Where are You, Lord? Ever felt that way? Maybe you’ve been deeply hurt, possibly by someone close to you. Maybe it’s a financial trial or a serious illness. Whatever it is, we need to be like the psalmist in today’s reading.
Joseph was said to be a “type of Christ.” A type is a picture (like the old “tintypes,” pictures taken during the 1800s). In this case, a picture of Christ, a glimpse of what was to come. What exactly does that mean and how should his example inspire us today?
Genesis 47 & 48
Where are You, Lord?
How Prayer Changes Us
Here we see the progression that comes by faithfully, and honestly, lifting our requests to God in prayer. The Psalmist prayed:
“How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” (v. 1).
He was saying, in effect, “Where are You, Lord?” Ever felt that way?
In spite of not fully understanding, the psalmist prayed in faith:
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken (vss. 3-4).
Then he goes on:
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me (vss. 5-6).
The psalmist made a conscious decision to trust God. He chose to focus on the faithfulness of God.
We, too, can choose to trust God in our trials!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3.5).
Our prayers may start out, as the psalmists did, “Where are you, Lord?” But if we stay faithful, God will not only faithfully answer according to His will and His timing, but we will be changed as we grow in our ability to trust Him.
Today’s Other Readings:
A Type of Christ
Joseph and his family have been reunited. Here in chapter 47 we see Joseph’s care for his aging father, “Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and set him before Pharaoh” (v. 7). Somehow I see Joseph helping his elderly father into some kind of a chair so Jacob can show his respect to Pharaoh and pray for him. But he doesn’t just care for his father; he also cares for his brothers. In verse 11 Joseph “situated his father and his brothers” and in verse 12 he “provided” for his father and his brothers. Remember, these are the same brothers who sold him into slavery.
Joseph is a type of Christ. A type is a picture (like the old “tintypes,” pictures taken during the 1800s). In this case, a picture of Christ, a glimpse of what was to come. We can look at those old photos and see that while they were not perfect images, they give us some idea of what the real person looked like. In the same way, when we look at the various “types of Christ,” each one gives us an idea of some of the attributes of our Savior.
His Faithful Stewardship
“… there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (Rom. 13.1).
Even when times got hard for the people, he didn’t just give the food away because it wasn’t his to give! He was only a steward. Instead, he wisely allowed the people to barter for goods.
Sometimes we criticize or resent our employers for making a profit or for not doing things the way we think they should. Employees may even be tempted to give things away, but if we are stewards and not owners that is wrong. Unless an employer asks us to sin, in which case we must respectfully refuse, we are to be faithful stewards. We must do so not just when they are watching, but at all times.
“Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Eph. 6.5-6).
Besides faithfulness in the work place, Joseph was a type of Christ in other areas, including: a willingness to forgive those who hurt us deeply, honoring parents, and trusting in the sovereignty of God. What attributes of Christ do you see as you study the life of Joseph?
Light & Darkness
18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.
Righteousness brings more light while wickedness only increases a person’s spiritual darkness.
Humility & Tested Faith
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed” (v. 22).
… and at first He doesn’t even answer!
23 But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
Yet, look at her humble response:
27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Jesus was testing her heart attitude. Was her heart filled with pride or did she understand, as we all should, that we deserve nothing. Anything we receive from God is His grace!
So go in His grace today!
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