24 January - Genesis 39; 40; Psalms 44; Matthew 26
Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:07 AM
Genesis 39; 40
39:1 Joseph was brought down to Egypt. Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the hand of the Ishmaelites that had brought him down there. 39:2 Yahweh was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man. He was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 39:3 His master saw that Yahweh was with him, and that Yahweh made all that he did prosper in his hand. 39:4 Joseph found favor in his sight. He ministered to him, and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 39:5 It happened from the time that he made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that Yahweh blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of Yahweh was on all that he had, in the house and in the field. 39:6 He left all that he had in Joseph's hand. He didn't concern himself with anything, except for the food which he ate.
Joseph was well-built and handsome. 39:7 It happened after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph; and she said, "Lie with me."
39:8 But he refused, and said to his master's wife, "Behold, my master doesn't know what is with me in the house, and he has put all that he has into my hand. 39:9 He isn't greater in this house than I, neither has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"
39:10 As she spoke to Joseph day by day, he didn't listen to her, to lie by her, or to be with her. 39:11 About this time, he went into the house to do his work, and there were none of the men of the house inside. 39:12 She caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me!"
He left his garment in her hand, and ran outside. 39:13 When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had run outside, 39:14 she called to the men of her house, and spoke to them, saying, "Behold, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice. 39:15 It happened, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and ran outside." 39:16 She laid up his garment by her, until his master came home. 39:17 She spoke to him according to these words, saying, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought to us, came in to me to mock me, 39:18 and it happened, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and ran outside."
39:19 It happened, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, "This is what your servant did to me," that his wrath was kindled. 39:20 Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were bound, and he was there in custody. 39:21 But Yahweh was with Joseph, and showed kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 39:22 The keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever they did there, he was responsible for it. 39:23 The keeper of the prison didn't look after anything that was under his hand, because Yahweh was with him; and that which he did, Yahweh made it prosper.
Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:08 AM
40:8 They said to him, “We have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it.”
Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Please tell it to me.”
40:9 The chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream, behold, a vine was in front of me, 40:10 and in the vine were three branches. It was as though it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters produced ripe grapes. 40:11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.”
40:12 Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 40:13 Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head, and restore you to your office. You will give Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, the way you did when you were his cupbearer. 40:14 But remember me when it will be well with you, and please show kindness to me, and make mention of me to Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house. 40:15 For indeed, I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.”
40:16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and behold, three baskets of white bread were on my head. 40:17 In the uppermost basket there was all kinds of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”
40:18 Joseph answered, “This is its interpretation. The three baskets are three days. 40:19 Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head from off you, and will hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from off you.” 40:20 It happened the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants, and he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 40:21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position again, and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand; 40:22 but he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 40:23 Yet the chief cupbearer didn’t remember Joseph, but forgot him.
Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:09 AM
For the Chief Musician. By the sons of Korah. A contemplative psalm.
44:1 We have heard with our ears, God;
our fathers have told us,
what work you did in their days,
in the days of old.
44:2 You drove out the nations with your hand,
but you planted them.
You afflicted the peoples,
but you spread them abroad.
44:3 For they didn’t get the land in possession by their own sword,
neither did their own arm save them;
but your right hand, and your arm, and the light of your face,
because you were favorable to them.
44:4 You are my King, God.
Command victories for Jacob!
44:5 Through you, will we push down our adversaries.
Through your name, will we tread them under who rise up against us.
44:6 For I will not trust in my bow,
neither shall my sword save me.
44:7 But you have saved us from our adversaries,
and have shamed those who hate us.
44:8 In God we have made our boast all day long,
we will give thanks to your name forever.
44:9 But now you rejected us, and brought us to dishonor,
and don’t go out with our armies.
44:10 You make us turn back from the adversary.
Those who hate us take spoil for themselves.
44:11 You have made us like sheep for food,
and have scattered us among the nations.
44:12 You sell your people for nothing,
and have gained nothing from their sale.
44:13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors,
a scoffing and a derision to those who are around us.
44:14 You make us a byword among the nations,
a shaking of the head among the peoples.
44:15 All day long my dishonor is before me,
and shame covers my face,
44:16 At the taunt of one who reproaches and verbally abuses,
because of the enemy and the avenger.
44:17 All this has come on us,
yet have we not forgotten you,
Neither have we been false to your covenant.
44:18 Our heart has not turned back,
neither have our steps strayed from your path,
44:19 Though you have crushed us in the haunt of jackals,
and covered us with the shadow of death.
44:20 If we have forgotten the name of our God,
or spread forth our hands to a strange god;
44:21 won’t God search this out?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.
44:22 Yes, for your sake we are killed all day long.
We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter.
44:23 Wake up!
Why do you sleep, Lord?
Don’t reject us forever.
44:24 Why do you hide your face,
and forget our affliction and our oppression?
44:25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust.
Our body clings to the earth.
44:26 Rise up to help us.
Redeem us for your loving kindness’ sake.
Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:11 AM
26:1 It happened, when Jesus had finished all these words, that he said to his disciples, 26:2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
26:3 Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas. 26:4 They took counsel together that they might take Jesus by deceit, and kill him. 26:5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest a riot occur among the people.”
26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 26:7 a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 26:8 But when his disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 26:9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.”
26:10 However, knowing this, Jesus said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? Because she has done a good work for me. 26:11 For you always have the poor with you; but you don’t always have me. 26:12 For in pouring this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 26:13 Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of as a memorial of her.”
26:14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 26:15 and said, “What are you willing to give me, that I should deliver him to you?” They weighed out for him thirty pieces of silver. 26:16 From that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
26:17 Now on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
26:18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’”
26:19 The disciples did as Jesus commanded them, and they prepared the Passover. 26:20 Now when evening had come, he was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 26:21 As they were eating, he said, “Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me.”
26:22 They were exceedingly sorrowful, and each began to ask him, “It isn’t me, is it, Lord?”
26:23 He answered, “He who dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same will betray me. 26:24 The Son of Man goes, even as it is written of him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.”
26:25 Judas, who betrayed him, answered, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?”
He said to him, “You said it.”
26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 26:27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, “All of you drink it, 26:28 for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins. 26:29 But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” 26:30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
26:31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’* 26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.”
26:33 But Peter answered him, “Even if all will be made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”
26:34 Jesus said to him, “Most certainly I tell you that tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
26:35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.” All of the disciples also said likewise.
26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go there and pray.” 26:37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled. 26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me.”
26:39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”
26:40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour? 26:41 Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
26:42 Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.” 26:43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 26:44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words. 26:45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 26:46 Arise, let’s be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.”
26:47 While he was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priest and elders of the people. 26:48 Now he who betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, “Whoever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him.” 26:49 Immediately he came to Jesus, and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
26:50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. 26:51 Behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear. 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword. 26:53 Or do you think that I couldn’t ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels? 26:54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?”
26:55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and you didn’t arrest me. 26:56 But all this has happened, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples left him, and fled. 26:57 Those who had taken Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. 26:58 But Peter followed him from a distance, to the court of the high priest, and entered in and sat with the officers, to see the end. 26:59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus, that they might put him to death; 26:60 and they found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward, 26:61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.’”
26:62 The high priest stood up, and said to him, “Have you no answer? What is this that these testify against you?” 26:63 But Jesus held his peace. The high priest answered him, “I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
26:64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.”
26:65 Then the high priest tore his clothing, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy. 26:66 What do you think?”
They answered, “He is worthy of death!” 26:67 Then they spit in his face and beat him with their fists, and some slapped him, 26:68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who hit you?”
26:69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the court, and a maid came to him, saying, “You were also with Jesus, the Galilean!”
26:70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
26:71 When he had gone out onto the porch, someone else saw him, and said to those who were there, “This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
26:72 Again he denied it with an oath, “I don’t know the man.”
26:73 After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, “Surely you are also one of them, for your speech makes you known.”
26:74 Then he began to curse and to swear, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately the rooster crowed. 26:75 Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and wept bitterly.
World English Bible - (WEB) - Public Domain
Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:05 PM
Genesis 39; 40
Entwined within the momentous story of the arrest and trial of our Lord is the tragic story of Judas Iscariot. "What will you give me if I hand him over to you?" [Matthew 26:15] What made him do this? He had witnessed the remarkable miracles of his Master. When a large number of those following Jesus had turned away from him grumbling about his hard sayings, "Jesus said to the twelve, 'Will you also go away as well?' [John 6:67] They, with Peter as their spokesman, said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed and come to know that you are the holy one of God" [John 6:68-69] Jesus then commented that one of them was a devil! Did Judas realize what he meant? We doubt it! On another occasion we are told that "he was a thief and having charge of the moneybag used to help himself to what was put into it" [John 12:6]
We wonder why Jesus did nothing to stop this, he must have known. Yet, we read in Matthew 27, that when he "saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver … saying, 'I have sinned by betraying innocent blood'" [Matthew 27:4] Why did it take him so long to realize it was a sin?
The explanation that occurs to us is that, having witnessed several occasions when Jesus eluded attempts to arrest him, he was sure he would do so again! He therefore saw a clever opportunity to get a large among of money out of the religious leaders and received a huge shock when Jesus was arrested.
The lesson for us is to see how blind apparently committed followers of Christ can be as to what is wrong behaviour. They can listen, and feel that they believe in the words of eternal life and follow Jesus – blind to the fact that following Jesus means they must become more and more like him. Jesus does not act to prevent our bad behaviour; followers of Jesus are allowed to experience tests to see whether they are really converted or not – because conversion also means changing our ways.
Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:40 PM
Genesis 39; 40
"THE LORD CAUSED ALL THAT HE DID TO SUCCEED"
There is a lot of ‘food for thought’ in today’s account in Genesis of the experience of young Joseph after he was sold as a slave into Egypt by his jealous brothers. We need to take careful note of the several references to the LORD’s involvement in his life. Verse 2 [of Genesis 39] tells us “The LORD was with Joseph and he became a successful man.” Then the next verse; “the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.”
