February 19, 2017

Genesis 41:37-38 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”

I’d have to say Pharaoh showed some real smarts here! The simple logic of the plan Joseph expressed, completely on the spur of the moment since he hadn’t even known about the dream before, was extremely convincing. Genuine humble submission to God, which Joseph had learned by the time he arrived in Egypt at any rate, will always make a way. Proclaiming boldly that he was no more than an instrument in God’s hands paid off big time. At the same time, it’s also important to note that there was at least one level of misunderstanding here. The NIV has Pharaoh saying “The spirit of God,” but Pharaoh likely knew nothing of Yahweh. The footnote rendering of “of the gods” seems far more probable. We are back to God meeting us where we are. Joseph himself only knew God because of family stories and then by his own personal encounters, which aren’t recorded apart from some of his dreams. That makes it all the more remarkable that he was so very faithful. He certainly didn’t have a Bible to read every day! He didn’t try to straighten out Pharaoh’s theology, and I’m not at all sure he himself knew enough to have done so. The point is, he was personally focused on and obedient to God, and God took care of everything else.

This is certainly an example worth following! As the Lord has made very clear to me, He’s smart and I’m not, so I can be wise only to the degree I am submitted to Him. However, even if I am fully submitted to Him and expressing His wisdom, that’s no guarantee what comes out of my mouth will be accepted. I cannot force anyone to open their mind and heart to God, but I can speak the truth in love. Acceptance like Joseph experienced here would be marvelous, but I’ve not encountered it to this point and I have no reason to expect it. My place is to maintain my focus and my obedience, and let God take care of everything else.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for guiding me in spite of myself. Help me not hold back from anything You want me to do, but also keep me from expending time and energy on things that might seem good but aren’t part of Your plans for me. Thank You for all the people who are expected to attend this morning’s service. May I feed them Your Word without distortion, prepared as You know they need it, so that they may grow as You desire and intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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