Archive for the ‘First Person Story’ Category

Genesis 44:1-34 Heart Stopping Fear

The brothers are not about to let Benjamin out of their sight! Judah pleads for his life with his own.

Joseph’s brothers have just finished an amazing meal and been reunited with their brother Simeon. It’s time to head home with the food they have purchased in Egypt. They are thrilled to be getting out of there without incident!

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Joseph is not through with his brothers. He has to KNOW that their hearts have changed. He has seen their devotion to one another during these two visits. He has also seen their willingness to do as he commands. But is their obedience just that; obedience for the sake of their own safety or is it true humbleness? He loves them dearly and wants them to know him but he cannot trust them yet. They will be put to one final test. At the end of that test Joseph will know where their hearts are. Read more »

Genesis 43:1-34 Benjamin Comes

Joseph is overwhelmed with joy at seeing his brother Benjamin but he has to keep it together for now,

We left Jacob and his sons in a heated discussion. ‘The man’ in Egypt wouldn’t see them again without Benjamin or release Simeon. But Jacob refused to let him go. He was not about to lose his other favorite son.

Something just struck me as I was preparing to get into today’s reading. Benjamin had become Jacob’s ‘god’. Jacob probably didn’t even see it himself. But when you put something or someone in the place where NOTHING else matters, that makes them/it your ‘god’. Benjamin certainly occupied this place in Jacob’s life. None of his other sons mattered more to him. Not even his grandchildren could hold sway over him. Because of this improper relationship Jacob was willing to let the whole camp starve instead of trusting God with Benjamin’s life.

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Everyone who was in camp or not otherwise busy rushed out to meet the brothers on their return. There was silence in the camp while Judah and Reuben told the story of what happened in Egypt. Simeon’s absence was immediately noticed by his oldest son, but he too waited as the story was told. Read more »

Genesis 42:1-38 Brothers Unaware

Joseph remains unknown to his brothers and treats them roughly. He is testing them.

The famine is all over, even in the land of Canaan. Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy grain. Joseph recognizes them but they don’t recognize him.

People have been coming from far off lands to buy grain in Egypt. The famine is not a localized event. On this eventful day, ten of Joseph’s brothers arrive in Egypt. I’m curious if Joseph had been expecting them to come at some point. Was he watching for them every day? Did he think about them as he put up all the stores? In his son Manasseh’s name, part of the meaning was that he forgot his father’s house. I don’t know that he could truly wipe the memory of his first 17 years of life but he was able to move beyond the bad memories. He was able to let go of any anger he held towards his brothers. And he was able to make a life for himself where he was at.

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It is not possible for Joseph to watch over all the storehouses every day so he only opens one set of storehouses at a time. They would sell grain from that reserve until it was depleted, then they would move to the next city’s stores. This way Joseph is able to maintain a watchful eye over all that happened. With much authority comes much accountability. Joseph was diligent in looking out for Pharaoh’s interests. Read more »

Genesis 41:37-57 Promotion

Pharaoh appoints and introduces Joseph to Egypt. He makes sure they follow his orders.

We left off last time with Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. This took him from the prison pit to the palace in mere moments. Now he moves even higher.

This is truly a “rags to riches” story in this moment. Joseph always had authority in whatever place he landed but he goes from the servant in the prison to the second place in ALL of Egypt. We left Joseph standing in Pharaoh’s court having just interpreted his dream and having given him some sound advice as to how to proceed following that interpretation. One could easily expect the highest ruler in the land to scoff at advice coming from someone straight out of prison.

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Joseph is no stranger to management duties. He was over Potiphar’s house and all he had. He was over the prison and all that happened there. His recommendation to Pharaoh spoke of his understanding of authority and management of resources. Read more »

Genesis 41:1-36 Pharaoh’s Dreams

Pharaoh shares his dreams and God gives Joseph the interpretation.

Joseph has continued in prison, serving as the right hand man to the keeper of the prison. Pharaoh has a dream and is perplexed by it. Finally his cupbearer remembers Joseph.

It has been two full years since the cupbearer and the baker had their dreams interpreted by Joseph. He asked the cupbearer to put in a good word with Pharaoh for him. It didn’t happen at the time. I have a feeling it wasn’t really because he forgot about Joseph at the time but that he thought his position was too tenuous to be bring him up to Pharaoh. He didn’t want to wind up back in prison, or worse, himself.

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There was something special about Pharaoh’s dreams this particular night. It wasn’t like he didn’t dream all the time but this dream felt special. He KNEW there was meaning in it but he couldn’t reach it. He needed help. So he called those who had proclaimed themselves to be skilled in the art of understanding. “He sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men” (verse 8b). But none of them could give him a convincing meaning for his dreams. Oh they each tried to come up with something but nothing they said rang true in his spirit. Read more »