Genesis 39:1-41:16, Matthew 12:46-13:23, Psalms 17:1-15, Proverbs 3:33-35
Today is the 19th day of January welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it is great to be here with you on this 19th day of the brand-new year and it’s great to be around the Global Campfire as we take the next step forward, the 19th step forward in the Scriptures this year, which will lead us back into the book of Genesis and back into the story of Joseph, who is one of the sons of Israel, Jacob’s sons. And, so, let’s dive in. We’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. Genesis chapter 39 verse 1 through 41 verse 16.
Okay. So, we have several things going on as we do each and every day that we move through the Scriptures. And, so, looking back into the book of Genesis as we really get fully immersed in the story of Joseph, who is the favored son of Jacob, whose name has become Israel. And, so, he had the coat of many colors and he was a child in Jacob’s old age and so his other brothers despised him in part because of the affection that his father had for him that was different than the real rest of the brothers but also because he’s a teenager, he’s a teenage boy. And, so, he has dreams and obviously like later on he becomes an interpreter of dreams. That’s one of the things that we were reading about today. So, obviously these dreams have significant…significance in his life, but he’s a kid and he doesn’t know exactly how to interpret what he’s seeing. And, so, he tells his family the way that the dreams go, are that the family ends up bowing down to him. And, so, he has a couple of dreams and the brothers just hate him for the dreams. Even his dad’s is kinda like, really? You think we’re gonna bow down to you? And, so, as the story goes there’s animosity specifically toward Joseph. Among all of the children of Israel there’s some animosity toward Joseph. He’s a boy coming of age and that can be problematic and a difficult time in any young boy’s life and in the family’s life as well. So, this is all going on, but there is favoritism going on as well. And Joseph kind of reports back to his dad what his brothers are doing. And, so, he’s kinda like the tattletale. And as it turns out Joseph is sent to find his brothers and find out how they’re doing. And he has to go on a pretty long journey. If he’s going from…from the south near the Negev all the way Shechem he’s gotta go pretty far to the north to find them. And as the story goes, they see him from far off, they decide let’s end the dreaming by ending the dreamer. Let’s kill him. Let’s be done with him. He ends up being thrown into a pit. They take his precious robe, his…this unique gift given to him by his father. This robe is taken from him. But he retains his integrity. His clothes aren’t his character. He retains his integrity, even as he’s thrown by his own family into a pit, while they figure out what they’re going to do. And can you imagine Joseph in a pit in the middle of the desert screaming for help and no one coming to help him, just kind of being in this pit and left there. And then he gets pulled from the pit, only to be transferred into the hand of the Ishmaelites trafficked by his own family and he is taken into Egypt where he is sold into slavery. Well…sold…I guess as if…if you can think of it in those terms. He ends up in Potiphar’s house. So, he ends up in a high-ranking officials home and his integrity is intact, and his hope isn’t lost. He isn’t bitter. He's…he’s not in a corner going, how…why is this happening to me. He’s holding onto God to figure out where this whole story is going. And in short order, he becomes the…the supreme leader of Pharaoh’s house. He’s in charge of his household. And of course, Pharaoh’s wife notices that he’s handsome and well-built and she wants a little of that action. And, so, she goes and asks for it, and he won’t. He won’t go to bed with her. And this goes on and on and on, right? She keeps pressuring him and pressuring him. And he keeps telling her, I can't…like I can’t do that. I cannot break trust with my master. I cannot sin against God. And, so, one day they’re alone and she presses in on him and he has to remove himself and he flees and he…he leaves his robe behind. This is like the second time this has happened. His robe has been taken from him again. And yet he flees with his character and integrity intact. And for all of that, for this young man who is vital and handsome and good-looking and desirable, for all of his integrity and character where does he end up? In another dungeon and another pit. He had been thrown into a pit in the desert and now he is in a pit after losing his robe again. Now he’s in the dungeon and he hasn’t done anything wrong and he has to stay there for years. And of course, he does interpret some dreams and those dreams come true, and it eventually gets him out of the dungeon and before Pharaoh. And that’s gotta be crazy culture shock if you’ve been for years in a dungeon and the next thing you know guards are coming in going, get a bath boy. Shave. You’re going to see Pharaoh. And he ends up in front of Pharaoh and he’s told a dream that he needs to interpret. And we’ll pick up the story from there. But we’re watching a story unfold that has many many layers to it in. I mean one of those layers are that what Joseph is wearing is not who Joseph is. And even when we find ourselves in the corner going, why is this happening to me, the story of Joseph allows us to understand that maybe we’re in the middle. Maybe this is the part of the story where there is challenge and difficulties to overcome, but maybe this isn’t the end of the story. Because as we will see in the coming days this is not the end of Joseph’s story.
