Friday, January 18, 2008

Genesis 39:21 (NKJV)

Genesis 39:21(NKJV)-“But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”

I have heard it said that character is what you are in the dark. It’s that part of you that comes out when no one is watching. If that’s the case, then I would like to add to it. If character is what you are in the dark, then I believe that sacrifice is what you are doing in the dark. It’s what you’re doing when you can’t get mass accolades or applause for doing it.

The bad thing about writing stuff like this, and trying to speak what God is putting on your heart, is what it does to you. I don’t have all this down yet. My wife and kids will tell you that. I’m still learning how to walk with God and grow in intimacy with Him. It’s very hard to do this, and not mess it up.

I’m out on a limb here, and I’m hoping that someone doesn’t cut me loose from the tree.

I’m trying to keep my focus this year on growing in intimacy with God. I want to know Him so bad that I can taste it. I want to feel His presence in me because it’s all that I want. But everything else keeps getting in the way.

You know what I mean, right? Someone else needs something; you need to go here and do this. If you have a family, you know it all too well. It seems like, when you most want to crawl up in His lap, that the most stuff hits the fan. Sometimes you feel so stifled you can’t take a breath.

You feel like you just keep giving and giving and giving. And you want just once, just once to feel like someone is doing for you.

Wow, doesn’t that sound selfish and self-centered? But, you know what; it’s the truth isn’t it? We all feel like that at one time or another. We want recognition for the suffering that we do. I want everyone to just, you know, take a day and just let me know how much they appreciate…..

Whoa; wait a minute. Read that verse above again, slowly.

Okay, let’s break it down. God was with Joseph. Okay, I got it. Joseph has just been thrown into prison, because the lady of the house where he was working (under Potiphar, Pharaoh’s captain of the guard) falsely accused him of attempted rape. Joseph’s now in prison, but just like in Potiphar’s house originally, he had God’s favor on him. Potiphar let him run with it, because he saw that his house was blessed because of the blessing God placed on Joseph.

Got it. God….with….Joseph. Check.

Did God throw Joseph a big parade? No. Did God send 10,000 angels, with trumpets a-blowing, rendering thanks to Joe for being in prison and doing what he was doing? Nope. God gave Joseph favor with those he was with, and blessed him in the midst of his life breaking apart.

This is one of the watershed moments in life. The one where I look and see where the road is taking me, and I am trying to steer away from it. I see the path clearly lying out in front of me, and I don’t like where it leads.

I’m here, realizing that God has blessed me, in the midst of everything else, and given me favor. And somehow, I’ve convinced myself that it’s just not enough. I have convinced myself that the favor and blessing of God is not enough in my life. Ouch; that hurts! It’s reality poking me in the eye!

When I start composing these, it comes from a place in my head that just tells me where to start. I usually pay attention to the idea when I’m doing my devotional. That way I can be somewhat sure that I’m listening to God and not my flesh trying to exalt itself. I’ve caught the gist of this now, and it hurts.

I didn’t even have the verse, until God started asking me about sacrifice, and I remembered what I had read about Joe and his brothers (starts in Genesis 37). Sometimes, as another saying goes, you can’t see the forest for the trees. As I said earlier, I just hope that the branch I’m on is safe.

Where are you? Are you like me; wandering around, wanting to be like Christ and become intimate with God, but in your own way and time? I’m kind of happy I’m here, because it reminds me that I’m a work in progress. But it also reminds me of how far I’ve come.

I realize that I do sacrifice myself; I just need to be less aware of the fact that I sacrifice myself. I need to just be aware that God is with me; that He’s never left me nor forsaken me. I need to remember that, in the midst of my prison, God is with me and He has and will continue to bless me.

We need to be gladder that God has given us the abilities we have during times of turmoil and pain. We need to remember that any sacrifice we give on our part pales in comparison with the One who gave up ALL HE IS to come down here with us. He came down over 2000 years ago, to walk with us in our sins and transgressions and show us a way through them.

He came down and was rejected and hung on a tree; but He was blessed by God. The house we’re in is blessed because of His sacrifice. I need to remember that, no matter what I walk through, it’s not about me; it’s about Him shining through me.

And He shines all the brighter when it’s dark outside. Sacrifice….God turning out the lights to show you how much like Christ you really are.

Be blessed in the Lord today.

Bo J.

Click; lights out.

2 comments:

Alex said...

What do you think, please, of Obadiah Shoher's interpretation of the story? (here: samsonblinded.org/blog/genesis-37.htm ) He takes the text literally to prove that the brothers played a practical joke on Yosef rather than intended to murder him or sell him into slavery. His argument seems fairly strong to me, but I'd like to hear other opinions.

Alex said...

What do you think, please, of Obadiah Shoher's interpretation of the story? (here: samsonblinded.org/blog/genesis-37.htm ) He takes the text literally to prove that the brothers played a practical joke on Yosef rather than intended to murder him or sell him into slavery. His argument seems fairly strong to me, but I'd like to hear other opinions.