Journaling: Genesis 43-45; Philippians 3-4
- God is intending to bless us when he makes us deal with our sins (1-34).
- Bad things happen to God’s people w/the purpose of crafting them into the image of His Son – which is why it is so important that we are responding obediently to them (1-34 – this is esp. true of Judah; Heb 5; Psa 119:67).
- Finding others to unjustly blame is oftentimes indicative of those not wanting to deal with reality (1-6).
- Many of the blessings God desires to give us are held back b/c of the idols that occupy our hearts (6 = Jacob’s two sons by Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin. Jacob seemed more concerned about them than his other sons – e.g. Simeon).
- We need faithful family who will make us deal with reality (7-10 – e.g. Judah; Pro 27:6).
- Trusting God means we have accepted and submitted to Gods plan regardless of the outcome (11-14; Est 4:16; Phi 2).
- The difference between a wise man and a fool is revealed by what they do with reproof (7-10 w/11-14; Pro 9:8; the job of a faithful pastor – 2Ti 4:2).
- Total transparency and honesty with those to whom it is due has been known to illicit mercy/compassion/restoration/forgiveness (15-22 – remember they were tested; Pro 28:13).
- God’s people have been known to feast while the world suffers in famine (23-34; Psa 34:9-10, 37:21-29).
- The discomfort associated at the beginning of obedience is relieved and forgotten with the joy/amazement of its reward (11-14 w/33-34; Joh 16:20-22).
- Often what we thought we would lose by following God’s plan is instead not only secured, but expanded and enriched (34 = Benjamin is given “five times as much”).
- God likes to test us with thing we claim to be repentant of (34 = Like Joseph, Rachel’s other son [Benjamin] is exalted above the rest of Jacob’s sons . Will they again be sinfully jealous?).
- Not all forms of false accusation are sinful (1-6).
- God has been known to test his people with ungodly power (5 – “practices divination” = exercises supernatural-metaphysical power NOT sanctioned or coming from God).
- God likes to test us according to those loyalties where we once showed great weakness (7-16 = The brothers are now loyal to their family members rather than jealous or willing to give them up for their own security/prosperity – e.g. Joseph then Simeon).
- When God – thru his servants – finds out your sin, total surrender to justice is the only acceptable response (16).
- True repentance is known by: 1) an attitude of acceptance (18-29 = Judah [the ringleader in selling Joseph as a slave – 37:26-27] is no longer jealous but good w/his father’s favoritism for Rachel’s children – which means now accurately representing his best descendant – Jesus, who is also not jealous – Joh 17:23-24 = God loves us as much as Him), 2) affection for those God has placed over us (30-31- Joseph; 1Th 5:12-13) and 3) atonement [payment for sin] (32-34 = Judah offers to become the substitute in paying for Benjamin’s sins. In this he is again accurately representing his best descendant, Jesus who also atoned as our substitute).
- Like Joseph, the One we betrayed (Jesus), affectionately welcomes us as Savior (1-5, 14-15 = Joseph as a type of Christ; Mat 11:28; Act 3:17-21).
- All our freewill actions are accomplishing God’s sovereign plans (5-8; Gen 50:20; Isa 10:5-15; Act 4:27-28).
- Like Joseph, Jesus wants us to be in the place of His glory (9-13 = Joseph as a type of Christ; Joh 14:1-3).
- Like Pharaoh and his mediator Joseph, God the Father wants none of us to perish, but all to be saved thru His mediator Jesus (10-20; 1Ti 2:3-5; 2Pe 3:9).
- Like Pharaoh, God the Father desires to greatly bless us because we are Jesus’ brothers (16-23; Heb 2:11-13, 17).
- Quarreling among God’s people (versus striving for unity and peace and forgiveness) will prohibit the covenant community from doing and realizing great things (24; Phi 1:27-30).
- It is not only hearing but also seeing the work of God that convinces people to move in the direction of His promises (25-28; 1Ti 2:1-4 = our godly, good and peaceful life wb attractive to others unto salvation; Deu 4:7).
- We should rejoice that the way we enter into a righteous standing w/God is no longer thru the OC clean laws since: 1) it is rubbish in comparison to the righteous standing we have gained thru faith in Christ (1-9), 2) thru faith in Christ we gain also the promise of resurrection (not possible under the OC – Luk 16:22; Sheol) (10-11).
- Life for the wise is living for the heavenly prize (12-15).
- Realizing/becoming a part of the resurrection (to eternal life) requires that we maintain thru faithful obedience the righteous standing we gained thru faith (12-16).
- Understanding that we need to maintain what we have gained is what should motivate us to: 1) follow the godly examples we have (17; Heb 13:7), 2) avoid those so-called Christians who care more about “earthly things” – pleasure or their physical health, than obedience (18-19), 3) focus on our future in heaven and the awesome new bodies and enjoyment we will experience there (20-21).
- Standing firm in the Lord starts with possessing the right gospel (of gain and maintain) (1).
- Having the right attitude of: 1) agreeableness (2-3) 2) thankfulness (4), 3) reasonableness (5), 4) optimistic prayer/trust in the Lord (6), 5) focus on the positive and what is biblical (8-9) is key to harmony/ “peace” and advancing the gospel as a covenant community – or group working together.
- We can live within the means that God has strengthened us with (10-13).
- We should seek to bless those who have little yet are faithful to live within their means since this is one of the ways we are pleasing and wb blessed by God (14-20; Pro 14:31, 19:17, 28:8, 27).
- Those who are saints – or the recipients of God’s grace, sb those we always welcome/seek to be in agreement/unified w/ (21-23).