GENESIS 39:1-41:16 | MATTHEW 12:46-13:23 | PSALM 17:1-15 | PROVERBS 3:33-35
The fascinating story of Joseph begins. After being sold off by his brothers to traveling Ishmaelites, who in turn most likely sell him to the Egyptians, Joseph finds a job with a senior official in the Pharoah’s service, a man named Potiphar. What perseverance and resilience for this young man to put his bitterness aside and make something of himself!
And what’s even more amazing is that when God is on your side, not only are you blessed in all that you do, but everyone else associated with you is also blessed! Funny how it works like that. The account says: 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.
But bad things happen to good people, and it isn’t long before Joseph is falsely accused and thrown into prison. Yet even then, God’s favor on him does not cease. The account says: But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. Soon Joseph begins to interpret dreams, crazy dreams, that the inmates have.
What follows is the story of the correct interpretation of the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker. But despite the favor that Joseph asks of the cupbearer to help him get out of prison, the cupbearer forgets! The text says: 23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. How can some people be like that? Is that the height of ingratitude or what?
And yet, two years later, he does remember! And when Joseph is brought before Pharoah to interpret the Pharoah’s dreams, Joseph says, 16 “I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” We’ll have to wait and see what that answer is…
In the meantime, Matthew continues with his account of Jesus’ preachings and teachings. During the course of his travels, Jesus enlightens the people about who his mother and brothers are. Jesus says: 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Jesus continues to speaks to the people in parables– stories that have a deeper meaning and moral. And when his disciples ask him why it is that he speaks in such parables, Jesus tells them that the people would otherwise listen even less, not to mention perhaps understand even less. Jesus says: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” Might it be that we are also like this?
Jesus goes on to explain the parable of the sower. The Word of God is the seed that is sown in a variety of landscapes: rocky ground, throrny ground, and in good soil. May it be that our heart is akin to the good soil.
David’s Psalm for the day is an intimate one. He cries out to God like he does many times before:
6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me;
give ear to me and hear my prayer.
7 Show the wonder of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the wicked who assail me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.
May it be that we also have the same confidence in approaching God in prayer.
Finally, some food for thought, courtesy of Solomon, wise king of Israel:
33 The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
but fools get only shame.