, I’m sure) because he had forgiven them long ago, and he didn’t want them to have that fear in their hearts any longer. He remembered himself how painful separation from his family was – unforgiveness causes separation as well.  Let’s be as quick as Joseph was to forgive people and attribute good things to God.  Easy now, you have nothing to fear

chronological day 17 :)

Please read Genesis 45:16-26, Genesis 46, and Genesis 47:1-27.  Come on back and let’s talk about a highlight or two!

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Joseph’s brothers return to Egypt, and this is good news for everyone, not only Joseph. The Word says that Pharaoh and all his workers considered this good news as well.  This shows us again that Joseph had gained such favor with Pharaoh, and possibly even become friends.  Pharaoh and Joseph must have become closer on a personal level as well, he clearly knew his history and his desires when it came to his family from Canaan. Don’t we feel glad when our friends receive glad news?

When the brothers start the journey to collect their father Jacob and bring him back, Joseph gives them this advice:

“Take it easy on the journey; try to get along with each other” Genesis 45:24 MSG

Isn’t that nice advice for us today? Take it easy on the journey, and try to get along!

 

chronological day 16 :)

Please read Genesis 42, Genesis 43, Genesis 44, Genesis 45:1-15, and then come on back.  I’ll share what I am thinking – would love to hear what you are thinking too!

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Of all the wonderful things God does, restoration is one of my favorites! Can you imagine the moment, the joy of the reunion between Joseph and his brothers?

“Come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. 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. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years—neither plowing nor harvesting. 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. So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God” (Genesis 45:4-8 MSG).

It is remarkable that Joseph was able to come to a place where he praised God for working through his trials rather than blaming his brothers for causing them.  God really does cause all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28)!

chronological day 15 :)

Please read Genesis 40, Genesis 35:28-29, and Genesis 41, and then let’s visit!  Here’s what I’m thinking about today:

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What a whirlwind Joseph’s life is!  We haven’t mentioned where he came from, but let’s hit the highlights now: a favored son, a baby brother, entrapped, sold, a slave, a prisoner, now second in command over Egypt…. At every opportunity to take offense at his circumstances, Joseph kept his sight on the Lord’s faithfulness.  At every opportunity to promote or defend himself, Joseph kept his sight on the Lord’s faithfulness.  Remember when he was brought in to interpret Pharaoh’s dream?  Pharaoh thought it would be Joseph who interpreted the dream.  Joseph could have easily taken credit, manipulated the situation to try and gain favor – but he knew the Lord’s faithfulness and he answered, “Not I, but God. God will set Pharaoh’s mind at ease” (Genesis 41:16).

Joseph did not have to say anything on his own behalf – the Lord was on his side: “Pharaoh said to his officials, ‘Isn’t this the man we need? Are we going to find anyone else who has God’s spirit in him like this?’ So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “You’re the man for us. God has given you the inside story—no one is as qualified as you in experience and wisdom.” (Genesis 41:38-40).  

God doesn’t work on our timelines, and He never forgets. Though it can be hard to let God be your only defense, He can be trusted!

chronological day 14 :)

Please read Genesis 37, Genesis 38, 1 Chronicles 2:3-6, 1 Chronicles 2:8 and Genesis 39.  You know, it’s not my goal to make a comment on every thing that happens each day – if something stands out to me, I’m sharing it.  I’m just hitting a few “highlights”.  Make your own notes (comment here if you like – I’d love to have a dialogue with you!), and let the Word settle in your own heart.  Here’s what stands out to me today:

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I think it’s interesting that [what I consider] to be the beginning of Joseph’s story starts with these words: “This is the story of Jacob. The story continues with Joseph….” (Genesis 37:2 MSG). It’s continuing Jacob’s story because we are talking about Jacob’s family.  Family is important to God!

Genesis 39:23 tells us that “because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best”.  Joseph doesn’t defend himself (“the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” like we’ll learn in Exodus 14:14 later on). Hard sometimes to let the Lord be your defense – but He can be trusted!

chronological day 13 :)

Please read Genesis 36:1-19, 1 Chronicles 1:35-37, Genesis 36:20-30, 1 Chronicles 1:38-42, Genesis 36:31-43, 1 Chronicles 1:43-54, 1 Chronicles 2:1-2 (whew!).  When you’re ready, come on back – maybe make a comment of your own here!  This is what I’m thinking this morning:

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Even though the descendants and begats can seem tedious, it’s interesting and important when we see them come back and are able to remember.  For example, we’ll see the Amalekties again (1 Chronicles 1:36).  Make a note – they descended from Esau. We also  see the 12 tribes (Jacob’s sons, 1 Chronicles 2:1-2), and we’ll have them with us for a long time. God is faithful!

chronological day 12 :)

Please read Genesis 32, Genesis 33, Genesis 34, and Genesis 35:1-27.  Once you’ve finished, head on back – want to know what stood out to me this morning?

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Gen 35:14-15 tells us that Jacob made an offering and left a memorial at Bethel because God had spoken to him there.  Jacob “dedicated the place where God had spoken with him”. Every time the Lord speaks to us, it’s so precious!

Father, please don’t let me take Your voice in my life for granted!  Your presence and Your voice are something to be cherished and remembered and sought after.