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“Let My People Go”

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness.’“ But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.” Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us; let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword.” But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get to your labors!” Pharaoh continued, “Now they are more numerous than the people of the land and yet you want them to stop working!” That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as their supervisors, “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it, for they are lazy; that is why they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ Let heavier work be laid on them; then they will labor at it and pay no attention to deceptive words.” (Exodus 5:1-9, NRSV)

It seems like God’s plan didn’t work so well. Moses and Aaron went to Pharoh and told him that God said, “Let my people go.” And Pharoh said no and take away their straw. Make them get their own straw now for the bricks they make and oh yea the brick quota does not decrease.

So now they Israelites are worked harder, not able to worship God.

Have you ever been in a situation like this where you thought that things were going to turn around and they got worse?

I wonder if Moses and Aaron really thought that Pharoh was going to let the Israelites go.

Do you wonder about how things are going to work? And does that actually help the situation?

 

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Jacob and His Sons Come to Egypt

So Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan; they are now in the land of Goshen.” From among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, as our ancestors were.” They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to reside as aliens in the land; for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks because the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, we ask you, let your servants settle in the land of Goshen.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land; let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know that there are capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.” Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob, and presented him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many are the years of your life?” Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my earthly sojourn are one hundred thirty; few and hard have been the years of my life. They do not compare with the years of the life of my ancestors during their long sojourn.” Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh. Joseph settled his father and his brothers, and granted them a holding in the land of Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had instructed. And Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their dependents. (Genesis 47:1-12, NRSV)

So Jacob and his sons come from the land of Canaan to Goshen where Joseph is and Joesph asks Pharaoh if his family can live in the land of Goshen.  And Pharoh gives to Joseph what he asks because through Joseph God has saved all of Egypt. And not just for the people of Egypt but for his people and the tribes that are Jacob’s sons.

You see back when Joseph’s brothers plotted to destroy Joseph, God intervened and used what they meant for harm for the good of all people.

All things work together for good for those who love and trust God. We may not see it now, but God is always with us and helping us to move forward. And God will work in and through every situation.

 

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Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream

Joseph Interprets Pharoah’s dream Genesis 41:14-37

Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile; and seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. Then seven other cows came up after them, poor, very ugly, and thin. Never had I seen such ugly ones in all the land of Egypt. The thin and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows, but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had done so, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke. I fell asleep a second time and I saw in my dream seven ears of grain, full and good, growing on one stalk, and seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouting after them; and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. But when I told it to the magicians, there was no one who could explain it to me.” Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind. They are seven years of famine. It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. After them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume the land. The plenty will no longer be known in the land because of the famine that will follow, for it will be very grievous. And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. Now therefore let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land, and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plenteous years. Let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”The proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone else like this—one in whom is the spirit of God?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command; only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph’s hand; he arrayed him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in the chariot of his second-in-command; and they cried out in front of him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. Moreover Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife. Thus Joseph gained authority over the land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:14-45, NRSV)

Here again is God working in and through Joseph to help and bless those around him. Joseph was thrown in a pit, and sold by his family. He was sold to Potiphar and then thrown into prison when he was falsely accused and spent many years there. There though God continued to work through him and blessed him and those around him,

God helped Joseph. God will help you.

Follow after Christ and the path that is being given to you. And through that God will bless you and bless those around you through you.

 

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Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city. (Ruth 3:14-15, NRSV)

She left before anyone would see since Boaz was not the next of kin so there would be no questions. Seems a little underhanded for a story from the Bible. But I believe it shows us that God can and does work in and through all circumstances. Becuase Boaz was an honorable man. He gave Ruth six measures of barley to take back to Naomi.

Even in what some would see as shame and darkness, the light and love of God shines through.

How do we shine the light and love of God in our world?

 

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God is Love

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:13-14, NRSV)

We are able to love a world that hates us and to spread God’s love in the darkness of our lives because God has given us His Spirit. Not because we earned it or deserve it, but because He first loved us and showed that love by sending His son to redeem us and give us love when we didn’t deserve it.

So let God’s Spirit dwell in you and fill your life so that it overflows into everything you do and takes over your world.

God’s love will flow freely and spread. Let it.

Let God work through you!

 

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Feeding the Five Thousand

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself. (John 6:1-15, NRSV)

Here in John, we see it is a young boy who is sharing his lunch, 5 barley loaves and 2 fish. Enough for him to have a meal. He shares it with Jesus who gives thanks for the gift and then distributes the food to 5,000 people in all. Now does that 5,000 include just the men, or the men and the women and the children? Any way you look at it though, 5 little barley loaves and 2 fish are nothing when feeding that many!

But Jesus took the gift, without complaint that it wasn’t enough and lifted and thanked God for what was provided. Then He used the gift for what it was intended, to feed.

How many times do we complain about the gifts we have been given and don’t use them for what they were given for?

God works through us using the gifts He has given us to use for the world.

Recognize your gift as this boy did and use it for the betterment of the world around you!

 

 

 

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prays

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21, NRSV)

I fall to my knees and pray…

I pray that you would have strength.

I pray that your spirit will be filled with His Spirit.

I pray that Christ would be with you always and be deep down in your life so you are completely grounded in Him.

I pray you can understand how deep His love is for you.

I pray that all you know in and through Him would be the basis for your life and it would be lived out in the world around you.

I pray that He would work through you.

I pray your life is abundantly more than you ever imagined.

I pray…

 

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