Now we do not think he realized this at the time, but looking back on the events he sensed this must have been so. Can we similarly look back and see how, in some circumstances, in a remarkable way, “all things work together for good” [Romans 8:28] in the unfolding of some, if not many, circumstances and events in our lives?
Joseph “was handsome in form and appearance” [Genesis 39:6] and today people in the world would see this as a great blessing! However, it can result in a real testing time for those who are committed to serving God and putting him ‘first’ in their lives: it may not be blessing at all! Now note Joseph’s words to the woman, his Master’s wife, who is trying to seduce him. “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God.” [Genesis 39:9]
The greater sin in giving in to her attempts at seduction would have been against God, in breaking the laws of behaviour he had laid down. As we live in a world where so few have this consciousness we may well encounter more and more situations that challenge our conscience, so how great is the need to have an active conscience! See Paul’s comment in Acts 24:16
Finally, we noticed the outcome after Joseph was unjustly thrown into prison after the false accusations of this woman. “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” [Genesis 39:21] The lesson? All things continue to work together for our ultimate good, through all circumstances, however difficult, when we commit ourselves to put the LORD first in all the paths we tread.
Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:51 AM
Genesis 39; 40
"IS IT I LORD?"
Today we read of the traumatic arrest of Jesus and how jealousy of his popularity led to a terrible travesty of justice. Raw human nature is not interested in truth, only in the triumph of personal pride and prestige. Our Genesis reading had a somewhat similar example. The integrity of Joseph, after being sold by his brothers, results in him gaining a position of trust. But then he is falsely accused and put into prison, but, as with Jesus, the overseeing eye of God is causing all things to work together for the fulfilment of the Divine purpose. Paul particularly recognised this, see his words in Romans 8:26-30.
Consider the way in which the disciples were tested. Jesus perplexed them by saying, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me” [Matthew 26:21] which caused consternation among them and they “began to say one after another, ‘Is it I, Lord?’” [Matthew 26:22]. He responds, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me” [Matthew 26:23]. Were they not all doing this as they had this fellowship Passover meal together? Then as they shared “the cup” they would be again perplexed as he said, after telling them all to drink of it, “this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” [Matthew 26:28]
With what fervency of thought and understanding would they drink of it later, and partake of the bread, when they were fully awake as to its’ meaning.
Now why did Jesus say to them that one of them was going to betray him? It was not going to change anything! Surely it was to make them all anxiously examine their hearts and motives. Is today any different? If we really belong to Jesus, shouldn’t we be keeping our consciences active every day? Our Master expects this of all those who bear his name. Jesus told Ananias in a vision that Paul was “a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name …” [Acts 9:15] Do you carry his name – howbeit in a very modest way? Paul was later to say to the Jewish hierarchy, “I have lived my life in all good conscience up this day” [Acts 23:1]. Have a look at 2 Corinthians 1:12-14 and note Paul’s words about “the testimony of our conscience …that we behaved … with simplicity (or holiness) and godly sincerity …” Let that be our aim every day.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:54 AM
Genesis 39; 40
"UNTIL THAT DAY WHEN ..."
Our Matthew reading [Matthew 26] recounts the agonies of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and his prayers. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.” [Matthew 26:39]. Jesus made his “will” conform to his Father’s will. And what of our “will”?
Peter was to later write of how Christ, in his commitment to his Father’s will “suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” [1 Peter 2:21]
Before Jesus and his disciples went into the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus directed them to prepare for a Passover meal on “the first day of unleavened bread” [Matthew 26:17] Then we read, “Now as they were eating Jesus took bread …” - next “he took the cup …” [Matthew 26:26-27] and spoke of a “covenant … for many for the forgiveness of sins” [Matthew 26:28] The disciples must have been perplexed at his words, but there is no indication they asked him to explain.
But this takes our minds forward to meditate on the record in Acts 2 and the events on the day of Pentecost and “the breaking of bread” [Acts 2:42] that then followed. With what intense meaning would the disciples and all who had just been baptised have taken part! We presume the disciples would earlier have done so after his resurrection and ascension, although there is no record of this – we meditate on the intensity of meaning as they did! How does it compare with ours?
The disciple would also remember that their Master said, after the command to “Drink, all of you” that he then said, “I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” [Matthew 26:29] This event is beyond our comprehension – just as what was about to happen was beyond theirs.
Could someone like the Apostle Paul grasp the wonder to come? Take note of his words in 1 Corinthians. “ ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him – these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the deep things of God.” [1 Corinthians 2:9-10]
But for us “until that day when …”- and our faith is turned to sight and the Spirit which is “the powers of the age to come.” [Hebrews 6:5] is poured out on the faithful who will reign with him – may we be like the Thessalonians whose “faith is growing abundantly” [2 Thessalonians 1:3] to create adequate oil in our lamps as this world becomes an ever darker place.
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