LAST WEEK'S BREAD CRUMBS & BIBLE READINGS
TODAYS BIBLE READING:
Reading Time: 15-20 Minutes
BREAD CRUMBS COMMENTARY FOR TODAYS READING
with Pastor Sylvia Laughlin (8-minutes)
JAN 18, 2023
DAY 18 IN THE APP
THIS WEEKS MEMORY VERSE
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~2 Corinthians 5:17
A FEW THOUGHTS...
There is no shortage of mean and evil behavior. The truth is, life is long, and during this time we will all be the recipients of mean behavior and truthfully, if we are honest, there are times that we all behave less than admirably. The question is not if, but, how will we respond. Will our response exemplify grace and mercy or will it reveal bitterness and unforgiveness? Jesus withstood much more than we could ever comprehend and without bitterness.
We conclude the life of Joseph as Genesis comes to an end. Truth be told as we reflect back on those who have done us wrong it pales in comparison to what was done to Joseph. Thrown into a pit by his brothers and then sold into slavery, lied about by his master’s wife which sent him to prison, etc. This was not a 20-minute ordeal, but a 20 year detour of his life. Not only have few been wronged like this, but Joseph as second in command of all of Egypt could have meted out justice any way he chose. His brothers realize this. Let’s see how this plays out in Genesis 50:15-21, “When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did him.” So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, “Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.’” Now, please, forgive the trespass of the God of your father. “ And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” His response can be summed up in one word, grace. Grace is when we receive that which we do not deserve, as opposed to mercy which is when we don’t receive that which we do deserve.
Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Do we believe this? Approximately 1800 years after the events surrounding Joseph, we see the response of One greater than Joseph, Jesus Christ. The only perfect One to walk this earth was falsely accused, beaten, mocked, and brutally crucified to die. More than Joseph, He was both wrongfully accused and had the power to destroy all those assembled simply by His word. But this is not what our Savior did. He responded with, in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” He responded with both grace and mercy. By allowing Himself to be sacrificed, He lovingly opened the way for all of us to enter eternity with Him, if we simply repent and accept His free offer of salvation. He paid the price that we could not. So with these amazing examples of grace and mercy, May we respond accordingly. May we rid ourselves of any bitterness and be instruments of God as we show mercy and grace to others.
Two quick facts. Don’t miss the prophecy in Genesis 49:10. This actually came about in 12 AD when the Romans removed the scepter or the ability to mete out capital punishment by the Jewish people. The historian states that the religious leaders ran through Jerusalem in anguish because they thought that this prophecy was not fulfilled. Little did they know that Jesus, as a child, their Messiah (Shiloh) was already alive. Also for those who question the Bible archaeologically, look at “Patterns of Evidence” and the findings of Joseph’s tomb.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
"If you can’t fly, then run, If you can’t run, then walk, If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." - Martin Luther King Jr.