Today’s Tasting: Genesis 38-40: God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (see Isaiah 55:8). God is sovereign and His plans will prevail despite the sinful actions of men. The lives of Judah, Tamar, and Joseph are great examples of this. Through Genesis 38-39 we follow two of Jacob’s sons, Judah and Joseph, and see the striking differences between Judah, who forsakes God and does things his way, and Joseph, who collaborates with God through honoring Him in all circumstances.
Judah left his home and went the way of the world, rejecting his family and God’s commands by marrying into the Caananites. He did not raise his children in the ways of the Lord and they were so evil that God had the older two struck dead.
God brings Tamar into this family as one of only four women mentioned in the bloodline of Christ. She is a Hebrew woman who married into a strong family as the wife of Judah’s oldest son, expecting to be the wife and mother of the heirs to the family line. She probably had great expectations for her life in such a prestigious position. Through no fault of her own she is sent back to her father’s house as a young widow without position or influence. We see in Tamar’s story an obedient woman who takes the opportunities that present themselves and very shrewdly takes action to bring about the life she desires, despite the evil around her and her limited resources. While we don’t see God actively working in this story, we do see His plan to bring the Messiah through the House of Judah prevail despite man’s sinful actions.
In Joseph’s story, we read repeatedly, “The Lord was with Joseph and made whatever he did prosper” (Genesis 39:2, 3, 5, 23). Unlike his brother Judas, Joseph honored the Lord in all circumstances, even as a slave and prisoner. He lived his life honoring God and made the most of every circumstance despite the horrible trials he endured after being sold into slavery and being kept in prison for years for a crime he didn’t commit. Because of this, God poured out His favor onto Joseph and brought prosperity to all Joseph did. Joseph did not give up when the going got tough. He held onto the original promise God had given him and made the most of every circumstance.
Today’s Nourishment: Consider these promises from the word of God:
Jeremiah 29:11 (Amp) “‘For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.’”
Isaiah 55: 8, 12 (Amp) “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord … ‘For you shall go out from the spiritual exile caused by sin and evil into the homeland with joy and be led forth by your Leader, the Lord Himself and His word with peace.’”
Where do you see God’s plan unfolding in your life? Are you living an obedient life, doing your best to honor God in every circumstance and take action where you can? Or are you just going with the flow, feeling powerless and trapped by the world you live in?
Tomorrow’s Delight: Genesis 41-42