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Bible Pathways 01/15/2002

January 15

Read Genesis 43 -- 45

In Today's Reading:

What drama in today's reading! Can you imagine the emotions flowing through the minds of Joseph's brothers as he reveals himself to them. We see Christ's love, mercy, and forgiveness clearly as Joseph weeps for his brothers, even though they had betrayed him. The reader can sense the joy in Jacob's heart as he learns that his son was alive.

Verse for Today:

Joseph said to his brethren, Come near me, I pray (invite) you (Genesis 45:4).


Jacob's sons return to Egypt for food; Judah offers to take the place of Benjamin; Joseph makes himself known to his brothers; Jacob convinced that Joseph is a ruler in Egypt.

During a great famine, Jacob sent 10 of his sons to buy food in Egypt. As they stood before the powerful ruler of Egypt, asking to buy food to carry back to their father, they were not aware that the ruler was their brother Joseph whom they had sold into slavery about 20 years earlier.

After questioning them about their family, Joseph had them put in prison for three days -- not for revenge, but to give them time to think about their sinful past. Joseph had not revealed his identity to them, but God caused them to realize that they were in prison because they had sold Joseph to Ishmaelite traders on their way to Egypt.

Joseph wept secretly as he heard his brothers confess how evil they had been in selling him into slavery (Genesis 44:21-24). Later Joseph assured them he had fully forgiven them, and he invited his brothers to come near him (45:4). No barrier, no aloofness remained -- just sweet fellowship and peace. Joseph's exalted position never caused him to lose sight of the hand of God over the affairs of his life. Consequently, he could seek no revenge or hold any hatred for his brothers' cruelty to him. The Holy Spirit will work the same in the hearts of all who recognize that God is in control of their lives.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels (hearts) of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering . . . forgiving one another . . . even as Christ forgave you (Colossians 3:12-13).

A Thought from Proverbs: The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but He blesses the habitation (homes) of the just (3:33-34).

Christ Revealed:

Through Joseph's dealings with his brothers, Christ deals with us in such a way as to bring about our confession of sin and a recognition of His forgiving love, as well as His sovereignty over the affairs of life (Genesis 45:5-8; compare Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:17).

Word Studies:

43:3 protest = warn; 43:6 ill = wickedly; 43:7 straitly = specifically; tenor = general idea; 43:17 bade = ordered; 43:25 against Joseph came = to await Joseph's arrival; 43:28 made obeisance = prostrated themselves humbly; 43:32 set on for = served; 43:34 messes = servings; 44:12 left at = finished with; 44:15 wot = know; divine = could discover by divination who stole it; 45:6 earing = plowing; 45:16 fame = news; 45:17 lade = load; 45:24 fall not out by the way = have no argument.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Nigeria (114 million) in western Africa · Major languages: French and Hausa · Government permits all types of religious activity · 36% Muslim; 19% Protestant; 15% animist; 7% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Let your faith in the Word of God overrule all fears (Psalms 18:30).

Optional Reading: Matthew 15

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:4

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