Day Eighteen: January 18 – Genesis 47:28-50: As Jacob’s death drew near, he gathered his sons to bless them. After his burial, Joseph’s brothers feared for their lives. “‘Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,’ they said.” In fear, the brothers conjured up a message, from their father, to send Joseph. Then, the brothers threw themselves on Joseph’s mercy, willing to become his slaves.
Joseph wept and reassured them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I God that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.”
Joseph, his brothers, and their families continued to live in Egypt for many years. Before Joseph’s death, he reminded his brothers, that one day, God planned to return them to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He requested that when that day arrived to take his bones with them.
- Fear enslaves: The brothers willingly bowed to Joseph to become his slaves. Had they not seen how the Lord worked everything for all of their good? They may have trusted the Lord, but not the Lord in Joseph. Could they trust the God of Jacob to be their God and the God of Joseph, also? After all, He is the One, who used their bad and turned into good. Did they not hear Joseph’s assurance previously?
- Fear weighs heavy: Performing as a snowball rolling on the ground, the farther it travels, the more flakes add to its growth. The longer it rolls, the heavier it becomes. The spirit of fear, rolling in our lives, adds the flakes of weakness, hatred, mental and emotional instability, ending up too heavy to manage. When fear grips hearts and minds, it causes people to do and say things that seem detrimental to their lives and those around them.
- Fear holds no faith or trust: We hold promises from a merciful, gracious, and loving, yet powerful God. 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control,”  (a sound mind, according to some manuscripts) 2 Timothy 1:7.
- Fear deceives: “Am I God or am I trying to be someone’s Holy Spirit?” We place ourselves in the position of God when we try to control people and circumstances. Surrender control of that situation or that person. Trust that the Lord, who works in your life, is the same God, who works in their lives, and speaks to their hearts and minds. Trust that He works everything for the good of you and them. Paul knew the Old Testament and probably had Joseph’s story and words in mind when he said in Romans, “28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son….
- Renounce that spirit of fear
- Renounce any flakes picked up along the way of its rolling around in your life
- Renounce trying to sit in God’s place and control people or life situations
- Announce Scripture into your life from Today’s Nourishment.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 1-4