“When Others Hurt You” January 25

 

The Sovereignty of God When Others Hurt YouHow do you respond when others hurt you? Do you trust in the sovereignty of God or do you become angry and bitter?

Jacob’s love for Rachel seems to be one of the great love stories in the Bible, but at the end of his life, he didn’t ask to be buried with Rachel. He made a very surprising request.

 

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 49 & 50
Psalm 14.1-7
Proverbs 4.20-24
Matthew 16.1-28

 

When Others Hurt You

 

Genesis 49 & Genesis 50:

The Death of Jacob

 

As we conclude our reading in Genesis, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. Genesis is one of my favorite books and chapter 50 contains one of my favorite verses, verse 20.

In chapter 49 Jacob is dying and he gathers his sons around him to speak to them for the last time. Commenting in depth on what follows in verses 2-27 would require more time and study than I can give here. But remember, God, who knows the end from the beginning, was speaking prophetically through Jacob. The things he spoke foretold future events, but also reflected each of his sons’ characters and their past.

But let’s take a minute and read back over his words to Judah in chapter 49:

8 “Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise;
Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s children shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is a lion’s whelp;
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
And as a lion, who shall rouse him?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes;
And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
11 Binding his donkey to the vine,
And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
He washed his garments in wine,
And his clothes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
And his teeth whiter than milk.

Jesus was to come through the tribe, or descendants, of Judah and much of this speaks of Him. But as you think about Judah remember this is the man who in chapter 38 married a Canaanite woman, slept with his daughter-in-law Tamar because he had mistaken her for a prostitute, and then hypocritically condemned her to death.

But God was working and when he was confronted with the truth concerning Tamar, Judah said, “… She is more righteous than I …” (Gen. 38.26). He admitted his sin and repented.

In Egypt we get another glimpse of the change in Judah. When it looked like Benjamin was going to be arrested, Judah volunteered to take his place!

This should give us all hope that God can and does change people. It should also give us hope that He can use us in spite of the mistakes we have made, if we will repent and go His way.

 

When Others Hurt You

 

Genesis closes with the death of Jacob and a new set of worries for Joseph’s brothers. The old fears come back. They wondered if Joseph was just waiting for their father to die, so he could seek his revenge.

Verse 17 says that Joseph wept because they still didn’t get it. His response is one of the classic passages on the sovereignty of God:

“Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Gen. 50.19-20).

What has God allowed in your life? Has someone meant evil against you? Have you become angry or bitter because of it? Or Continue reading

June 10 “Wise living & God’s provision”

God’s Word has much to say about wise living and, if heeded, can help us avoid many of the pitfalls that lead to disaster especially in tough economic times.

wise living

Today’s Readings:
1 Kings 7 & 8
Psalm 72.8-16
Proverbs 18.12-13
John 18.19-40

1 Kings 7 & 8:

God’s gracious provision in tough economic times

God often used famine to bring judgment on rebellious nations, but He always provided for those who kept their eyes on Him.

You remember, in yesterday’s readings, Samaria was suffering from a terrible famine because the Syrians had the city under siege. It was a common method of warfare to cut off all the supplies to a city to starve them out. But now, at God’s instruction, and without a battle, the siege comes to an end and the famine is ended.

Then in chapter 8, the writer injects another story about famine and God’s provision. For a number of reasons, many Bible scholars believe this was something that had actually happened earlier chronologically. The famine in both cases came as a result of God’s judgment on idolatry and apostasy, but in both cases, we see God’s provision. In chapter 7 the provision came as a result of God’s decree and without any requirement from His people. He simply extended grace to the whole city.

But in chapter 8, we see a beautiful illustration of God’s provision even in the midst of continued national judgment. He not only warned and provided for this woman, but when it was over, restored everything she had lost.

wise living

As believers, we need to keep our eyes on the Lord and trust in His provision. But we also need to heed the warnings that He provides, primarily through His written Word. God’s Word has much to say about wise living and, if heeded, can help us avoid many of the pitfalls that lead to disaster especially in tough economic times. Continue reading