Can God redeem your past? What things in your family or your past do you wish weren’t part of your personal history? Can God really use it for good? Does it disqualify you from serving God or ever being used in a meaningful way? Check out today’s reading in Genesis, especially the story of Judah and Tamar.
Our New Testament reading talks about the heart. What kind of heart do you have? Is it hard, stony, full of thorns, or is it good ground?
Genesis 37 & 38
Can God redeem your past?
Here comes that dreamer!
I continue to be blessed by our time in the book of Genesis—the book of Beginnings. I pray that this journey is as fascinating and enjoyable, as well as, practical and enlightening for you as it always is for me. I never tire of these stories. There is so much new to learn every time we walk with our spiritual ancestors.
Here in chapter 37 we have another seemingly sad story with which many of us can relate. There’s Joseph, Jacob’s son by Rachel, his “first love.” His father openly shows favoritism to the boy creating a great deal of resentment with the ten older brothers.
Although Jacob’s behavior was wrong, their attitudes were clearly sinful, as well. Even when we’re sinned against, God holds each of us responsible to respond in a godly way, these boys, definitely, did not!
This story is a good reminder to us that our preferential treatment of one child often does great damage to their relationships and can actually lead to that child being estranged from his or her siblings.
Joseph adds to the problem by sharing some dreams. Remember when the brothers saw him coming they said, “Here comes that dreamer!” Though the dreams would prove to be prophetic, pointing to a time when he would be exalted over his family, it wasn’t wisdom for him to share them.
It brings to mind a verse in the New Testament about Mary and her infant Son. It says:
“And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2.18-19).
Sometimes when God shows us something, we need to ponder it in our own heart and be selective about sharing it.
Perhaps she had learned that lesson earlier. Imagine what would have happened if Mary had gone around telling people she was pregnant with the Son of God. Even Joseph found it impossible to believe, until God spoke directly to him.
Redeeming the Past
Tomorrow’s reading and the remainder of Genesis will pick up the story of Jacob’s family with Joseph as the central character, but here in chapter 38 we have the story of Judah and Tamar. This story can be hard to understand without some cultural background.
The story centers around a custom called the levirate marriage where a close family
member, especially a single brother, would marry a widow to produce an heir for a dead brother who had died childless. It had both practical and spiritual significance. Continue reading