Ladies, you are going to love week nine! There is so much meat in these scriptures. In fact, I found a lot to chew on in one short sentence. I better set the stage so we can partake together.
Joseph Faces His Past
Joseph’s brothers knelt before him and it all came flooding back. They had come for grain during the famine and did not realize who he was. His dreams, like his homeland, had become a faded memory and now they were coming true. Hope abounded, yet overwhelmed him. By the names of his sons, Manasseh (“making to forget”) and Ephraim (“making fruitful”), I assume Joseph had moved on. What would he do, now that ten of his eleven brothers bowed before him?
Throw them in prison for three days!
Do you ever take time to consult God before reacting? Some situations need more time. I think that is what Joseph was doing for three days. He needed to go to God before going with his gut reaction.
The Significance of a Name
After Joseph’s time out, he introduced his plan with, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God. . .”
The name he used for God is “Elohim” and it is the first name we come to know God by, “In the beginning, ‘Elohim’ created the heavens and the earth.” It describes a creative and covenant keeping God with unlimited power and strength. (Incidentally, “Elohim” is most used in Job.)
This name would hold great significance for Joseph’s brothers. It would have been like hearing, “I follow Jesus,” in a land where other gods are predominantly worshipped or like a Canadian saying to an American, “I am a Patriot.”
By stating his reverence towards Elohim, Joseph confessed the following to his brothers:
- He identifies with their family history
- He trusts the omnipotence of the Hebrew God
- He reveres Him as the Creator of heaven and earth
He also confessed:
- His faith in God’s promises
- God is supreme and omnipotent
- God is in control of his life
Joseph has yet to see his dreams completely fulfilled, but the time is near. Hope Abounds!
Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
Elohim, who made a covenant with Abraham, will bring it to completion through the offspring of Joseph and his brothers. The hope of Joseph, who feared God, will continue for generations.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in [Elohim]; for I shall again praise him,
Are you cast down, without hope? Have your dreams faded? Hope in Elohim, the All-Powerful, Covenant-Keeping, Creator of the Universe.
When do you most need a time-out? Have you let Elohim guide your reactions?
IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a mis-print in this week’s study. Day 5′s passage should be Genesis 44:15-25. Thanks for your grace!
Anyone is welcome to join in this 13 week study of hope! Just grab your copy of Abounding Hope (available as a PDF download or on Kindle) and join us back here on the blog every Monday! View the rest of the Abounding Hope series here.