Bev at Keep on Believing hosts this rewarding study and renders my heart with her insights each Monday. (And don’t miss the comments which hold a wealth of His love also.)
An Appropriate Blessing in Due Time. Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them. Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.” Just like his dad, Isaac, Israel’s eyes were failing. Wonder if he thought to see the full circle of life and how God had truly changed this man from deceiver to the father of the tribes of Israel? (49:28) Each son got his own appropriate and unique blessing. I had the pleasure of writing a letter honoring my second daughter this weekend giving her blessing for her accomplishments as she wraps up her senior year at University of Texas. I customized it perfectly to her special talents and joys that she brings. I wouldn’t read the one I wrote her sister last year until after I had written hers so it wouldn’t sound the same, but it would be her special blessing from us. I have three so very different children and each one uniquely makes me overflow with joy and promise for them. I love that God equips each one of His children with unique and special talents and blessing. Just as Jacob gave a fitting blessing, God appropriates a blessing for their particular needs.
Forgiveness and insight make the journey worthwhile. (Gen.50:19-21) But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? Joseph had a sweet heart toward those who had harmed him. He saw how God had used it for good to save so many. I want that kind of insight and forgiveness. To know God is working something far greater than the trivial slight—though this was not that trivial. One other thing about Joseph: he certainly could have grown bitter and depressed all those years without encouragement. I wonder since he had been given the gift of dreams, if God did not come to him in dreams and sustain him through this long and grueling trial. He certainly was refined from a bratty braggy little boy to a man of honor. I could use a work of refinement in my life like that, where my only thoughts would be of love and forgiveness.
Hard work is often part of the deal to make us strong in facing trials. (Ex 1:12)—the more the Israelites were oppressed the more they multiplied. Hard work and oppression only made them stronger. What doesn’t kill us… Then, after Moses left Jethro and went down to Egypt and met Aaron his brother, he told the Israelites all of what God was going to do for them. It got much harder. They had to build the bricks without the straw provided and meet quota. How often Satan turns up the heat right when we are about to break free of the bondage we are in.
Holiness requires reverence. (Exodus 3:5)—”Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Moses was in the presence of our Holy God who cannot have it any other way. We simply must worship in His presence.
The Lord equips Moses to build faith. (Ex 4:3) by changing his staff into a serpent and making Moses pick it up and it changes back to a staff. Moses had to reach toward the snake (required faith) and grab it before it changed. The Lord perfectly equipped Moses but then he starts second guessing himself, relying on his own power. “But I am slow of speech.” Moses only saw his shortcomings, not his God. Oh, how often, I do this. I was so convicted in this. And then Moses finally says what he wanted to say all along: (4:13) “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” How many times do I ask God to use someone else and miss a mighty purpose He has just for me? We have freedom of choice, but we also have a mighty God that wants to do great and powerful things through us, if only we respond, yes, Lord. Use me.