August 21, 2018
Acts 7:9-15 New Living Translation (NLT)
I always enjoy when the New Testament and the Old Testament are merge in our reading; it brings a much fuller understanding of God’s heart and message. Such is the case with our passage today. God covered Joseph with favor and imparted wisdom to him; it manifest in dreams that were hard to understand. Others around Joseph rejected him and his dreams; denied he was hearing from God. His brothers formed the opinion that he was arrogant and self-exalting. He was sold into slavery, falsely accused, spent time in prison, and waited for the righteousness of God to act in his behalf.
Luke reminds us about the journey of Joseph and how he tried not to allow the inner stumble “skandalon” to hinder his walk into the promises of God. He certainly had challenges that would trip anyone up; he must have felt his family and God had forgotten him. But, by faith, he stayed the course and finished his destiny in the wisdom of God. What the enemy meant for harm, God used for good in order to bring about a way of salvation for many (Genesis 50:20). Joseph realized his purpose included forgiving those who had wronged him; welcoming them back in order to provide for them. Think about the people in your life. Think about your relationship with God. Do you need to forgive someone? Has God used a “skandalon” in your life to bring about something good; salvation for more people?
9 “These patriarchs were jealous of their brother Joseph, and they sold him to be a slave in Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. And God gave him favor before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. God also gave Joseph unusual wisdom, so that Pharaoh appointed him governor over all of Egypt and put him in charge of the palace.
11 “But a famine came upon Egypt and Canaan. There was great misery, and our ancestors ran out of food. 12 Jacob heard that there was still grain in Egypt, so he sent his sons—our ancestors—to buy some. 13 The second time they went, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, and they were introduced to Pharaoh. 14 Then Joseph sent for his father, Jacob, and all his relatives to come to Egypt, seventy-five persons in all. 15 So Jacob went to Egypt. He died there, as did our ancestors.
Prayer: Lord, in thinking about my life, there have been many times that I have overcome (with the Helper) the inner skandalon that sought to rob me. Thank you for staying with me and never letting go. Help me finish the course of my destiny strong. In Jesus’ name. Amen.