January 12 Today’s Reading: Genesis 36-37
Today, we have been introduced to Joseph. In the next few days we will read the story of this remarkable man, as we conclude the reading of the book of beginnings. As we read the last fourteen chapters of Genesis, it is difficult to miss the spiritual lessons revealed in the life of Joseph. Here are five of those lessons. Let us lay them to heart today, and remember them, as we read of God’s wondrous works in the life of Joseph in the following chapters of Genesis.
Our God is absolutely sovereign (Genesis 45:5; 50:20). Nothing happened to Joseph by accident. God, who is above all, ruled and overruled all the events recorded in these chapters (all creatures and all their actions, good and bad) to accomplish his will and purpose concerning Joseph and his people. All men and women, righteous and wicked, all the elements of nature, the weather, the crops, and the cattle, even the dreams of a pagan king were used of God to accomplish his purpose.
The World’s Folly
The wisdom of this world is utter foolishness (1 Corinthians1:20). In Joseph’s time Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs, was the most advanced civilization in the world, the center of learning, science, and culture. But the Egyptians were idolaters. Hence, they had no true wisdom. What light they had was darkness. All their wise men could not decipher the meaning of Pharaoh’s dreams and tell him what God was about to do. Pharaoh had to turn to Joseph, the only man in the land who knew God, for instruction.
All true wisdom and knowledge begin with faith (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10). “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him” (Psalm 25:14). God makes his counsels, purposes, and truth known, not to the wise, the mighty, and the great people of this world, but to them that believe him.
All things work together for good to God’s elect (Romans 8:28). Joseph’s life is a demonstration of the goodness of God’s providence toward his elect. Too often we become so occupied with our present circumstances that we forget God’s promise. That should never happen. “Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace. Behind the frowning providence He hides a smiling face!” Remember, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof” (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
God honors those who honor him (1 Samuel 2:30). Joseph was a faithful man. In the midst of great adversity, though he had no godly companions, living in a heathen land among idolaters, even in Egypt, Joseph walked with God. And there God so honored him that he said, “God hath made me forget all my toil” and “caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Genesis 41:51-52).
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