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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Daily Devotion for October 16, 2012

Owen Jones, <i>Joseph Sells Grain to His Brothers</i> Bible
Joseph Sells Grain to His Brothers, illustration by Owen Jones, 1865



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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.


A truly divine performance. Click on "Lyrics" below to see the words.

Prayer for the Morning

Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,


Prayer for Life

O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant me so to die daily to sin, that I may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


Prayer for Peace

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live together in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Dedication to Service

Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,


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

endless knot

1 John 4:10-12

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 42:18-25 (ESV)

Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt [3]

On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so.

Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.”

They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. Then he turned away from them and wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them.

And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.

Notes on the Scripture

The central phrase that will colors the entire story of Joseph, but especially the part to come, is in the first line: "For I fear God." Joseph has no natural love for any of these people. Other than Reuben, who took half-steps in Joseph's behalf, this band of men plotted to murder him — their own flesh and blood — and even though they did not do the murder, sold him to slave traders for a few coins.

The natural response is revenge. When somebody does something harmful to us, our nature is to harm them in return. We can feel it boil up inside us, powerful and immediate, at the least insult. The media and the popular culture, in fact, glorify revenge. Hollywood, television, and book publishers make billions of dollars from it; there is even a current t.v. show titled Revenge.

If we were reading the story of Joseph in another context, and our expectations were not put into the "religion" corner of our brains, we would expect to see Joseph do something terrible to these men, for they certainly did something terrible to him. But they will live. Why? Because Joseph "fears God", not just in some corner of his mind, but in his life.

Reuben also seems to fear God, for he believes that God will mete out justice for their treatment of Joseph. But God has left the matter in the will and power of Joseph, and Joseph will not judge his brothers.

The Holy Spirit as a dove, devotional painting

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Memory Verse

1 John 4:11-12: Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

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