Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2008 Psalm 119:165‏

Psalm 119:165    Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
 
Oh Friends, is that ever so true! And Bruh David is a cardinal example of it. He knew the law, found pleasure in it and consequently reaped the rewards of peace and rest from fear, that abiding by it brings. We all are human and therefore liable to stumble at times, but never fall. And it seems the enemy’s trying to make me fall, for I’ve been losing the internet connection and having problems with it all evening, and talking to the techs in India doesn’t seem to help either. No wonder the country’s losing it’s technical advantage, even tech support has been outsourced, all in the name of profits.  But Friends, once we have the Lord’s Word in our hearts, and valiantly try to live by it, as I’m doing now, our fears will dissipate like a breath of smoke on a gust of wind. Just hope that it’s my fears that dissipate and not the Scrip-Bit. (smile) But that’s the purpose, the beauty of the Word; it strengthens us and gives us peace of mind that enables us to carry on in faith, in spite of any obstacles in our way. Solomon exhorts us to obedience this way. ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.’ (Provs.3:1-2) Oh Friends, that’s such a marvellous promise! If we’re obedient to the Lord’s dictates, it will bring us peace and longevity. It stands to reason. Just living decently creates less worry and fuss and bother in your lives, consequently less stress, today’s giant killer, giving you better odds for a longer life. Now imagine if you add belief and faith in the Most High God, Jehovah to that. Wow! Your peace level and life line will increase even more. The prophet Isaiah says; ‘Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is.26:3) Yes Friends, it begins with trust and and faithfulness in The Lord, which then leads us to peace of mind. There’s no chicken or egg confusion here. Belief and trust must first be present in our hearts, before we find peace of mind. Isaiah also states: ‘And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever.’ (Is.32:17) Ah people, that’s exactly what we need in these perilous and troubled times, with our world crazily crumbling around us, through natural disasters, fraud, economic downturn, immorality and all the evil works of the enemy, including decreased belief and trust in God. Oh Friends, we don’t need less God now, but more, MUCH MORE! When surrounded by fear, uncertainty and confusion, like now, it’s imperative we move towards God, not away from Him. Please people, don’t let the enemy tempt you into doing the wrong thing, moving the foolish way, for when the chips are down, there’s only one Being in this universe who can definitely help us, who can keep us upright, and that’s the one who created it: the Most High God Jehovah; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Friends, in wisdom, and in the search for world peace and peace of mind, let’s stay with, return to, or come anew to Him. He’s our ONLY HOPE! Much LOVE!…sorrowful times…they call for a…merciful, reliable God…
P.S: The enemy didn’t beat me though. I called India and went through the same rigmarole again. At least now I’m not losing the signal, and I can finally send the Bit. And Friends, you’d be proud of me; I never lost my cool. I was nice and polite to the lady who dealt me me. (smile) Praise His Name! Much LOVE!
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2008 Proverbs 14:26‏

Proverbs 14:26   In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge.
 
Oh Friends, that’s gospel! But hard times are back upon me, meaning that I’ve got to look for Bits every day again. (smile) The past week, I knew exactly what I was going to write about; Bruh Joseph. But isn’t his a most amazing story! The way the Lord caused him to be rudely uprooted in his teen years, taken away to a foreign land, to suffer so much injustice, then become a saviour to his foreign masters and his own Hebrew people. Wow! Only our God could concoct such an awe inspiring, dramatic tale. I knew the story, but never paid attention to all the nuances involved, until now. That’s why Friends it pays to study the Word. You learn something new every time, that opens your eyes even more to the wonders of our God. And Bruh Joseph’s story is a most fitting acknowledgement of Today’s Bit: ‘In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge.’ Did anyone show more reverence than Bruh Joseph? And I greatly admire that his confidence in his God was not only strong and secure, but apparently quiet too. He didn’t seem to verbalize much about his faith. He let his actions do the talking. Unlike Bruh David, who lived a very active life; running and fighting and loving; writing his music and poems, being a sort of early days Renaissance Man, Bruh Joseph seemed to prefer the quiet, more background lifestyle. To find him, you’d have to deliberately go looking for him, while Bruh David would be popping up at you on posters all over the place. And don’t talk about Bruh Paul; he was so rambunctious and ornery, that he would come looking for you. But Friends, despite their different natures, they all exhibited one thing in common, and that to the nth degree: a reverence in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; such an unshakeable belief in His promises; that He was whom He said He was, and would do what He said He would, which raised their confidence to an awesomely high level, which in turn allowed them to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds and obstacles, and also to thrive in spite of them. Oh Friends, theirs is a faith to die for! Bruh Joseph’s understated, serene outlook; that of a dreamer. Bruh David’s more outgoing, demonstrative passion, and Bruh Paul’s aggressive, in your face attitude. It does take all kinds to make a world, and we each have our unique make up; one of the three personality types, or some combination thereof, but whatever it is, we’ve all been called upon to exhibit a great amount of faith, a high degree of reverence, appreciation, gratitude and belief in the Most High God, for it’s only under His awesome, sprawling wings can we find safety and shelter from the storms of life. Those three stalwarts believed it, lived it and besides finding shelter and safety, received worthy rewards. And people, our world is currently being battered by an avalanche of storms, both literally and figuratively (Hurricane Kyle is now hurtling up the east coast of N.America) and it might just get worse before it get’s better. But Friends, for those of us who’ve put their trust in Jehovah, there’s no need to fret or worry, for as one translation of the Bit says, ‘He who fears the Lord, has a secure fortress.’ And as Margaret Fishback Powers writes in her book, Footprints, ‘Neither the sun, nor the Son, have gone out of business. He is still with us. A new day will dawn, and the Lord will bring himself to the center of our problems.’ Oh Friends, please remember that, and let it boost your faith. The Lord is still in control, so nothing evil that comes against us will prosper. Much LOVE!…his mercies are new…each and every day…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2008 Genesis 50:20‏

