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Posts Tagged ‘Joseph’


KJV and NKJV Scripture

–  I charge you before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that you observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality – 1 Timothy 5:21

True faith in Jesus is impartial (James 2:1).  Our Father does not play favorites and neither must we (Romans 2:11).  We are partial if we’re attempting to be people-pleasers for worldly reasons (Galatians 1:10) such as preserving the praise, admiration, or respect of others.  Or trying to gain or maintain some type of favor or advantage (Jude 1:16) – maybe in regards to career concerns or money matters.  

If we are showing preference to any person more than another – are we not then partial to ourselves and the judge of evil thoughts (James 2:2-4)?  Just like Jesus did, we are to esteem all others better than ourselves, not just those we think we may be able to get future favors out (Philippians 2:3-5).  God is well-pleased when we do good, but not if we hold people hostage with it later (Hebrews 13:16).

We’re to love our enemies, do good, lend – and hope for nothing again while here on earth.  It does not matter if others appear to be unappreciative or evil. For as God is kind to such people – we must be the same (Matthew 6:20, Hebrews 11:14-16Luke 6:35). Otherwise our intentions are worldly and misguided, arising out of selfish or prideful minds.  God always knows such thoughts (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Playing favorites in this life is a harbinger of hate. Joseph’s brothers could no longer speak peaceably with him after they saw how much more their father favored and preferred Joseph than them.  It created hatred inside their hearts (Genesis 37:3-4).  Showing partiality like this, is being a part-time Christian.  We are only playing the part when we think there might be something “in it” for us (Luke 17:7-10).

True Christians have been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5).  We are all one body in Jesus (Romans 12:5, Galatians 3:28).  If we should have respect to persons, we commit sin (James 2:9).  It means we’re not following the example of Christ’s steps (1 Peter 2:21).  We’re still playing favorites – flattering others with insincere praise to further our personal interests. God shall cut off all such lips (Psalm 12:2-3).

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men. – Job 4:13

Imagine how it must have been back in Bethlehem at the time of Christ’s birth.  There were no news channels to cover it, or cell phones for everyone to call family and friends – to share their joy.  There were no road maps.  The only way the wise men knew how to find the manger was by following a star – until it stood over the stable where Jesus was (Matthew 2:10).

However, Herod had spoken to these wise men before they left Jerusalem for Bethlehem.  He said he wanted to find out where the Christ child was to worship him also.  What he really desired was to have Jesus killed (Matthew 2:7-8) – but the wise men had no way of knowing this.  How could they know he was lying?  Who was going to warn them not to return to Herod?

Words from our mouths can only do so much – for we never know man’s true intentions, like Herod. Likewise, how did Joseph know how to flee with Mary and Jesus from Bethlehem into Egypt – shortly after the birth?  How was he going to find out for sure while staying there when it would be safe to go back – when Herod was really dead?

Who knew Joseph was truly afraid of returning into Israel after he did hear the news?  Herod’s son Archelaus was now ruling.  How could Joseph be certain Archelaus wasn’t desiring the same thing as his dad – to have Christ killed?  How was anyone going to tell Joseph the truth about where to go – and what he should do next?  The answer?  Four separate dreams.

The wise men were warned in a dream of God not to return to Herod (Matthew 2:12).  An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and told him to arise and flee into Egypt (Matthew 2:13).  When Herod died – another angel appeared – telling Joseph the news in a night dream (Matthew 2:20).  Knowing he was afraid to return – God told him in a dream to head towards Galilee (Matthew 2:22).

The Lord is always at least one step ahead of us. Knowing of evil nearby before we even see it – or even perceiving it is about to happen (Judges 20:34). We may even be taken home if He knows the evil will be too much (Isaiah 57:1).  It’s why we redeem our brief time here (Ephesians 5:16).  Still, how do we truly know how He wants us to spend it – without speculating if it’s His will or ours?

