Today's Devotions

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All About Grace

  • Christ is a Great Savior: a review of the movie Amazing Grace +

    Amazing Grace is a historical drama about William Wilberforce who was elected to British Parliament at the age of 21 Read More
  • Making Beauty out of Ugly Things: Grace by U2 +

    Grace, she takes the blame She covers the shame Removes the stain It could be her name Grace, she carries Read More
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Don  CarsonTHE LAST CHAPTER OF GENESIS

includes a section that is both pathetic and glorious (Gen. 50:15-21).

 

 http://www.esvbible.org/search/Gen.+50/

http://www.esvbible.org/search/Luke+3/

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/job/passage.aspx?q=job+16;job+17

http://www.esvbible.org/search/1+Cor.+4/

Everything that is sad and flawed in this family resurfaces when Jacob dies. Joseph's brothers fear that their illustrious sibling may have suppressed vengeful resentment only until the death of the old man. Why did they think like this? Was it because they were still lashed with guilt feelings? Were they merely projecting onto Joseph what they would have done had they been in his place?
Their strategy involves them in fresh sin: they lie about what their father said, in the hope that an appeal from Jacob would at least tug at Joseph's heartstrings. In this light, their abject submission ("We are your slaves," 50:18) sounds less like loyal homage than desperate manipulation.

By contrast, Joseph weeps (50:17). He cannot help but see that these groveling lies betray how little he is loved or trusted, even after seventeen years (47:28) of nominal reconciliation. His verbal response displays not only pastoral gentleness – "he reassured them and spoke kindly to them," promising to provide for them and their families (50:21) – it also reflects a man who has thought deeply about the mysteries of providence, about God's sovereignty and human responsibility. "Don't be afraid," he tells them. "Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (50:19-20).

The profundity of this reasoning comes into focus as we reflect on what Joseph does not say. He does not say that during a momentary lapse on God's part, Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery, but that God, being a superb chess player, turned the game around and in due course made Joseph prime minister of Egypt. Still less does he say that God's intention had been to send Joseph down to Egypt in a well-appointed chariot, but unfortunately Joseph's brothers rather mucked up the divine plan, forcing God to respond with clever countermoves to bring about his own good purposes. Rather, in the one event – the selling of Joseph into slavery – there were two parties, and two quite different intentions. On the one hand, Joseph's brothers acted, and their intentions were evil; on the other, God acted, and his intentions were good. Both acted to bring about this event, but while the evil in it must be traced back to the brothers and no farther, the good in it must be traced to God.

This is a common stance in Scripture. It generates many complex philosophical discussions. But the basic notion is simple. God is sovereign, and invariably good; we are morally responsible, and frequently evil.

Genesis 50; Luke 3; Job 16 – 17; 1 Corinthians 4

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Why You Need Judges: Tim Keller on a Provocative, Pivotal, Pertinent Book by Matt Smethurst +

    If you're looking to feel warm and cozy, I wouldn't recommend the Book of Judges. It's a bleak story—a 21-chapter Read More
  • Shalom Covenant Fulfillment And Completion Judges 6:11-22; 8:28 by Sylvia Gunter +

    Listen to the Word of God in Judges. "Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The Read More
  • The Judgement Seat of Christ by Leonard Ravenhill +

    Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) was a Christian evangelist and author who focused on the subjects of prayer and revival. He is Read More
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Gems

  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • He Is Good: Give Him Praise: Lincoln Brewster, Israel Houghton +

    Featuring: Lincoln Brewster, Israel HoughtonGod almighty, we give You praiseFor we are fearfully and wonderfully madeSons and daughters, we stand Read More
  • My Dancing Rhythm: You Are So Good To Me +

    Third Day.. You are so good to me You heal my broken heart You are my Father in heaven [2x] Read More
  • By Your Spirit: You Have Been Good +

    Twila Paris Oh Lord, You Have Been Good You Have Been Faithful to All Generations Oh Lord, Your Steadfast Love Read More
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