Genesis 48:1-49:33 ~ Matthew 15:29-16:12 ~ Psalm 20:1-19 ~ Proverbs 4:20-27
Today is January 24th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is good to be together with you around the global campfire that we share that is the Daily Audio Bible, and glad to be here with you, warming ourselves in the word of God. We’re reading from the Contemporary English Version this week to do that, and we’re nearing the end of the third generations’ lives after Abraham, after this promise of this land that we’ve been chasing. So there was Abraham, then Isaac, and then his son Jacob whose name is now Israel, and they are all in Egypt and Jacob, Israel’s life is nearing its end. Genesis chapter 48, verse 1, through 49, verse 33.
Jacob, whose name is Israel, dies today. In a real way the page is turned and we’re moving into another season in this development of this people. The story of Joseph that we’ve read over the last several days is pivotal in the development story of the children of Israel. The complete story of Joseph gives us an amazing picture of how things are larger than we know, more is going on than we understand, and without walking with God through it, we will never find our place in the story or even really understand the vital impact of our lives on this world.
Joseph was trafficked into slavery by his own family, his own brothers, and this was certainly not fair. All of the way to Egypt as Joseph is tied up as human cargo to be sold in a land far away, he had plenty of time to grow bitter, plenty of time to consider what was out in front of him. He could have ended up in Egypt deeply, deeply wounded and bitter at God, alone and isolated and animal-like because of the injustice, but he did not. He trusted in God.
He was sold to Potiphar. He quickly became the head of Potiphar’s household. He was shrewd. He was smart. He was good looking. He had all of the right qualities and the right mix for a leader. It was Potiphar’s wife who noticed some of these attributes and wanted to take advantage of them. Joseph, just a teenage boy, somehow had the character instilled in him from his youth that this was not right and he fled from Potiphar’s wife and a lie was told about Joseph. A very important lie with very big consequences. Joseph ended up in a dungeon. So he went from a slave to a prisoner in a dungeon in Egypt and all he did was the right thing. He was in that dungeon a long time. He had plenty of time to get brooding and depressed and bitter at God for letting this happen, but he didn’t.
It wasn’t long before he became in charge of the prison. Joseph becomes a leader wherever he goes, but had he not had a forward view that there has to be more to this story, then he probably would have rotted away in that dungeon for the rest of his life and died, completely unknown by anyone. But you know how the story goes. A baker, a cupbearer end up in the dungeon, dreams are had, Joseph interprets them correctly, but it is a couple more years and Joseph is in the dungeon for years not understanding what he ever did wrong because he didn’t do anything wrong. But the king does have a dream and the cupbearer does remember Joseph eventually and Joseph is brought before the king and interprets a dream and is hastily put in charge of all of Egypt. Joseph becomes in charge of all kinds of things that would have never happened had he remained a shepherd. And in the end he is reunited with his family in a pretty dramatic way. And in the end Joseph is able to say, “Don’t grieve what you’ve done to me. You’re released from that. Don’t fight each other about it. Don’t hold onto it anymore. God sent me ahead to save your lives and the lives of many others and has put me in charge, second only to the king in all of Egypt.” And Joseph was able to accumulate all of the land, all of the wealth, all of the animals in the land of Egypt and all of the people because of his correct interpretation of the king’s dream.
Sometimes things happen that are devastating to us. They can be loss, that kind of pain and suffering. Or they can be the betrayal of a relationship or something like that. Something that we consider unjust. It is what we do in those moments that is really going to matter. Those are the times, anytime we enter into suffering or hardship or loss, that we become estranged from God, that somehow we get it in our minds that he’s not trustworthy, that he is not paying attention, maybe that he is not even there. So we get estranged because we reason if he was there, certainly he would not have let this or that happen to us. Joseph had every reason to think those things but did not and we see where the pathway led. There is more to the story and if we are not really walking with God, then when we find ourselves estranged from him, we need to own it. We need to own the fact that these things have happened, but before we get mad at God for letting them happen and just blame God, make him the cosmic trash heap of all of humankind’s suffering, we need to let look at our own roles in this story. We also need to understand that there is more going on and we will not get the God’s eye view, we will not be able to zoom out and see that there is more going on if we do not walk in the counsel of the Holy Spirit in our lives every single day of our lives. Then we can see that there is more going on.
That does not mean that the suffering or hardship or loss are not hard. I imagine it was pretty hard for Joseph. You remember the plea of Joseph in the dungeon when he talked to the cupbearer? He said, “When you are restored, please remember me down here. I don’t deserve to be here. I haven’t done anything wrong. Please remember me.” So it wasn’t like he was like, oh, I’m in a dungeon now. Awesome. Anybody got a broom? Let’s make this a nice apartment. I’m going to just hang out here the rest of my life. No, he wanted to be free. None of this was supposed to happen to him, but in the end he sees the hand of God redeeming much.
May we follow that example. May we heed fully the words of the proverb today: My child, listen carefully to everything I say. Don’t forget a single word but think about it all. Knowing these teachings will mean true life and good health for you. Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life. Never tell lies or be deceitful in what you say. Keep looking straight ahead without turning aside. Know where you are headed and you will stay on solid ground. Don’t make a mistake by turning to the right or the left.
That is the counsel of the Bible, the wisdom of the ages in the book of Proverbs and we saw that lived out in the life of Joseph. We have a clear picture of where that road will lead. May we follow that narrow path.
We invite you, Holy Spirit, to come and show us the ways in which we are not walking on that path. Because this path leads to life and good health, true life and good health. That is what we were born for. That is what we are made for. That is the road we want to be on and so often we take these small detours and then we can’t find our way back to the narrow path. We’re on all kinds of other roads, maybe parallel to the path that leads to life but winding their way through forests and valleys and we get lost. Then we cry out and you come as a shepherd and bring us back. We just want to stay on the narrow path. We want to move in a straight line for a long time toward wholeness. So come Holy Spirit, show us what that looks like in our own lives. Show us what we need to own and own up to and be honest about inside of ourselves and before you and move forward. Come Jesus, we pray. In your mighty name, amen.
