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Bible Pathways 1/14/2004

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 whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron (Psalm 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 shall give Pharaoh an answer. . . . There come seven years of great plenty . . . And there shall arise after them seven years of famine (Genesis 41:16,29-30). 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 soon became 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?" However, 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 Paul's assistant of whom he wrote: Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world (II Timothy 4:10). By today's standards, Demas 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. 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 what Jesus said: Take no thought (be not anxious) for your life. . . . (For after all these things do the Gentiles (the worldly) seek:) . . . But you seek . . . first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:25-33).

Word Studies:

40:3 in ward = in custody; 41:2 kine = cows; 41:56 waxed sore = became severe; 42:7 strange = as a stranger; 42:9 nakedness of the land = weak points of our defense; 42:27 espied = saw; 42:34 traffick = do business; 42:38 mischief = harm.

Christ Revealed:

By the wisdom of Joseph (Genesis 41:39). Be comforted . . . to the acknowledgment of . . . Christ; In Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:2-3).

Pray For:

Country: Latvia (3 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe · Major languages: Latvian and Russian · Religious freedom · 20% Protestant; 20% Roman Catholic; 15% Russian Orthodox; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Remember that the Lord is always ready to help you in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Optional Reading: Matthew 14

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:4

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