God’s Will is Higher than Man’s

Herod the king, a ruler of man, did not want another ruler more respected than himself. He becomes troubled when he receives word that the prophecy of the Messiah may be fulfilled.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Matthew 2:1‭-‬3 NKJV

King Herod’s desire, his will, is now to destroy any chance of a new ruler to threaten his or his family’s reign. However, God’s will was unfolding on earth as it was written in prophecy. Herod has two plans to destroy the newborn king: 1) to have the wise men lead him to the newborn to kill him and, later when they do not comply, 2) to murder all male children two years of age and younger in the town of Bethlehem. Both plans are unsuccessful because the will of God is higher than man’s. Divine warnings were provided to both the wise men and Joseph.

Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they (the wise men) should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. Matthew 2:12 NKJV

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” Matthew 2:13 NKJV

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God’s Will Versus Ours

I have always found it interesting that God has His will and we have ours. He gave us free will so that we can make choices, live our lives. But, He also has a will and makes plans. Those plans do affect our lives.

Joseph’s brothers devised a plan to get rid of him. They decided that they did not want him in their lives. Of course, this sounds like a very bad event for Joseph. What ultimately could have ruined his life forever ended up being a good turn of events.

God intervened His will in Jopeph’s life. God had a plan to turn these events into something good. Joseph ended up living the dreams God had given him.

Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but  God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it  is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50:19-21 NKJV

God does work in mysterious ways. This is much like when my wife and I lost a newborn son and ended up having a daughter shortly after. Would we have had a daughter if we had not lost our son? We were not planning on having another child at the time. God ended up turning a tragic event (losing our son), into a very good event in having a daughter. Losing our son was hurtful. But, our daughter brought us joy. God worked something evil into something good.

Joseph Reunites with Isreal

I admire the love that Isreal had for his son, Joseph. Their reunion makes me imagine an iconic movie ending with the two embracing after all those years. Isreal thought his son was dead all this time. It wasn’t like today where we could send pictures, video and messages instantaneously to each other. Joseph had to meet his father in the land of Goshen by way of chariot. Even within the scriptures you can feel the emotions of the reunion.

So Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; and he presented himself to him, and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while. And Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive.” Genesis 46:29-30 NKJV

Isreal had listened to God’s direction, and it paid off in a big way.

Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

So He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you upagain; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.” Genesis 46:2-3 NKJV

 

 

 

 

Fulfillment of Joseph’s Dream

Dreams are fascinating to me. In a dream, we can see things that have never happened before. We can act out, move around, feel emotions… Dreams can be mean nothing at all. At times though, dreams can communicate important lessons and it is important to know how to discern when that happens.

Joseph had a dream in Genesis that was important. In it, he had a message from God – his family would bow down before him. In Genesis 42, that dream is fulfilled.

Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth. Genesis 42:6

What I don’t remember from any movie about Joseph is that he put his brothers in prison to test them. He asks that one of them go and retrieve their youngest brother. At this command, Joseph’s brothers fear that the sin of their past is upon them. Blood is required for having sold Joseph into slavery. They do not know that this leader before them that they now depend on for their very lives is Joseph.

Then they said to one another, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.” And Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us.” Genesis 42:21-22

Their brother Simeon was bound before their eyes and Joseph even restores their money for the journey. Jacob, Joseph’s father, learns of all that has happened and is filled with sadness. Simeon was bound, the leader of Egypt is asking for Benjamin and he believes that Joseph is dead. They do not yet know that Joseph is testing their hearts. He wants to know where they stand after selling him into slavery.

Because of their selfishness, Joseph’s did not realize this his dream was an amazing blessing from God. Had God not prepared Joseph to lead Egypt, the famine would have killed their entire family. Jacob was called Israel and God provided for him and his family with Joseph’s leadership.  All they had understood previously was that they were bowing down to Joseph and that image in their minds had provoked their pride.  They could not foresee the need of a great leader in the land, let alone the need for that leader to be their brother Joseph.  These events are a great testament to God’s provision, protection and His communication through dreams.

Pharaoh’s Dreams

I absolutely love the story of Pharaoh’s Dreams. It is so intriguing to me that Pharaoh had dreams from God and Joseph was used to interpret them. Joseph knew who the dreams were from and who could interpret them. He knew that he could not interpret them without God.

And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.” So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” (Genesis 41:15-16, NKJV)

No one could explain Pharaoh’s dreams to him, not even the “magicians” that they trusted.  Joseph knew that God was trying to tell Pharaoh that there would be 7 good years and 7 years of famine. God delivered the dream to Pharaoh twice because these events were established by God Himself. Joseph followed the interpretation with a plan that would allow them to not only survive the famine, but make a profit as a thriving economy. They were to collect one-fifth of the produce during the seven plentiful years for use during the 7 years of famine.

Pharaoh acknowledged that the “Spirit of God” was with Joseph and entrusted him with power over Egypt. Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife, Asenath. His children were named with very special names: Manasseh (For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house) and Ephraim (For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction) – both names giving credit to God. The events took place, just as God had told them and all countries went Joseph to buy grain because of the famine.

 

 

The Lord was with Joseph

The Lord was with Joseph in Egypt and blessed all that he did.

The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. (Genesis 39:2-4 NKJV)

It is amazing that Joseph’s master, an Egyptian, knew that the Lord was with Joseph. He even gave Joseph authority over what he had. Eventually, the master’s wife tricks him into thinking that Joseph wanted to lie with her, which he did not. The master is angry and sends him to prison.

Even the keeper of the prison sees that the Lord is with Joseph and puts Joseph in charge of the prisoners.

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. (Genesis 39:21, 22 NKJV)