And then we move into the book of Matthew and Jesus begins now to teach with parables and they’ll be many parables that we will encounter as we continue our journey through the book of Matthew. But a parable is a like an illustration story, a story that says more than just the words, pictures that mean more than the words and nuances that allow for many layers so that like a parable story can be pondered and looked at from many different angles and many truths can emerge from these parables. This is part of a rabbinic tradition, teach your disciples using parables. And in the parable today, Jesus says, consider the sower who went out to sow. When he sowed some seed…some seed. And, so, as the story goes, a sower goes out to sow and he sows a field that has different kinds of soil in it, different kinds of terrain. And the way that the seed gets established in the soil depends upon the soil that the seed fell upon. And in this case, Jesus gives the interpretation. When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path. So, seed was sown along a path. For us we need to consider in our hearts what kind of soil are we. What type of soil is available to the seed of the good news of God’s kingdom? If we are the path, then we hear the word about the kingdom, but we don’t understand it and it’s easily snatched away from us. So, if we’re the path, what we do? Seek understanding. The reason that it was stolen away was because the person didn’t understand. But there’s other soil. And…and I’m quoting Jesus, “and the one sown on rocky ground”…so seed that fell on soil that is rocky, “this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, but he has no root and is short-lived. When distress, or persecution comes because the word, immediately he falls away.” So, what do we do if we’re rocky soil? What do we do if we’re the person who hears and we rejoice and we’re like, yes, I am in. Yes, absolutely count me in. But there are rocks all around so that the roots cannot go deep. We cannot get routed because there is no soil to take root. And, so, when we’re challenged, according to Jesus, when distress, or persecution comes to when were challenged we aren’t rooted and so we immediately fall away. And, so, what do we do if we’re rocky soil? I…I have to deal with rocky soil. Like, we have a farm and we have to take care of it and it has rocky soil. And I have learned that you can kinda deal with the rocky soil, you can work around it. But if you want it to be fertile, you want to use it for something, you gotta dig up the rocks. You gotta get them out of there. And, so, if we are rocky soil, if we believe in the good news of the kingdom of God but anytime we’re challenged internally we have to face hardship, we find ourselves shaking our fists at the sky going why are you letting this happen to me. Then we need to get routed. And in order to get routed we need to take a look at the soil in our hearts, the hardness, the rockiness and begin to work with the Holy Spirit in removing the rocks so that there is good soil. And then there’s the thorny soil. So, some seed falls on soil that is thorny and according to Jesus this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word and it becomes unfruitful. So, what do we do if we’re thorny? And isn’t that what it feels like, the worries of the world, the worries that we’re carrying around on our shoulders, the worries of this age, the deceitfulness of wealth, like this treadmill that we’re running on thinking that we can achieve and achieve and achieve and it becomes a distraction that we spend our whole lives trying to pursue. It feels like thorns. Anxiety and worry feel like thorns and our gut, right? So, what do we do if we’re thorny soil? We begin to become aware that the worries of life, the worries of this age, the deceitfulness of our pursuits are distracting us. And then finally there is seed that was sown on good ground, and it bore fruit, some 100, some 60, some 30 times what was sown. And, so, we look at this and go…I mean we can look at this from lots of different angles and it’s been taught from lots of different angles, but I read this and I go, well, what kind of soil am I because the goal here is to become good soil that bears fruit. And what fruit do we want to bear? The fruit of the Spirit. But we need to look at the soil. We need to get out and walk around and investigate the terrain of our hearts.
Father, we invite you into all this. That’s a lot we’ve covered today, and we thank you for the examples that are in the story of Joseph. We thank you for all that they have for us to learn about our own lives and we thank you that the story of your people is unfolding before us in the book of Genesis. And Jesus, we thank you for the way that you taught, way that you are gentle and kind but…but willing to step into things when they were simply wrong and make corrections and the way that you have given us these stories to ponder and contemplate and consider. And, so, Holy Spirit we invite you to help us examine the soil of our hearts today. What kind of soil are we? The truth is, we can be all in these kinds soil in different areas of our lives, but it’s our desire to be good soil that produces good fruit for your kingdom. Help us. We will never navigate this without you. Help us, we pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Coming soon. Day 6 of our missions trip to Nicaragua. Prayer and Praise will be posted when we return to the states…