January 14

Read Genesis 40 -- 42

In Today's Reading:

Dreams interpreted by Joseph; Joseph made a ruler of Egypt; his brothers buy corn and bow down to him; Simeon detained.

Thirteen years had passed since Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. Following that horrifying ordeal, he experienced many pitiful disappointments. Consider his many lonely nights suffering as an innocent prisoner. They hurt his feet with shackles; his neck was put in an iron collar (Psalms 105:18). Joseph spent many years as a slave but never became bitter. He remained faithful to the Lord.

At the age of 30, Joseph was called to interpret Pharaoh's dreams. Joseph answered Pharaoh, God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer (Genesis 41:16). Because the Lord interpreted the dreams through Joseph, Pharaoh acknowledged him as the wisest man in Egypt. This former outcast then received Pharaoh's own ring as a sign of his new authority as second ruler over all the land of Egypt (41:39-44). The dreams that Joseph experienced many years before were becoming a reality.

We may endure months, or even years, when it may appear that God either does not care about us or cannot do anything about our circumstances. The faithless critic blames God for his problems and complains: "Why me?" God has amazing ways of developing our talents, maturing us spiritually, and honoring all who remain faithful to Him.

All of us have known someone who seemed so promising for future service for the Lord but who succumbed to Satan's temptation, such as his assistant of whom the apostle Paul wrote: Demas has deserted me, because he loved this present world (II Timothy 4:10). This does not imply that Demas had rejected what Paul was preaching. By today's standards, he wanted future security, better pay, less work, and retirement benefits. Demas left the Lord's ministry for secular benefits that are often disappointing and seldom satisfying. Even at best, they only last for this short lifetime but then comes the awful regret for all eternity. All of us need to seriously consider that Jesus said: Don't worry about your life. . . . The Gentiles (worldly-minded) eagerly seek . . . things. . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:25-33).

Christ Revealed:

By the wisdom of Joseph (Genesis 41:39) Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:2-3).

Prayer Needs:

Country: Luxembourg (429,000) in western Europe · Major languages: Luxembourgish and German · Religious freedom · 84% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Be glad in the Lord and rejoice at all times (Psalms 32:11).

Optional Reading: Matthew 14

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:4