How do we hear His still small voice when this world can seem so noisy at times (1 Kings 19:12)?  How do we perceive it’s God speaking to us once – then twice (Job 33:14)?  How do we truly ever know what He wants us to do for Him – and where He wants us to go to do it – and why?  And, that it’s not just an idea or plan which seems right – but only in our own eyes (1 Chronicles 13:4, Proverbs 21:2).

When is the time most of us are the most quiet and still during any day?  Isn’t it while we are sleeping? Why wouldn’t God – just like He did with the wise men and Joseph – send us directions in our dreams? In visions of the night – when deep sleep falls upon us – when we slumber in our beds.  To open our ears and seal our instructions (Job 33:15-16).

So the Lord can withdraw us from our purposes – and direct us into His.  So He can hide pride from us – before we fall too far (Job 33:17, Proverbs 16:18). So He can keep our souls from the pit – and from perishing by the sword (Job 33:18).  This could have happened to Jesus, had Joseph listened to words from men – and had not hearkened to his visions of the night from heaven.  .

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.” – Proverbs 24:29

Whether we are believers or not – most of us learned the Bible’s Golden Rule of  “doing unto others” (Matthew 7:12) as children, even if we weren’t attending church.  It does not tell us to do good things unto others – but only if they do the same in return, exactly when and why we want them to.  If they don’t – we don’t stop doing them.  It does not say to do bad things unto others – exactly like they have done to us.

If we don’t, though – well, aren’t they just getting away with it? No – we don’t do unto others as they have already done in the past (lead verse).  The Golden Rule is not a conditional verse.  It says we are to do unto others as we would want them to do unto us – even when they are not doing so; even if they never do. Remember, we are all unprofitable servants (Luke 17:7-10).

If our conscience is towards God, it is thank-worthy – even if we endure grief and suffer wrongfully (1 Peter 2:19).  Didn’t God endure grief when He watched His only Son suffer wrongfully on the Cross?  Remember how much grief Joseph seemingly suffered wrongfully for years?  God was setting up a future event of good all along – which only He could see (Hebrews 11:1).

What might have happened if Joseph had spent his time – in the meantime – trying to do unto others as they had done unto him? Attempting to get back and pay people back for supposedly messing up his life?  Everything bad God put Joseph through was required for later good – to save his family from famine (Genesis 45:5-47:12, Ecclesiastes 3:15, Romans 8:28).

Just because God’s sentence against an evil work is not executed as speedily as we like it sometimes – it is well with us who fear Him (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13).  We may be requited some good if we turn the other cheek (2 Samuel 16:5-12).  We are not to avenge – but to over-come evil with good.  Vengeance belongs to God alone.  It is a terrible thing to fall into His hands (Romans 12:19-21, Hebrews 10:30-31).

It may take more time than our temperament might allow – but His final punishment will be fiery and forever.  God will by no means clear the guilty – He will not at all acquit the wicked (Exodus 34:7, Nahum 1:3). Just remember, we were all born with wicked hearts – and Scripture has concluded all of us are guilty of sin (Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:23, Galatians 3:22).

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)

– In a dream, in a vision of the night – when deep sleep falls upon man in slumberings upon the bed.  Then He opens the ears of men and seals their instruction – that He may withdraw man from his purpose – and hide pride from man.  He keeps back his soul from the pit – and his life from perishing by the sword. – Job 33:15-18

– “These dreams go on when I close my eyes – every second of the night, I live another life.” (“These Dreams“, recorded by Heart, words and music by Martin Page, copyright 1985)

Each day, God goes by us – and we do not see Him.  The Lord passes on also – yet we don’t always perceive Him (Job 9:11). The madness of modern society can create such mind-numbing noises – it can be hard for anyone to hear God’s still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12).  Giving and sealing His instructions of what He wants us to do – and where He wants us to go – as we’re led by the Spirit (Romans 8:1-14).  Things right in His eyes – not ours (Deuteronomy 13:18, 1 Chronicles 13:4).

