In Today's Reading:
Just prior to his death, Jacob declares an amazing prophetic future of each tribe. Following the death of Jacob, Genesis comes to a close on a note of impending bondage following the death of Joseph. Feel their great oppression, hear their groaning, realize the extreme need for the redemption disclosed in the Book of Exodus.
Verse for Today:
Joseph is a fruitful bough . . . whose branches run over the wall (Genesis 49:22).
Jacob's prophecies concerning his 12 sons; Judah to be an ancestor of the Messiah; deaths of Jacob and Joseph; Hebrew people oppressed in Egypt.
When Jacob called his sons together and foretold the blessings of God upon them, he emphasized the abuse which Joseph had suffered: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him (Genesis 49:23; also Psalms 105:17-18).
Joseph's difficulties began with his spiritual insight and God-given dreams which caused his brothers to hate him and sell him into slavery when he was just a teenager. But God was with him and prepared him to become the man He could use to protect and provide for His people in Egypt.
Perhaps the first and most vital step in allowing God's will to be fulfilled in us is being convinced of His sovereignty over all our circumstances.
It is easy to manifest the characteristics of a spirit-filled life of love, joy, and peace to those we love. But, when we allow Christ to rule our hearts, we will overcome feelings of ill will even toward all who have wronged us. Jealousy and resentment toward those we feel have taken advantage of us disappear as we sincerely pray for God to bless them, since He said: I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44).
We do not have the ability to cope with our unpredictable emotions. But, we can rest in the assurance that, what we cannot do in ourselves, the indwelling Holy Spirit can and will accomplish through us as we yield to Him.
If you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15).
A Thought from Proverbs: The path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble (4:18-19).
As the Messiah Who would come through the tribe of Judah. The sceptre (right to rule) shall not depart from Judah . . . until Shiloh come (until the time the Kingdom of Messiah comes to whom it belongs) (Genesis 49:10; compare Luke 3:33).
Genesis 49:10 gathering = obedience and respect; 49:20 fat = rich; 49:21 hind = deer; 49:26 progenitors = ancestors; 50:10 sore = solemn; made = observed; 50:15 requite us = pay us back in full; Exodus 1:10 when there falleth out any = in the event of; 1:13 serve with rigor = work under cruel circumstances.
Government Official: Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (DE) · Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Norway (4 million) in northern Europe · Major language: Norwegian · Religious freedom · 95% Protestant; .4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to deliver you from willful sins (Psalms 19:13).
Optional Reading: Matthew 17
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:4