Genesis 50:20    But as for you, ye thought evil against me: but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
 
That’s  God’s way Friends? People intend to do us harm, but our ever faithful, merciful God turns those same evil intentions to our advantage. Exactly what He did with Bruh Joseph. Yes, he deserves elevation to the status of Bruh. (smile) His brothers sold him into slavery to hurt him, but the Most High concocted an ingenious plan that eventually saves the lives of those same wicked brothers and their families. And even after experiencing Bruh Joseph’s great kindness and mercy, when they return to Egypt, after burying Jacob in Canaan, their guilt makes them sore afraid. Thinking that Bruh Joseph hates them, and without their father to keep him in check, would exact his revenge, they send him a message saying that before Jacob died, he decreed that Bruh Joseph forgive them of their sin against him. ‘And now we pray thee forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.’ (vs.17-18) The many times Bruh Joseph wept, and his brothers bowed before him, surely caused a lot of tension. I wonder, if in all their obeisance, they remembered how they laughed him to scorn when he foretold it as a boy. Don’t ridicule the dreams of others, Friends. It has a bad habit of coming back to haunt you. They also did not take into account the powerful spirit of God moving within Bruh Joseph. ‘And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?’ (vs.19) Oh Friends, what a most worthy answer! Is he God, to be taking revenge? Hn,hn! I chuckle because all along I’ve been reading that line as ‘I am,’ instead of ‘am I’ and wondering what it meant. But when it mattered most, the Lord set me straight. Praise His Holy Name People! And Bruh Joseph continued in forgiveness. ‘But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.’ Wow! He wasn’t God, but he sure acted as magnanimously, through God’s Spirit moving within him. And Bruh Joseph lived to the ripe old age of one hundred and ten, enjoying God’s favour to rock his great grand children on his knees. At the end, he said to his family, ‘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.’ (vs.25) And he made them promise to take his bones to the Promised Land with them. Remember children. (smile) ‘So Joseph died…and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.’ (vs.26) Ah Friends, what a wonderful story! It shows the lengths the Lord would go to for us; both to teach us some lesson and to prove His LOVE. He chose a simple, dreamy, Hebrew shepherd boy, made him suffer much injustice, then made him a beloved icon in a foreign country, while weaving in the necessary fabric to create His Chosen People, the Children of Israel, and their holy grail; the Promised Land. Oh people, this is the last instalment of Bruh Joseph’s story. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, for every time you read the Word, you glean something new, get a deeper understanding. That certainly happened to me with Bruh Joseph. I’ve certainly developed a greater appreciation and higher respect for him. Do you realize Friends, that not once, through all his suffering, did we hear of him doing any serious wrong. All God’s other devotees did: From Abraham right down to Bruh Paul. Why is that eh? It reminds me of a reggae song I recently heard, called The Promised Land, which suggests that it’s not so much a physical entity, but more a state of mind. I tend to agree. For we walk by faith, not by sight, so making a conscious effort to live now, the way we’d expect to live then, assures us of a better life. I think Joseph discovered that secret and lived it; holding that constant vision, through faith, even till the end, when he confidently assured his brethren that God would come and lead them to the Promised land; which He did. Oh Friends, may we develop such a state of mind, through faith and the Holy Spirit’s help, until, like Bruh Joseph, we reach that Promised Land. Much LOVE!…walking in, through, and by faith…sure works wonders…in the human spirit…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2008 Genesis 48:20‏

Genesis 48:20    And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh: And he placed Ephraim before Manasseh.
 
