June 27, 2010
Genesis 39:2 "The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man."
NOT Joseph was a fine young man, so the Lord made him successful...
Father, is there anything that isn't in Your control? Do we really have choices? What about the whole potter-and-clay metaphor? What about "predestination?"
v. 21 "The LORD... extended kindness to him..."
I know You do that constantly. And that on the other hand, Your favor has nothing to do with our own "righteousness." But what about faith? Does that, too, come from You?
There are many who say that only those who are given faith by You can even turn to You and be accepted by You. So that we cannot even boast in our faith. Hmm. That last sentence does lend a lot of credence to the whol argument that You accept who You will, and You reject who You will.
Is that right? Then is your grace extended to some and denied to others - just because that is how You choose to fulfill Your purposes? Are You, well, that capricious? (Is that a heretical question? I'm sorry if it is... because I don't believe You are like that, and yet, some things You do are so hard to understand... Father?). Or are Your ways simply so far beyond our ways that this is something we simply have to accept on/by faith? (If you grant us faith...???)
Genesis 40:1 "Then it came about after these things..."
There is a lot of "came about-ing" in this world, isn't there? Your plans and purposes being worked out. By You.
Genesis 41:1 "Now it happened at the end of two full years..."
Your timing, again. Oh Lord, please help me to be patient. And to desire YOUR plans and purposes, and YOUR timing.
Genesis 46:7 "God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in th earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. 8. Now therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God..."
Genesis 46:1 "So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac."
Israel (Jacob) recognized that You were in charge. And he responded to You - first. Even before rushing to see his beloved son Joseph!
Genesis 48 ... Ephraim before Manasseh (and Jacob before Esau... and Isaac rather than Ishmael...)
Father, You sure don't do things the way we do. And Your will does take precedence over ours, doesn't it? Just as Joseph acceded to Jacob, even though Joseph really wanted Manasseh to have precedence over Ephraim.)