Devotional on Exodus

2013 – Natchez Trace Parkway

Turning the page
Exodus 1: A new king came to power in Egypt who didn’t know Joseph.
Joseph lives to be 110 years old and when he dies he’s honored as a great hero in Egypt. Not only did he save Egypt from the impact of a horrible famine but in so doing, he consolidated the power of Pharaoh. His family settles within the borders of Egypt in the land of Goshen and they prosper too, especially in number. Less than 100 made the journey to Egypt, but now they number in the thousands. I’ve turned the page from Genesis to Exodus and traveled through time — over 300 years. Things are so different that it takes me awhile to get my bearings. The descendants of Jacob, also known as Israel, now nearly outnumber the Egyptians and they, who came freely to Egypt, are now enslaved there. No one’s talking about Joseph and the miracles associated with his life – his story is forgotten. The dramatic change of fortunes for the people of Israel serves as a reminder that things do, indeed, change. It’s true for political figures who can watch their popularity go from high to low or for investors who can watch the value of their investments nose dive or for us individually who can see an overnight change of status. As I begin reading Exodus I’m reminded of this. However, I’m also reminded of something else. The main figure in the story is unchanged. God is still at work here. In my life the Lord is my firm foundation. “All other ground is sinking sand.”
Take Away: Life has plenty of ups and downs, some more dramatic than others, however, in the face of all the uncertainty the Lord remains our firm foundation.

Devotional on Matthew

Significant Dreams

Matthew 1: Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream.

Matthew begins the story of Jesus with genealogy, father to father to father. He then continues writing from the masculine perspective as he tells us of the God-sent dream of Joseph. Mary’s pregnant but it’s okay. God’s behind all this, sending the Savior into the world. To Joseph’s credit, he believes the message of the dream and moves forward in faith, never looking back. There are a lot of “dream stories” in the Bible. Way back in the book of Genesis Joseph has message-dreams and also interprets the dreams of others. Daniel’s story is similar, and later on Paul will be directed in a dream by the Holy Spirit concerning his missionary journey. In spite of these, and many other stories, we don’t often think about God communicating to us in dreams. I understand that we now have the written Word of God and that probably accounts for less emphasis on dream messages. Still, I wonder if our own lack of expectation might choke off the possibility of God speaking to us in this way. While I’m not ready to jump off the cliff on this one, I do want to be open to whatever word the Lord might have for me. Maybe bedtime prayers should include not only a request for the Lord’s protection while we sleep but a promise to take seriously anything the Lord might have to say to us through our dreams.

Take Away: I want to be open to hear the Voice of God in whatever way he might speak to me.