Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 12 February 2022:
Genesis 41:16 — “’I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’”
Despite desiring the favor of Pharaoh, Joseph did not hesitate to give God the glory instead of lifting up himself.
Genesis 41:28-40 — God intends for nations and for people to store reserves for contingencies, to save for the rainy days of life.
Genesis 41:38 — “So Pharaoh asked them, ‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?’”
As discussed previously, Joseph was valuable solely because of his relationship with God.
Genesis 41:41-54 — God can completely change your circumstances in an instant.
Genesis 41:51 — “Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, ‘It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.’”
The fact that he named his son Manasseh suggests that Joseph really hadn’t forgotten. Also, don’t lose sight of the fact that Joseph married and had children with the daughter of a pagan priest. It is very difficult to succeed in a secular society without compromising your holiness.
Genesis 41:56 — The greatest sermon never preached about Joseph’s great failure — “When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt.”
Joseph sold back to the people what was rightfully theirs. He abused his gift from God to take advantage of others. In fact, you will see that he uses the storehouse grain to sell all the people into slavery which will cause great hatred between the Egyptians and the Jews, eventually resulting in enslavement of the Jews. This is also a Biblical warning about the abuse of government power.
Psalm 16:2 — “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
When the Lord becomes all you want out of life, you will get what you want and live a fulfilled life.
Psalm 16:3 – “As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”
Christians love to be around other devoted Christians and seek them out.
Psalm 16:11 – “In your presence there is fullness of joy.”
Joy in life depends on your closeness to God. Distance from God is not a matter of time/space but rather agreement, surrender, and obedience. Draw near to God by denying yourself, taking up your cross, and walking with Jesus Christ. This is where joy and eternal life are found. It is not enough to know ‘about’ Jesus; joy is knowing Jesus personally.
Proverbs 12 – This chapter compares the attributes of the righteous person with the attributes of the foolish person. Read this chapter and see which ones apply to you. Do you love discipline (v1)? Do you see God’s favor in your life (v2)? Are you firmly grounded and strong (v3)? Are you in iron-sharpens-iron, honorable relationships (v4)? Are your thoughts pure, holy, and wise; and do you give sound counsel (v5)? Do your words rescue and heal people rather than destroy them and hurt them (vs6, 18)? Are you commended for your good sense (v8)? Do you live well within your means, without concern about impressing others (v9)? Are you equally kind to the lowliest people (v 10)? Are you hard working (vs11, 24, 27)? Do you focus on doing the best you can rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing and rather than becoming envious or jealous (vs12, 14)? Are you always truthful, even in the smallest ways (vs13, 17, 18, 22)? Do you humbly listen to the advice of others? (v15)? Do you hold your emotions and ignore insults (v16)? Do you plan to make peace with all others rather than adding friction (v20)? Do you speak the truth only when it is helpful and brings peace and reconciliation (v 23)? Do you always comfort others in distress (v25)? Do your words and guidance always lead people to a better place and closer to Jesus (vs26, 28)
Proverbs 12:1 – “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
God disciplines you to teach you. Don’t despise His discipline – learn from it.
Proverbs 12:9 – “Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread.”
Don’t seek honor; seek to be honorable.
Proverbs 12:11 — “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.”
God is Author of both the natural laws and the ethical laws. One theme that is constantly repeated in the Bible is “You reap what you sow.” God’s natural and ethical laws are simple and produce obvious results. We complicate things when we attempt to work around God’s laws and do pointless things. Don’t waste your time, energy, and efforts by doing things God never intended.
Proverbs 12:16 — “The prudent ignores an insult.”
Did you get that? Ignore insults and be prudent.
Proverbs 12:18 — “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Are all of your words healing?
Proverbs 12:20 — “Those who plan peace have joy.”
You have to have a plan for peace.
Proverbs 12:25 — “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
You can help take a load off of others by giving them a good word to ease their anxiety.
Proverbs 12:26 – “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
Let God’s good word take away your stress.
Proverbs 12:26-28 — “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray…. In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.”
A good leader guides people to where they need to go. They know the way and show the way. The Bible says that Jesus IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Good leaders lead people to Jesus. Leading people anywhere else is to lead them astray, wickedness. So, all those secular gurus out there are, in fact, wicked.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) — 12 Feb 22: Lead everyone around you to Life. Lead them to Jesus.