Devotional Week 28 Friday
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Psalm 46: 10
King James Version
“There is in the swiftest wheel that revolves upon its axis a place in the very center, where there is no movement at all; and so in the busiest life there may be a place where we dwell alone with God, in eternal stillness. There is only one way to know God. ‘Be still, and know.’ ‘God is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.’”
Today’s Study Text:
“And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house…and Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph’s knees. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, ‘God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.’ So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”
Genesis 50: 22-26
“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.”
Exodus 13: 19
“A Glimpse of God’s Faithfulness”
“What more powerful consideration can be thought on to make us true to God, than the faithfulness and truth of God to us?”
When someone speaks about God’s faithfulness, what comes to my mind?
Is there a specific event in my life which reminds me of God’s faithfulness to me?
“Though men are false, God is faithful.”
“God’s investment in us is so great He could not possibly abandon us.”
Erwin W. Lutzer
As we have explored the life of Joseph over the past few weeks, we have uncovered so many wonderful lessons which serve to remind us that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the God of Jochebed, Miriam and Sarah – is a God who keeps His Word.
Our God is not some absent-minded professor who is so consumed with all the endeavors at hand that He somehow forgets where He placed us. Nor does our heavenly Father get distracted by so many pressing needs, that your specific challenges are out of His line of sight. It is for this reason that I began our inspiration with the quote by Erwin Lutzer who observes: “God’s investment in us is so great He could not possibly abandon us.”
When we think in terms of the “investment” God has in you and in me, individually, it goes a long way toward helping us understand, in some small way, why God is faithful in His behavior toward each of us. We are of immense value to Him, personally.
If you had given up your only Son, to save one person on a rebellious planet called earth, I don’t think you would be able to forget all the occupants of this globe in space either. With this background, of the important place we occupy in our Father’s life, I want us to focus again today on the life of Joseph, which to me is just one of many lives in Scripture that gives us a glimpse into the characteristics of God.
From the sojourn of Joseph on earth, beginning with the day he was born, to the day he died, we are able to witness the fact that our God was at work at all times. In the Hebrew, this particular trait of faithfulness, which is evidenced in God’s concern for each of us is defined as: “to build up and support. To render firm trust and belief. To continue steadfast.” I think we get the picture. God is someone we can trust. To me personally, the characteristic of faithfulness is one which is necessary for individuals to have when they need to know that without a doubt, they can rely on each other.
From the moment Joseph was taken as a Hebrew slave into Egypt, a land and people totally foreign to this young man, until the day he died, when his rulership and word in Egypt was not questioned, God was faithful, even when it didn’t look like this was the case.
Thankfully, one thing we are able to see when we really dig into God’s Word, the Bible, is that there was for Joseph, and there is in your life, too, a bigger plan than what we see each day as we stumble around.
Today, the only thing that may have my attention might be a family crisis or a bill collector calling for the 20th time or that nasty individual in the office who got an unwarranted promotion and is constantly giving everyone grief. Maybe the only thing you can think about is the fact that you lost your job and have been hitting the pavement every day for over a year, trying to find anything that will give you some income. These examples may be your world here and now. And as for the future, just like me, you have no idea how God is working and what He is going to do in your world.
Having said this, what Joseph’s life teaches us is that in a world where unfaithfulness seems to reign supreme – God’s faithfulness is our constant.
Now if you’ll go back to Algebra class with me for a minute, you may remember that in working out mathematical problems there were equations where there were “constants.” How I loved working problems where I felt having a “constant” gave me a leg-up, so to speak, for you knew exactly what you were dealing with in at least one element of the problem.
I liken God’s faithfulness to our “constant” in life. When everything around us is swirling like a devastating tornado, upending our lives and destroying our plans, God’s faithfulness is the fixed point in what to you and me may appear to be chaos.
As we look at Joseph’s life, the “constant” was the fact that we are told, “God was with him.” Everywhere –no exceptions. And this single fact kept Joseph anchored firmly whether in a dungeon or in Pharaoh’s palace.
If there is any doubt in our minds about Joseph’s view of God’s faithfulness, we have to look no further than what happened when Joseph died. The Bible doesn’t say he was buried in Egypt. Instead, he was laid in a coffin, ready to move when God’s time was fulfilled and the Hebrew people made the trek from Egypt to Canaan. It may sound a little macabre but somewhere, Joseph’s coffin was placed, potentially making it possible for God’s children, through the long 400-year exile in Egypt to say to themselves, “Joseph said God was going to take us back to Canaan. Joseph wouldn’t even let his body he buried in Egypt. He must have known something about God for Joseph believed God keeps His Word.” And when finally, in the book of Exodus we find the Israelites headed homeward, who was right there in the center of things? It was God’s faithfulness on display as Joseph was carried to Canaan. What a testament to our Father’s word which is faithful. As Teresa of Avila encourages each of us in her words left so many years ago, “Cleave fast unto God who changeth not.” Our God is faithful!
“God is faithful; by Him you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I Corinthians 1: 9
“Change and decay in all around I see,
O thou, who changest not, abide with me.”
Henry Francis Lyte
The God of Abraham Praise
“The God of Abraham praise,
Who reigns enthroned above,
The Ancient of eternal days
And God of love.
Jehovah, great I AM,
By earth and heaven confess:
We bow and bless the sacred name
“He by Himself hath sworn;
We on His oath depend,
We shall on eagles wings upborne,
To heaven ascend.
We shall behold His face;
We shall His power adore
And sing the wonders of His grace
“The God who reigns on high
The great archangels sing,
And ‘Holy, holy, holy,’ cry,
Who was and is the same
And evermore shall be;
Eternal Father, great I AM,
We worship Thee.”
The words above are part of a traditional Hebrew melody which had its first words penned in the 1100’s. Through the years, more stanzas have been added for a total of thirteen, three of which I have chosen today because they underscore in musical verse the faithfulness of our heavenly Father.
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus