Genesis 50 – The Final Chapter

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It’s difficult to believe that this is the last chapter of Genesis. What an incredible year. I’ll spend next week on final reflections as we close out our year in Genesis, but today let’s remain focused on the final days of Joseph. He has been our main emphasis for weeks, but today we see a final account of his great kindness before his death.

Joseph’s brothers were concerned after burying their father and returning to Egypt. They thought the kindness and forgiveness Joseph had extended to them would be gone now that their father wasn’t around anymore. But once again, Joseph proves God’s mercy and love flowed through him.

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.  Therefore don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (v. 19-21)

Joseph was there with eyes wide open. He understood that all of these things had to occur for God to have him in just the right place, at just the right time to save the lives of many. He wasn’t bitter or angry. It’s inspiring!

It reminds me of when my son was young and said to a friend, as he ran off the basketball court, ““Did you see me do that? Why don’t you keep watching me just in case I do something amazing!”

I wonder how many times God whispers to us, “Did you see that? I’m right here. Did you notice?”

There are many reasons why we miss out on God’s amazing works. Not watching or paying close attention is the easy answer, but there are other ways that make us miss out. Anger and fear are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to blocking the view of our Lord and Savior’s amazing plans. Fear and anger reap destruction. They ruin friendships, destroy marriages, divide families and churches. Fear and anger can paralyze us and keep us from making the right choices. But not for Joseph, he wasn’t having any part of that!

Is there something going on in your life or a circumstance you are angry or afraid about? Is there a big change happening that you don’t understand and don’t like? Have you dug in your heals, resisted and complained without taking it to God in prayer and asking Him what His will is? Do you have the courage to follow God and ask Him to give you the courage it takes to step out of your comfort zone? When we step out of our comfort zone, God does His best work.

It comes down to some personal decisions. How appropriate as the new year approaches! Do we want to be a part of God’s amazing plan? Are we willing to sacrifice, as He did for us, in order to further His kingdom? Are we willing to put ourselves aside and see what God has in mind? Are we willing to try something new for His kingdom’s sake? It isn’t always comfortable or easy and it isn’t always what comes naturally, but it’s an amazing feeling to be a part of God’s work. Is stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing change or offering forgiveness worth bringing others to Christ? Sometimes, that is what God calls us to do just for that reason.

I pray that whatever anger or fear we are holding on to today dissolves with each tear that falls and every word we lift up to our Heavenly Father. When I was growing up, before every overnight trip my mom would always say, “Remember your morals, values and where you come from.” In other words, don’t get caught up in the moment and make a mistake you will regret.  Remember: You are a child of God! Keep your eyes on the Light of the world. He is doing some amazing things. Will you join Him as your turn the calendar to 2019?

You are loved, Allison

 

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Genesis 49 – Gathered

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When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people. (v. 33)

This entire chapter is beautiful. All the prophecy and blessings spoken over his sons before he breathed his last breath are incredible. Especially since we have seen all of it transpire through history throughout the 12 tribes.

However, even with all of that, there was one word that stood out to me today more than any other.

Gathered –  to collect several things, often from different places, or people. To put your arms around someone and hold or carry them in a loving way. (Cambridge Online Dictionary)

I think about gathering with friends and family, gathering up a child in my arms after they have been hurt, gathering seashells as I walk along the beach and gathering stories to share in the hopes of encouraging others. But, I had never considered how beautiful the image is of gathering with those who have gone before us once we leave this earth and go to live with our Heavenly Father for eternity.

What a peaceful and joyful feeling that invokes. When God calls us home, we will gather with those we love, have missed, said goodbye to long ago and those we may not even remember until we see them once again in Heaven. We will gather together with our people. Our brothers and sisters in Christ.

What a glorious image for us as we gather with family and friends to celebrate Christmas and New Years. I know we are making incredible memories, but can you comprehend what a gathering in Heaven will be like?

I can only imagine?