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And that is it for today. I’m Brian. I love you. And I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hello Dabbers. This is EZ in Georgia again and I was calling in response to Dorcas from New York and also to ask for a prayer request for myself. First of all, I want to thank Nicky from Florida. It was my full intention to call and offer my help as a blind person who is an educator and so has to be up on all the technology and what-not as well, but life and work and the ups and downs and then the excitement of what I’m about to ask for prayer for came along and I confess that I lost track, so I was very happy to hear this evening’s podcast, I listen to it in the evenings before bed, when Nicky made the offer to Dorcas. I wanted to offer the same thing. I can help. I can do what I can to support, to help with the technology training, whatever you might need. My email address, and this goes for everyone in the community including Becky from Philadelphia that called when I originally made my first call. It’s EZCleg@icloud.com. I believe Becky is her name. My prayer request. Brian, some of you know, was a record producer for a long time and I’ve been singing since I was 2 years old and we actually have quite a few of the same friends up in Nashville. And I got an offer the other day from a really amazing, wonderful, very reputable guy to do some recording and do some work. He is going to come to me first and play some music and then I’ll go up and hopefully lay some stuff down and see what we like. And this is why I feel like I was left here. I feel like the Lord left me here to make music for him. I was a pound and a half at birth. I was four months premature. I had no skin. I had pneumonia, __________ seizures, meningitis…
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Angela from North Carolina. I’ve been listening with you all for about three months and I have been so blessed already to be in such a wonderful community of God. I am calling today just in terms of margin because it is so important. And right now I am watching on my laptop the eagle’s nest. Many of you may be watching as well intermittently, but the live eagle cam over You Tube or Google, however you get it, and I’m looking at the baby eaglets and observing the eaglet in the nest. The mother or father bird, the parents take turns. One is sitting a little higher up in a branch. But the baby eaglet, the middle of it is carved out, it is like a soft spot and the baby eaglet sleeps and wakes and does his eagle thing which I love to watch, but around the margins of the nest there are larger branches which go out in increasing circles and those I was thinking are like the margins of our life. So often what we see as maybe being an obstacle is actually a boundary. As we know, the boundaries have fallen for us in very pleasant places. And this baby eaglet might be thinking, “Wow, this branch is a little stiff here,” but it keeps him in the nest because he’s not ready to fly yet. So the margins of our lives, let us be grateful for those and let us just operate within the margins that God has given us as we are hemmed in according to his perfect plan for us. And when the time is right, we shall all fly.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Carol from Oklahoma City. First I want to say Brian, I’m so sorry about the loss of your mother. I’m praying that God will comfort you and your family. Today, January 18th is the fifth anniversary of the death of my husband by suicide and I want to start out by reading Proverbs 24:11. Rescue those being taken off to death and save those stumbling towards fodder. I feel like God has called me to speak to anyone contemplating taking their own life. I don’t know what Randy was thinking that led to his suicide, but I do believe that Satan, our enemy, was whispering lies to him, lies such as no one loves you, you’re not good enough, your family would be better off without you, no one will even miss you. None of that is true about anyone. Each person ever born is much loved by God. He created you and he has a purpose for you. He loves you so much that he sent his Son to die in your place. So dear one, hold onto Jesus. He will help you through the dark places. Call out to him. He will rescue you. Don’t be afraid to seek help from a doctor or pastor or friend. God, I pray for anyone who is entertaining the thought of taking their own life. Father, shine light into their darkness and rescue them. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Let it be.
Hi, my name is Lanea and I’m from the LA area. I’m a long time listener, I don’t know, nine years or something. This is my first call. I’m having foot surgery today, pretty bad foot surgery, and I just want prayers. I know that our Lord’s time and when I call is completely different and so I just really would covet the prayers of the people. Thank you for everything from this DAB family of mine. I just have always felt such a part of it. Just thank you much. Bye.
Hello, this is Mark calling from Florida. This is my seventh year with DAB. This is my first time calling. I have a call for prayer. I just got engaged to somebody. I actually just call it getting engaged just because I’m looking at stuff in my life that many are dealing with – employment, my company is about to lay-off about 30% of the workforce, so yeah, __________ but my job is threatened and all this type of stuff around me, and yet the Lord brought this wonderful woman into my life and I just knew I had to ask her to marry me, but the enemy is definitely playing with my thoughts, doubts about whether that was a smart decision to get engaged right when you are facing a potential job cut. I’ve been with this company for 17 years and I know the Lord wants to be my supply and source in all situations including this. It is just difficult mentally on me. So pray for me, that I will have faith and courage to go through with this and that God’s presence and his guidance will be on me throughout this process. My wedding date is set for March 25th, so I’m excited about that, just nervous about everything else. But I give Jesus all the praise and glory and thank the DAB family for all their support.
Hello. I’m Lisa from Texas. I’ve been listening for about six years now and this is my first call in. Brian, I just want to tell you and your family that I am praying for you all and that I am grieving with you. I love you and appreciate you all. The second thing I would like to say is to a lady whose name I did not get who called in support of another blind person and the power and love that went out as she spoke loving, kind words to the lady who has recently gone blind, I want you to know that touched me deeply. The third thing I would like to say is to the lady in Louisiana whose house flooded, I want you to know you’re in for a miraculous turnaround in your circumstances. I believe it. Connect your faith with all of ours and we’re going to be able to hear you call back in with a report glorifying God. Thank you Jesus. Bless every listener, Lord. Bless them, God.