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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Daily Devotion for October 11, 2012

Pharoah marries Joseph to Zaphenath-paneah, illustration from <i>The History of Joseph and His Brethren</i> by Owen Jones
"Pharoah marries Joseph to Zaphenath-paneah", illustration from The History of Joseph and His Brethren by Owen Jones, 1869.



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lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

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.


Prayer for the Morning

Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.


Prayer for Grace and Strength

Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,


Community of Prayer

Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

Little girl worshipping a cross

Psalm 106:1-3

Praise the Lord!

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?
Who can declare all His praise?

Blessed are those who keep justice,
And he who does righteousness at all times!

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 41:37-45 (ESV)

Joseph Rises to Power [1]

This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.”

And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck. And he made him ride in his second chariot.

And they called out before 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.” And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.

Notes on the Scripture

This ancient story does not read like a history, but like a very condensed version of the high points of an ancient occurrence. One might imagine that the events did not occur in a neat, quick sequence. But then, the story was passed down for innumerable centuries, the story of how a Canaanite slave came to be the governor or prime minister of Egypt. Even more noteworthy is that the Pharaoh speaks here of "God". We cannot believe that this Pharaoh became monotheistic, for the society of Egypt even this early was interwoven with a complex and important polytheism, of which the pharaohs were a critical part. The pharaohs themselves were, to varying degrees at different periods, considered demigods

But Pharaoh, here, is tremendously impressed with Joseph and the powers that he has demonstrated from this one God of the Hebrews. And throughout history, polytheistic civilizations have been able to accomplish the logical impossibility of accepting God and even Christ, without giving up inconsistent beliefs in their many little gods.

Joseph takes an Egyptian name and marries an Egyptian woman. One might conclude that he became Egyptian over a period of time and grew to his full power more gradually, or simply that the story is completely accurate and Pharaoh declared this slave the domestic ruler of Egypt in a moment of passion; absolute rulers have done stranger things.

Nothing is given about Joseph's religion, and we must assume that he stayed faithful to God and did not accept the worship of any of the many Egyptian deities. Judaism was archaic at this time and would not become the religion we know until the rise of Moses, many centuries later. But God does not abide idolatry or the worship of false gods at any point in the Bible; so we must assume that Joseph remained completely faithful to the God of his father Jacob, his grandfather Isaac, and his great-grandfather, Abraham.

Coptic Cross

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Isaiah 40:31: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

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