So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, ‘Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed. May God give you of heaven’s dew and of earth’s richness—-an abundance of grain and new wine. May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.” (Genesis 27:27-29)

Isaac’s prayer was answered according to God’s intention not according to Isaac’s full understanding. Blessing the key type of prayer in the stories of Israel’s ancestors. Blessing here refers to agricultural fertility and nations power.

Isaac was deceived into blessing Jacob against his intention. His actions still fulfilled God’s elective purposes. Election works out in the mysterious providence of God rather than through human planning and strategy. Election is God’s choosing of varied people throughout history to submit to His purposes and will, including some who were considered enemies of His people; yet, this did not hold Him back from using them to accomplish His will through their actions. Election in the New Testament also is God’s calling of people who were in His churches, that He called for the purposes of preaching and teaching Biblical Scriptures to His people. It also included people who were working between the church and the greater world, to carry the message of salvation out into the world.


Dear Abba, we remember Your wisdom in electing those who would become true servants of Your idea of a new religion to this world, utilizing some who had been enemies of Your people and others whom You chose had influence over others who could effectively help in the strengthening of the floor of Your Church, that Jesus established as the foundation of the Church. You also chose those who would be left behind after Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, that would become influential with the Jewish church and others who would go out into the world, evangelizing people throughout the world and even unto today, and we honor and praise You. In the meantime continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that the recent offer from Ukraine for finding a peaceful solution brings Russia to come and work for a peaceful conclusion to the fighting. We also pray for those, in California who are suffering from huge rains that are now causing flooding and mud slides, for those who are suffering from the loss of loved ones, for all who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen


It is nice to be important, but it is always more important, to be nice!”


You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)

Joseph recognized that God’s providential plan for his life included the brother’s intentions and his own temporary suffering. The theme of divine providence permeates the entire story of Joseph and illustrates God’s ability to guide the course of history. Our suffering often have a purpose within God’s providence.

In verses 45:7-8 Joseph revealed he had no malice against his brothers fro selling him into slavery. The brothers had not understood or believed Joseph. Then their father died, they expected Joseph to seek revenge. He reminded them that God used the actions intended for harm to fulfill His election plan for the saving of many lives. Therefore, God’s purposes were always good.


No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, 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 glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Acts 2:16-21)

The early church accepted the Old Testament as authoritative Scripture. They looked for God’s actions in their lives. The new revelation in apostolic preaching through the Spirit fulfilled the inspired expectation of Joel 2:28-32 (The hope for an historical day of the Lord gradually took the shape of future, eschatological or end time hope. Often the two were intertwined as in this passage. This prophecy found direct fulfillment at Pentecost, yet ultimate fulfillment awaits the end time, as expressed in the apocalyptic language of the passage. Some aspects of the prophecy are fulfilled as people accept salvation provided through the work of Christ and the administration of the Spirit. In regard to end times, the prophecy refers to God’s final intervention to complete His redemptive work. In this aspect the day of the Lord includes both judgment upon unrighteousness and reward for righteousness. Of course, that will be when Jesus returns in His full glory and complement of angels, to restore the earth. When you might ask? Only God knows, beloved, as even Jesus said He didn’t know when!


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