Thursday, July 30, 2015

It's Thursday 30th July - Number 34


Thursday 30th July 2015

Thursday word from Genesis Number 34.

'So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved  and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh,' Genesis 41:14.
We know that Joseph had been in prison quite some time before Pharaoh's baker and cup-bearer had their dreams, (40:1). Following the positive news that he gave the cup-bearer it wasn't long before he realised that the man he had so helped had completely forgotten him. Months turned into years. Poor Joseph probably could not think of any way that things could ever change whereby he might get out of gaol.

It is easy to feel that some things will never change and that we are permanently condemned to the situation we find ourselves in, especially as time passes by and we are unable to even imagine a scenario whereby change could come. That is to reckon without this wonderful God of Surprises we have. In no way could Joseph have imagined what dreams Pharaoh would have, nor what lay ahead for the mighty nation of Egypt, or indeed his part in the nation's salvation!

Note how Pharaoh sought answers from his own wise men and magicians before his cup bearer remembered Joseph and referred Pharaoh to him. Like Pharaoh, we too can seek our answers in conventional human wisdom rather than God. Conversely, in Joseph's situation, we Christians might wonder why we have been disregarded and forgotten despite our faithfulness. But we must never lose sight of the fact that God has plans for each and everyone of us. Whilst we might not know what they are, God tells us, 'I know the plans I have for you....', (Jeremiah 29:11). Whether he can trust us with the responsibility for what he has in store might well depend on how faithful we continue to be in dark times when all hope seems to be gone. Remember Abraham? 'Abraham believed and hoped, even when there was no reason for hoping,' (Romans 4:18). Is God testing you to see if he can depend on you before he reveals his plans for you?

God can turn things around in an unbelievably rapid and miraculous way as he did for Joseph.  On a visit to Limerick John Wesley wrote these words, 'A few years ago, if we heard of one notorious sinner truly converted to God, it was a matter of solemn joy to all that loved or feared him; and now that multitudes of every kind and degree are daily turned from the power of darkness to God, we pass it over as a common thing! O God give us thankful hearts!' 

God bless you all.


Leonard Johnson said...

Thank you, Howard Webber. You write: ”God can turn things around in an unbelievably rapid and miraculous way …” I feel that this is what God has done for me. A few years ago I was not involved in much of anything. I guess I felt that I had reached the end of my life, at least at that time. Now, I am involved in new forms of ministry and it just keeps getting better and better. I have been diagnosed with terminal cancer, but it seems to me that the Lord is not ready to Promote me to glory just yet, He seems to have more for me to accomplish in His Service, before my name can be listed and after my name the words: Promoted to Glory. That will be a home-going that I look forward to in the future. Again Howard, thank you for your article. Blessings.

gibberhoffer said...

Worthy thoughts and uplifting expressions. One of the beautiful experiences of this life’s walk with God is to repeatedly come through “dark times” and find ourselves “walking in the light” because of God’s faithfulness to his Word. Talk about “more than conquerors!” Ron Gorton (Retired Officer)

Howard Webber said...

Thank you Leonard, for your kind words and your very positive testimony. Despite all that you face may the Lord continue to fill you with his Spirit of joy and certainty, and may he sustain you and use your witness to draw others to him. 'Father, you alone can do the impossible. Place your hand of healing on Leonard, your servant, I ask in the name of Jesus.'

Howard Webber said...

Thank you Leonard for your kind words of encouragement and your wonderful testimony. May you continue to know the undergirding arms of Jesus sustaining you, giving you strength when you feel weak, and using you and your testimony to draw others to him. Best wishes, Howard

Freeborng said...

Thank you for the post, Howard. Joseph was truly a man of perseverance. And yet, the real point of this Biblical story is God's faithfulness, to an individual and to a nation. For more stories of perseverance, I would like to invite you to the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych Series. The trilogy based on the life of Francis Asbury, the young protégé of John Wesley and George Whitefield, opens with the book, Black Country. The opening novel in this three-book series details the amazing movement of Wesley and Whitefield in England and Ireland as well as its life-changing effect on a Great Britain sadly in need of transformation. Black Country also details the Wesleyan movement's effect on the future leader of Christianity in the American colonies, Francis Asbury. The website for the book series is Again, thank you, for the post.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Howard. I'm 'catching up' at the blog (it's been a topsy-turvey summer). This post was on my birthday, & it would have been a great 'gift'. However, I probably wasn't ready to 'hear' it at that time. So, God brought me to it this evening, and it is a timely reminder. God brought my husband & I to South Carolina in what could only be described as "an Abraham experience". The past 9 mths. I have been chomping at the bit to return to my country, but God seems to have other plans. So, I appreciate your Scriptural reminder, including the fact that ”God can turn things around in an unbelievably rapid and miraculous way …”. I am greatly encouraged by this truth. Many blessings.

Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former SA Officer
Guardians of the Truth '83-'85

Howard Webber said...

Thank you Freeborng. That is interesting. I will look up that website.
Also, thank you Elizabeth for sharing. It's always encouraging to know how God is using one's offering even though, as mere servants, we are not entitled to know anything of what God is doing with us. Ours is not to reason, but to obey. However, from time to time God graciously lets us see something of what he is doing with what we offer.
God bless you both