Quiet moments are difficult to capture in today’s world for any length of time.  How do we know then what we’re doing as believers is truly coming by God’s counsel – and not the counsel of other Christians?  Whether He has led us to do them – or if they’re just ideas out of our own minds (Numbers 16:28)?  The time most of us are the stillest each day, the longest – is during sleep.  Why wouldn’t God use this time to open our ears – so we can truly hear what He has to say (Psalm 121:4)?

Dreams and visions appeared to people throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament, God appeared to Abraham in a vision, saying “Fear not, Abraham – I am your shield and your exceeding great reward (Genesis 15:1).”  Samuel feared showing Eli a vision from the Lord – for it meant Eli could no longer purge his sins with sacrifices or offerings ever again (1 Samuel 3:10-15).  King Nebuchadnezzar‘s pride was high – and it was removed after a troubling dream came to fruition (Daniel 4:5-37).

Following the birth of Jesus in the New Testament, the wise men were warned by God in a dream they should not return to Herod – but depart into their country another way (Matthew 2:12).  As soon as they left, an angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph – telling him to take Mary and the Christ child into Egypt until further instructions were received from above – not below. Herod was still seeking Jesus – to destroy the Son of man – and Egypt would be safe haven for a while (Matthew 2:13).

Once Herod died, another vision told Joseph it was safe to return to Israel – as those seeking Christ were dead (Matthew 2:20). A third dream warned Joseph to turn aside and go to Galilee instead of Judea – for Herod’s successor was there – and Joseph was afraid to go any further (Matthew 2:22).  All these dreams show God knows where we are, what we’re doing, how we’re feeling – and how He can tell us through them to start, stay with, or stop something – or go another way (Isaiah 30:21).

In the classic song “Sounds of Silence”, we hear: “Because a vision softly creeping, left its seeds while I was sleeping – and the vision that was planted in my brain – still remains.”  Just because we have a dream – it doesn’t always mean something good or bad is going to happen immediately.  It could take weeks or months to come to pass.  If it’s a warning from God and it’s heeded – we may not see a similar dream for a while. Unless we’re turned away from Him again (Deuteronomy 13:5).

Our dreams can free us from troubling matters of the day – even those between us and other believers.  God can give us the direction and discernment necessary in making a decision to depart from fellow brothers or sisters.  The Lord tells us to withdraw ourselves from those who walk disorderly among us – in the name of Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:6).  Or, from those who seem to be perverting the gospel (1 Timothy 6:5).  But – we are not to take these matters into our own hands (Acts 5:36-39).

Our dreams can also frighten us with troubles – to the point we’re afraid to sleep at all.  The beds and couches offering us an image of rest and comfort – perhaps after a long day at work – may not look so inviting when we’re ready to lie down (Job 7:13).  Our visions have become so vivid and terrifying – we’d rather try to stay awake – lest they come again if we go to bed (Job 7:14).  Sometimes, the dreams are so scary – we can tremble as the hair of our flesh stands on end (Job 4:13-15).

Despite their nature, we must always be careful we don’t take any dream from our deceitful hearts and minds – and make it into a false divination from above (Jeremiah 14:14, Jeremiah 17:9, Ezekiel 13:7).  God speaks exclusively about this in Jeremiah, Chapter 23, verses 9-40:  “I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in My name, saying ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed ‘. Yes, they are prophets of the deceit of their own hearts (Jeremiah 23:25-26).”

Everything in creation is continually bare and manifest before God’s eyes (Jeremiah 23:24, Hebrews 4:13).  Maybe dreams of being naked in front of audiences – or audiences being naked in front of us – are His reminders that nothing is hid from His view. Our Father is always pursuing us and giving chase – even when we’re not with Him.  So He can catch us with His grace – before we fall too far and risk having received it in vain when Christ returns (2 Corinthians 6:1, 1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 12:10)

Dreams with no rhyme or reason may be how we see them – but how will God be qualified to judge us if He’s unaware of them (Romans 3:4)?  Maybe their primary purpose is to draw us away from our own (lead verse) – and towards His (Romans 8:28). The One against us could be God – for good reason (Romans 8:31).  If we should get so caught up in our own lust, self-will, presumption (2 Peter 2:10), and pride – maybe He’s trying to reach us through dreams – before we fall into the pit forever.

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)
To every thing there is a season – and a time to every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

We cannot live in an arbitrary, chaotic, and random world – where everything is based and contingent on coincidence, fate, or luck. Everything has to be a God moment – or it’s not. Even if it seems to be evil or wicked, God is aware of it (Psalm 103:19, Isaiah 45:7). Whatever happens to us from cradle to grave – our Father requires everything that is past (Ecclesiastes 3:15). However, it is not for us to know the times or the seasons the Father has put in His own power (Acts 1:7). There would be no way for God to judge us or the world when the time comes – to determine eternal destinies – if He missed just one thing (Romans 3:5-6).

Whatever happens on earth – has to happen in order to fulfill God’s will and Scripture first – not our will. Even before Christ started preaching and teaching – our Father chose a disciple by the name of Judas to betray Jesus (John 6:64) – to fulfill Old Testament prophesies of Christ’s subsequent death and resurrection (Psalm 16:10, Psalm 22:16-19, Psalm 34:20, Zechariah 12:10). Tribulations come from above as well – to accomplish God’s plans. Our Father chose Joseph to go through years and years of difficulty and trials to save many from famine (Genesis 37:2 – Genesis 50:20). This was probably not Joseph’s own plan for his life. However, all things “eventually” did work together for the good – but not just Joseph’s (Romans 8:28).

Our Father sets this world in our hearts at birth so we cannot figure out – or find out all the work He does under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Many of us would love to know when something is going to happen – or why something is happening now. We can’t know “when” while we are living – because God does not operate according to human calendars, checklists, and clocks (Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8). We could never learn to trust Him if He told us the precise time something was going to occur. Just like Abraham and Sarah did with Hagar (Genesis 16:1-6) – any impatience on our part can make us try to force or rush a blessing that God did intend for us to have later – according to His heavenly timing.

God has many things to tell us – but we cannot bear them now (John 16:12). Even the disciples of Jesus did not have their understanding of Scripture opened to them until after Christ’s resurrection (Luke 24:45). They thought they knew beforehand – but Jesus kept making points to them that they did not. Just before going to Jerusalem to be crucified – Christ told them that what was about to happen – was to fulfill all things written concerning the Son of Man. But, they still did not understand (Luke 18:31-34). Only after Jesus rose again were the disciples shown plainly of the Father (John 16:25). Won’t it be the same for us?

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)

– You shall not respect persons in judgment; but you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God‘s.  And, the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto Me, and I will hear it. – Deuteronomy 1:17

God’s strength cannot be made perfect in our pride (2 Corinthians 12:9). There is nothing too hard for the Almighty (Genesis 18:14, Jeremiah 32:27) – but most of life on earth is so hard for so many.  However, our Lord can do things like make the sun stand still in the sky (Joshua 10:13).  There is nothing He can’t do.  God is jealous for us.  Just like any loving parent on earth would want their kids to tell them what’s bothering or bugging them – so does He (2 Corinthians 11:2).

Our heavenly Father will “hear” anything that’s troubling us, upsetting us – perhaps something we can see absolutely no way out of.  However, our trust comes from submitting to His will always – accepting and understanding that the solution and outcome of whatever case we present to Him – may not be exactly as we may anticipate it will.  Just because we’re Christians does not mean we are going to get our way every time. This is one of the biggest causes of backsliding among believers (Proverbs 14:14).

Casting all our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) does not mean taking some back when we think we know how to handle them better and quicker than He does. We cannot learn trust through impatience. The Lord is good to those who wait upon Him – unto the souls that seek Him (Lamentations 3:25, Romans 8:28). Remember Joseph had to wait a very long time for God to show His goodness to not only him – but to all of his brothers as well – the ones who had sold Joseph into slavery to begin with (Genesis 37:3 – Genesis 45:28). All the harm that seemed to befall Joseph – turned out to be a blessing not only for himself – but to his entire family as well in the end.

 

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