All is revealed……and oh, so many tears….

23 01 2011

DAY TWENTY-THREE : Genesis 45 v. 1 – 47 v. 12; Matthew 16 v. 1 – 20; Psalm 14 v. 1 – 7

This Sunday feels like ‘revelation’ day. Joseph reveals who he is to his brothers (and there is so much weeping). Simon Peter answers Jesus’s question about who He is by revealing “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Other points I noticed :
Genesis 45 – Joseph is bursting to tell them, and bursts into tears as he does. The brothers are terrified at first. Joseph is able to see that God’s hand has been in all this, steering Joseph to this very point,
“it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…”
“God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”
A place is prepared for Jacob and all the family to relocate to Egypt.
Lots of kissing and weeping as the brothers are reunited. Not a hint of bitterness towards them.
Pharoah promises the best land for Joseph’s family. “The best of all Egypt will be yours”.

I love the fact that when he sends his brothers off back to Canaan to fetch Jacob, Joseph tells them, “Don’t quarrel on the way.” Ahh, he know his brothers well, eh?

Jacob (Israel) is stunned, but his “spirit is revived”, and he determines to go to see Joseph before he (Jacob) dies. His son had been lost to him for well over 20 years. It reminds me to pray for all those parents of ‘missing’ children, that in their pain, they might know the love, peace, strength and hope of God.

Genesis 46 – As Jacob offers sacrifices, God speaks to him, bringing to life again the promise to Abraham and Isaac about making these people a great nation. The phrase “and Joseph’s hand will close your eyes”, is beautiful for the elderly Jacob to hear.
66 men (same no. as books in the Bible) were in the Jacob entourage (sons / grandsons) who travelled.
Very emotional reunion for Jacob and Joseph (more tears, ‘ for a long time’).
The symbolism of this ageing Hebrew shepherd father blessing the Egyptian Pharoah is both touching and awe-inspiring.

MATTHEW – “Red sky at night, shepherds’ delight; red sky in the morning, shepherds’ warning”, Jesus more or less quotes to get them to realise how slow they are to read the signs of the age. Jesus talks to His disciples cryptically / parabolically about the dangers of being influenced by the Pharisees / Sadducees – the ‘yeast of the Pharisees’. Just as there’s a good yeast, a good influence in the dough, so there can be a bad yeast / influence.
Be on your guard, says Jesus. Be careful what you listen to (even impressive sounding religious teachers).

THE KEY QUESTION – when Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” it is a question which reverberates down the ages and comes to us today. Who is Jesus ? Peter is led to an amazing confession that he believes, he sees that Jesus us the Son of God, the Messiah. Jesus points out that Peter (and we) can only know this as a result of God revealing Himself to us.
Jesus says that He will build His church, a church which will be able to withstand all that hell might throw at it.
Peter (and the other disciples?) will be given the keys of the kingdom (hence, St. Peter often pictured at the pearly gates) – keys to loose, to set free, to release
keys to bind, to hold captive, to lock away
ours is the task to set people free – may we unlock people and potential every day.
Jesus is cautious about who knows what at this stage, so tells them to keep it under their hat.

THE PSALMIST TODAY – is struggling to see or experience any good. He/she longs for God to bring salvation, to restore the land, to bring a season of rejoicing and of happiness.

MY RE-CREATED THOUGHTS :

They are happy tears
the tears that roll down my cheeks
at the sight of family reunions
long lost relatives reconnected.

They are happy tears
the tears that roll down my cheeks
as the penny drops, it hits home
and all is revealed, laid bare.

They are happy tears
the tears that roll down my cheeks
as Jesus becomes known as Christ,
Messiah, Redeemer, Saviour, Friend

They are happy tears
the tears that roll down my cheeks
face to face with a God who
calls and attracts one life at a time
one family at a time,
one community at a time.

They are happy tears
the tears that roll down my face,
as  I realise, like Joseph did,
that God is in charge
wherever we are, whatever we face.
And a brighter day is coming….

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23 01 2011

DAY TWENTY-TWO : Genesis 43 v. 1 – 44 v. 34; Matthew 15 v. 10 – 39; Psalm 13 v. 1 – 6


SECOND JOURNEY TO EGYPT – Judah manages to persuade Jacob to let him take Benjamin to Egypt. Judah, partly responsible for Joseph being sold into slavery now seeks to make amends by promising “I myself will guarantee his safety.”
Joseph invites them all for a special dinner (and they are all afraid of the favour they are bing shown, suspicious of Joseph’s motives.
Joseph is choked with emotion to see his younger brother, Benjamin, and to see all the brothers bowing down before him.
“Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.”

THE HIDDEN SILVER CUP – the trick….a silver cup is placed in Benjamin’s sack. When it is discovered, all the brothers return to see Jospeh, as the risk is that Benjamin will become a slave in Egypt (as Joseph had, of course). Judah pleads for Benjamin and offers himself in exchange. How he has changed…

MATTHEW – Jesus states that the Pharisees just don’t get it – they don’t see it ! ‘If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.’
Jesus states that ‘eating with unwashed hands’ does not make us unclean, but the stuff within (evil thoughts, murder, adultery…). 

THE CANAANITE WOMAN – this passage has always intrigued me. It appears she helps change Jesus’s mind that He is not here just for ‘the lost sheep of Israel’ but for all. Certainly her faith is an inspiration to us, to keep seeking Jesus. Her daughter is healed.

JESUS FEEDS FOUR THOUSAND – repeating a previous ‘trick’. Another great crowd, all gathered for healing miracles, have been with Him for up to three days. Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, breaks the bread and passes it out (this pattern of blessing, breaking and passing bread around will be repeated many, many times over).

PSALM 13  – the psalmist’s cry is ‘how long, O Lord’ before we see some of the things we hope for.  ‘But in Your unfailing love I trust; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been so good to me.’

My recreated thoughts :

Bread is blessed, broken, shared
The cup of salvation is bought at a price
Freedom is what……..?
Freedom from what……?
Jesus wants us to be completely free…..
How ‘ bout you ?