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January 20 - Morning

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

- Genesis 50:19-21

Know the Difference Between God's Job and Man's Responsibility


One of the amazing things that is seen in Joseph’s theology is his clear distinction between himself and God. Obviously, we all realize we are not God, but that doesn’t prevent us from trying to do God’s job.
Life has forced Joseph to learn two things:
  1. LESSON: I am not God;
    APPLICATION: I do not seek vengeance. I do not control events. I do not control other people.
  2. LESSON: I am a man;
    APPLICATION: I am responsible to do what is right when life is fair. I am responsible to do what is right when life is not fair. I am responsible to use my position for the good of others. I am a servant to others at every possible social level. No matter how low I fall or how high I rise, I am a servant of God and a servant to other men. At no time am I ever to usurp God’s responsibilities. I am a man, and not God.
Joseph assured his brothers by telling them twice, “Don’t be afraid.”
Joseph reasoned with his brothers by asking, “Am I in the place of God?” Joseph then gave them an illustration that they were immediately familiar with in order to show them the futility of trying to out maneuver God. Joseph reminded them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” So, “Don’t be afraid.” Joseph point is to show his brothers that he knows that if he tries to punish his brothers in Egypt, when God had brought them to Egypt to protect and bless then Joseph would be the one who was coming against God.
God had brought Joseph into Egypt to do good. God was saving Egypt and the family of Abraham though Joseph’s being sent ahead into Egypt. How dumb would it be for Joseph to start using his position to do evil and to seek personal vengeance? So, based on the logic of Joseph, the Sons of Jacob should not be afraid. Joseph would continue to do good and take care of them and their children. Even after the seven years of famine ended Joseph would see to it that his family was cared for in Egypt.
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Berit (Hb) - Covenant (Eng) - berit is the Hebrew word that means "covenant," "alliance," "pledge," "treaty," or "agreement." Berit were made between men and nations, but God frequently established a relationship with individuals, nations through the establishment of a berit. Although there are many berit referred to in the Old Testament, these are the five main berit:
1 Noah - Genesis 8:21-22
2 Abraham - Genesis 15:12-17
3 Sinai - Exodus 19:7-8
4 David - 2 Samuel 7:11-16
5 New Covenant - Jeremiah 31:31
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Do I try to do God's job instead of doing what I am responsible for?
Do I manipulate and seek vengence instead of trusting God by doing what is right and doing good?
I will allow God to be God, and I will remain in position serving God and doing what is right.



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Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




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Personal

To be a good spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend

Church

Outreach
Urban growth
Environmental destruction



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The Pool of Bethesda
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Abram returns from the defeat of Kedolaomer and the kings from the East.




Someone to Quote

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"The purpose of the church is to communicate the revelation of scripture to believers."
- Galyn Wiemers

Something to Ponder

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“Today we no longer make a direct link between the natural world and the moral realm…Traditional morality is objective morality. It is based on the idea that certain things are right or wrong no matter who says differently…In the traditional view morality is ‘out there,’ whereas for many people today morality is ‘in here.’ The new source of morality is no longer the external code but the inner heart….Secular morality breaks with Christianity in its counsel of inwardness as an autonomous moral source.”
–  Dinesh D'Souza, "What's So Great About Christianity,” 252-253

Here’s a Fact

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In 2 Kings 18:17 in the year 701 BC, the King of Assyria sent three of his generals (Supreme commander, chief officer and field commander) with an army to speak with King Hezekiah. They came to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool. Here they spoke with Hezekiah. This ancient water system remained in use until the 1800’s and was also used during the New Testament times. Josephus calls it Amygdalon or ‘almond tree’. This pool today is 240 feet long by 140 feet wide. It holds 3,000,000 gallons of water and is ¾ of an acre in size. (details and photos here)

Proverb

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"Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise."
- Proverbs 20:1

Coach’s Corner

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God’s will for a believer is sometimes identified by their passions. 

Genesis 22
New International Version (NIV)
Abraham Tested
22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
Nahor’s Sons
20 Some time later Abraham was told, “Milkah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milkah bore these eight sons to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also had sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maakah.
Job 38
New International Version (NIV)
The Lord Speaks
38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans     with words without knowledge?

Brace yourself like a man;     I will question you,     and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?     Tell me, if you understand.

Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!     Who stretched a measuring line across it?

On what were its footings set,     or who laid its cornerstone—

while the morning stars sang together     and all the angels shouted for joy?

“Who shut up the sea behind doors     when it burst forth from the womb,

when I made the clouds its garment     and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 
when I fixed limits for it     and set its doors and bars in place,
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when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;     here is where your proud waves halt’?
12 
“Have you ever given orders to the morning,     or shown the dawn its place,
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that it might take the earth by the edges     and shake the wicked out of it?
14 
The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;     its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 
The wicked are denied their light,     and their upraised arm is broken.
16 
“Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea     or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 
Have the gates of death been shown to you?     Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 
Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?     Tell me, if you know all this.
19 
“What is the way to the abode of light?     And where does darkness reside?
20 
Can you take them to their places?     Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 
Surely you know, for you were already born!     You have lived so many years!
22 
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow     or seen the storehouses of the hail,
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which I reserve for times of trouble,     for days of war and battle?
24 
What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,     or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
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Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,     and a path for the thunderstorm,
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to water a land where no one lives,     an uninhabited desert,
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to satisfy a desolate wasteland     and make it sprout with grass?
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Does the rain have a father?     Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 
From whose womb comes the ice?     Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
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when the waters become hard as stone,     when the surface of the deep is frozen?
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“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?     Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
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Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons     or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
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Do you know the laws of the heavens?     Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?
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“Can you raise your voice to the clouds     and cover yourself with a flood of water?
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Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?     Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
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Who gives the ibis wisdom     or gives the rooster understanding?
37 
Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?     Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 
when the dust becomes hard     and the clods of earth stick together?
39 
“Do you hunt the prey for the lioness     and satisfy the hunger of the lions
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when they crouch in their dens     or lie in wait in a thicket?
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Who provides food for the raven     when its young cry out to God     and wander about for lack of food?
Genesis 25
New International Version (NIV)
The Death of Abraham
25 Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Ashurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.
Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.
Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
Ishmael’s Sons
12 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Sarah’s slave, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham.
13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. 16 These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. 17 Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. 18 His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt, as you go toward Ashur. And they lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them.
Jacob and Esau
19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac.
Abraham became the father of Isaac,
20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.
21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.
23 The Lord said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,     and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other,     and the older will serve the younger.”
24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.

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