Daily Devotion for October 5, 2012
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Mahalia promises us that, soon enough, we'll be done with done with the troubles of the world.
Prayer of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day. When I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
And it is on his lips like a burning fire.
A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
Genesis 40:1-15 (abridged) (ESV)
Joseph Interprets the Cupbearer's Dream
Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined.
And one night they both dreamed, each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”
So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.”
Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”
Notes on the Scripture
Joseph demonstrates again his knack for making the best of a bad situation. Although he believes that the interpretation of dreams belongs to God, he does not give any reason why he has been given the power to interpret dreams. But often, in dealing with Old Testament characters, the Bible will simply tell us that a person was favored by God, with no further explanation. Joseph, as we will soon discover, has reason for his boldness.
Do dreams still guide us? Does God speak to us in our dreams? Nobody knows. Many scientists despise to admit that they don't know things. If you ask a person who specializes in the area why people dream, he may or may not tell you the truth: he has no idea. Dreams may be meaningless, generally, but there have certainly been accounts of dreams that changed the world. There have been people who, struggling with a difficult problem, awoke in the night with the answer.
A minister in Philadelphia, who had just visited the Holy Land in 1865, composed the lyrics to the Christmas carol O Little Town of Bethlehem. When he returned, he asked Lewis Redner (the church organist) to set it to music, but Redner drew a blank despite great effort. Then, on the night of December 23, he awoke with a tune in his head that was a perfect fit for the words.
This might easily have been a quirk of psychology rather than some sort of spiritual experience, but who knows for sure? At any rate, Joseph's ability to prophesy from a cryptic dream, such as the chief cupbearer's dream of a vine with three branches, is a specific gift from God.