Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 20

Friday, January 20, 2012

Welcome to Day 20 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Genesis 49, 50; Psalms 8; Luke 20 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

Genesis 49, Jacob blesses each of his sons, prophesying as to each of their futures… Then he dies. (I love how this is worded, “breathed his last and was gathered to his people.”)

Jacob blesses his sons as he is about to die… Speaking to his son Judah in v 10, Jacob prophesies about Christ, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come…” [referring to Jesus].

Genesis 50, finally Joseph’s brothers vocalize their anxiety about what might happen to them now that their father has passed. As Joseph displayed in earlier chapters, he treats them with kindness and reassures them.

Psalm 8, “what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them??” Isn’t that a great question? That the God of the heavens is interested in me… us?

Luke 20, the Pharisees continue their assault on Jesus, trying to trap him, having people ask him questions about paying taxes, hoping to get him arrested. The Sadducees, who didn’t believe in resurrection, tried to trap him in a question referring back to the Law…

But here is the standout passage for me today… “While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” Note to self…

O bservation

I find it VERY interesting that Joseph tells his brothers and his sons that God will take them to the land that was promised to them by Abraham, Isaac and their father, Jacob. Generations have passed (and a couple of hundred years!) since that promise. Their inheritance is yet to be realized, and won’t be until after generations of slavery (about to occur in the upcoming chapters after a change of Pharaohs…)

We have the benefit of looking back, even knowing the outcome of these situations that we are reading about. While scripture wasn’t recorded “live” as it was happening, we know all these questions Jesus is being asked are to trap him, have him arrested so he can be crucified. Jesus knew this too. It’s difficult to read all this as for the first time… knowing the outcome already. Jesus handles their questions masterfully, in fact, they dared not ask him any more questions! (v 40)

A pplication

The Pharisees, Sadducees and Teachers of the Law only cared about themselves, their position, their own well being. Jesus cared about none of that. He cared for the poor, the lost, the sick, the outcast.

Every day the application could be the same… “Don’t be like the Pharisees. Be like Jesus.”

P rayer

Lord, help me to see the nuances in scripture. To see past the obvious applications to what you want to say to me. Perhaps that IS the obvious, most of the time I believe that is the case… I just don’t want to miss out on anything that You want me to catch. I know I’m a little slow at times, or distracted, or in a hurry… Help me to be like Mary who was content sitting at your feet.

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9 thoughts on “Day 20

  1. Mark Long on said:

    I am once again amazed by Joseph’s attitude, his forgiveness, his trust and obedience to God. I wonder how often I miss the opportunities to serve others and God because I’m unhappy with a situation in my life. Thank you Lord for another wonderful example of walking in faith and loving others like you love us!

  2. 19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

    I believe that God has his hand on us as his children, in all of the Old testament this is my favorite passage. We cannot know the mind of God or his intent unless it is shown to us.

  3. Was anybody else wondering about the blessings that Jacob gave his sons? Some of them were bad! I knew Joseph and Benjamin would get good ones but Reuben, Simeon and Levi…ouch! I was thinking it’d be a good day for Asher and Naphtali though. And is Dan where all the lawyer jokes stem from? Just curious.

  4. Mark Long on said:

    Eilene, I was surprised as well! I must have sped through those passages in the past to miss that.

  5. I also am pulled to Genesis 50:19-21
    Beyond Joseph’s kindness to his family and his trust in God, Joseph takes no credit to himself. There is no “you meant for bad but I was smart enough (or worked hard enough, or overcame my adversities)”. Joseph took no credit for himself. In our society there is a whole culture of “I did it myself” – books by ‘self made’ men, songs about ‘doing it my way’, articles that promise if we ‘follow these 10 easy steps’ – that we can do it on our own. Joseph knew better. He didn’t site any ‘lucky break’ or special, self- owned knowledge. He remembered what I need to remember. The struggles that brought me here were not overcome by my hard work, good circumstances, luck, chance or brains. God had brought me here and taught me things all along this path. Just so I can be here today for whatever is His purpose. And with God in my life, he will use today to bring me where He needs me to be farther down the road. Praise be to God!

  6. Forgot to link this to the reading several days ago – Genesis 45:8 “So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me the father to Pharoah and lord over all his house and ruler over all Egypt.” To me, it’s one step past forgiveness. When I forgive someone they still did the ‘bad thing’ to me, but I choose not to hold a grudge. Here Joseph tells his brothers that they didn’t even DO anything – as if they had no other choice than selling him into slavery. So it is my charge to learn how to forgive like that. Lets see – learn to forget when forgiving and take no credit for my own accomplishments….. I have some work to do!

  7. Eilene, I noticed that as well… Having four adult children, I can relate to his “blessings.” As a parent you can see the path your kids are on, and at times are powerless to change it. I think Jacob was simply speaking what he knew and saw… I guess a “blessing” doesn’t have to mean something good, eh? You are right. Ouch.

  8. What man meant for my harm, God meant for my good. Gotta love that! I told my husband this morning that Ohio State losing to Michigan in football was SO HARD, but God knew Urban Meyer was coming and He would make me SO HAPPY.

    On a much more serious note, my mother has cancer and she will be attending the healing event tomorrow night hopefully with her two sisters. She had cancer it was healed and now is back. I pray all of the time for the Lord to heal her. I want to get back to Ohio so I can see her again. What Satan means for harm, God meant for good. I believe!

  9. Eilene, I also noticed that some of the “blessings” sounded more like curses, and was taken aback by that. Like Scott said, I guess Jacob was just giving an honest assessment of the path his sons were on based on their overall character. I wonder what went through the sons’ minds? Were they convicted and ashamed of their sins, or defiantly angry?

    Judy, the verses you quoted stood out to me as well, especially when Joseph said “Am I in the place of God?” It is not our place to seek vengeance, no matter how justified it may seem given the circumstances. Note to self: Let it go.

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