“But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.” (Genesis45:7-8)
Joseph was the son of Jacob and his brothers sold him into captivity to the Egyptians to increase their own inheritance. He told his brothers of two dreams he had, whereby they would bow before him and this infuriated his brothers. His brothers by their evil deed, meant to harm Joseph; but Joseph wanted them to know that God had elected him for slavery and suffering so that the children of Israel would be saved and delivered as a remnant unto God.
Election seeks a faithful remnant to realize God’s purposes. Those purposes and their earthly realization are not always visible even to the eyes of faith. What happened to Joseph in Egypt saved both his father and his brothers from destruction, along with their families and flocks. It set the stage for the Exodus from Egypt. Salvation history was in the making.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, in the story of Joseph today, we see that you were already creating the way for the Exodus to take place. This is another example of how You think much further ahead of our capability. It also reveals to us just how much You truly care and love Your people. Help us to be ever mindful that Your plans always work out and that our responsibility is to be obedient to Your will and purposes and not to keep our heads down lost in our own little worlds. This we pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“If God seems far away—-who moved?”
“And who is like your people Israel—-the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? You made your people Israel your very own forever, and you, O Lord, have become their God. Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever.” (1st Chronicles17:21-22, 27)
God chose and redeemed Israel to be His own people forever and to be their God. He chose to bless the house of David forever. It was through both that Jesus the Messiah was born. God’s work through Israel and the Davidic kingship were deliberate preparations for His work through Jesus. God’s promise to David that there would be an heir forever to sit on David’s throne was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The Old Testament and the New Testament are bound together by this spiritual and final fulfillment in Jesus of God’s promise to David.
“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and he land of Naphtali, but in he future he will honor Galilee of he Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan—-The people walking in darkness have seen a great light: on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before yo as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of he Lord Almighty will accomplish this. The Lord has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel. All the people will know it—-Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—-who says with pride and arrogance of heart. Th bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars. But the Lore has strengthened Rezim’s foes against them and has spurred their enemies on.” (Isaiah 9:1-11)
Christians like to read or sing these words at Christmas time. Originally the passage may have been used for the anointing or anniversary celebration of a living king in the Davidic line. In view of Christ, this great passage becomes a messianic prophecy fulfilled in the person and mission of he Lord Jesus Christ.
Second Thought of the Day:
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughter will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of he great and dreadful day of he Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.” (Joel2:28–32)
Joel foretold a time when God would pour out His Spirit upon all people. The world would be shaken, and everyone who called on the name of the Lord would be saved. Both Peter and Paul taught this prophecy was fulfilled in the coming of Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost.
The hope for an historical day of the Lord gradually took the shape of future, eschatological (end times) hope. Often the two were intertwined as in this passage. The prophecy found direct fulfillment at Pentecost 9Acts 2:16-21), yet ultimate fulfillment awaits the end time, as expressed in the apocalyptic language of he passage. Some aspects of he prophecy are fulfilled as people accept salvation provided through the work of Christ and the administration of the Spirit. End times refers to God’s final intervention to complete His redemptive work and only He knows when that will be. It will be a day of judgment and also reward for righteousness.