Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Genesis 48:1-4

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

This is the verse that greeted me today on this morning, and I thought it was perfect for this next chapter of Genesis! It reminds us that we are CHOSEN by God - for HIS purposes, not ours: that we might declare His praises because He called us out of the darkness into His WONDERFUL light! We don’t know why He chose us particularly, but we know what He chose us for.

Today’s reading in Genesis is all about God’s sovereign choice - and His way of choosing what we think would be the most unlikely (us, for instance) to receive His blessings. As the chapter opens, Joseph received word that his father was ill, so he rushed to his side with his two sons, Jacob’s grandsons, in tow so they could see their grandfather for a final time. I’m certain that Joseph also realized this would be the time to receive the patriarchal blessing of Jacob.

At this point, Jacob was frail and his strength, as well as his vision, were failing him. But when he saw his favorite son, he was reinvigorated. This was the son who brought him his greatest joy!

Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and will increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’ (Gen 48:3-4)

Jacob laid the foundation for the blessing, by recounting the most important time in his life, when God met him and affirmed the covenant that he had made to Abraham, Isaac, and then Jacob to bless this family with fruitfulness. As Jacob was dying, he wanted to impart the most important words of wisdom and blessing that he had to give. So he recounted the faithfulness of God in his life.

Beth Moore challenges her readers to think about your most important encounters with God, when God spoke to you in your heart something so clearly that you never forgot it. And that’s where I’m going today, in the hopes that what God has shown me over the years can be of some help to you.
I can immediately think of four specific occasions when He so clearly directed me at four critical junctures in my life. The first time was in regard to my role as a wife. I had a written list of things that I was praying for Don - things that I assumed were the “sanctified” things a wife should pray for her husband - that he would be the spiritual leader of our home, that he would start going to church regularly and attend a Bible study, and that he would lead our daughters in devotions, etc. Doesn’t that sound good??

Well, one day as I was praying over it, God showed me that my list was actually born from my desire to change my husband, and it represented a discontentment. God almost audibly told me very clearly to cross out that list and start loving Don exactly the way he was THAT DAY, because that was how God loved Him - and how He loved me, too! I took a pencil and crossed out the list and wrote in the margin of the journal, “Thank you, God, for Don just the way he is today!” Wow! That totally freed me to love Don unconditionally and to appreciate all of wonderful qualities he had as a husband and father. He may not have led devotions, but he was the most devoted husband and father I knew! The need to be my husband’s personal Holy Spirit left me that day, and it transformed our marriage.

I’ll share the others in the next few installments. . . off to work!


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