Ah Friends, that’s a source of serious problems in many families. Now Joseph hears that his father is sick and goes to visit him with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Jacob, always the patriarch, wills his strength and sits up in bed to greet them. He tells Joseph of how the Lord blessed him and promised to multiply him fruitfully and give the land of Canaan ‘to thy seed for an everlasting possession.’ (vs.4) Then his sight being dim, he did not recognize Joseph’s sons, and asked ‘Whose are these?’ Joseph replied, ‘They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place.’ He tells Joseph to bring them to him so he can bless them. Joseph does it, he kisses and embraces them, saying to Joseph: ‘I had not thought to see thy face: and lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.’ (vs.11) Then Joseph takes his sons from between Jacobs knees, bows his face to the earth, and rearranges them with the eldest Manasseh to Jacob’s right hand, and Ephraim to his left. But the wily Jacob puts out his right hand and places it on Ephraim’s head, and his left on Manasseh’s. This displeases Joseph, and he points out the mistake to his father. Jacob refuses, saying he knows that, and though Manasseh would also multiply and be great, ‘but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.’  (Gen.48:19-20) Joseph also received one more portion of inheritance than his brothers. It seems that in Abraham’s lineage, the youngest became the greatest: Isaac over Ishmael; Jacob over Esau, Joseph over his brothers, Ephraim over Manasseh, right down to Bruh David and Solomon. Then Jacob calls his twelve sons to his side; ‘Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob, and hearken unto Israel your father.’ (Gen.49:2) And then, in beautiful, flowing language, he goes on to tell them all, from Reuben his first, to Benjamin, the last, what their lives would be like: Reuben, unstable as water: Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations: Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise…Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him and hated him. But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the mighty God of Jacob;’ Oh Friends, Genesis 49 is a must read; Jacob describes his sons in such lovely language. And after he tells them to bury him in Canaan, Jacob gets into the bed and gives up the ghost. Joseph kisses his father’s face and weeps, then orders the doctors to embalm him. ‘And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed; and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.’ (Gen.50:3) But the best part Friends is this: ‘And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt.’ (Gen.50:7) Wow! All Jacob’s family, except the small children went too. ‘And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.’ (vs.) Yes Friends, if we live obedient to God’s Word, like Joseph, anything’s possible. He was so beloved in Egypt, that Pharaoh sent a whole host of people up to Canaan to bury his father Jacob. Can we muster such respect in our circles? Let’s all work towards that goal nuh, and so bring great glory to God’s name. Much LOVE!…in all we do…let’s put Him first…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2008 Genesis 48:21‏

Genesis 48:21    And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.
 
Oh Friends, ever noticed whenever you visit the land of your ancestors, a nostalgic feeling overtakes you, especially if you’ve never lived there? Just seeing where they walked and talked, lived and loved, awakens memories of stories you’ve heard. That’s the lure of the land: The land which our forefathers cherished, held sacred, from which they earned their livelihood, on which solid dreams were built. That’s why Jacob said those words to Joseph, the land gets into our blood, becomes a part of us. And though Jacob lived seventeen years in Egypt, he never wanted to be buried there; ‘I am to be gathered to my people,bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite.’ (Gen.49:29) But those last five years of the famine were quite rough,although Joseph looked after his family. No bread in the land. The people used up their money buying corn from Joseph, enriching Pharaoh’s coffers. Then they brought their animals and Joseph gave them bread in exchange. And when that was exhausted, they pleaded with Joseph; ‘Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh; and give us seed, that we may live and not die, that the land be not desolate.’ (Gen.47:19) So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, except the priests’ portion, for Pharaoh fed them, and he moved everybody to the cities. Then he decreed that from thence, a fifth part of their produce would be Pharaoh’s, the rest theirs. ‘And they said, Thou hast saved our lives; let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.’ (Gen.47:25) Wow! That’s why they revered Joseph, although he was an outsider. He at least kept them alive, which gave them HOPE. Now my question Friends; where’s our modern-day Joseph? The interpreter of dreams, the far seeing, caring administrator, who’s not only out to rob the people for his and his cronies benefit? Where was that keeper, the People’s safeguard, when the crooks on Wall Street, and those other streets of deals were setting the people up to fail, while enriching themselves and living extravagantly? How come there was no government overseer checking these schemes? Where was the People’s guardian? Hobnobbing with those same crooks or turning a blind eye to their evil endeavours? And now that everything crash, the house of cards tumble down, the People’s guardian coming to them, expecting them, who already seriously suffering from the aftermath of the crooked schemes and the numerous natural disasters recently befallen them, to ante up more to bail out the crooks, or else the nation will fall. Tough! They’ve bailed out enough! Let those who profited from the schemes bail out the remainder. Buffet’s put five billion in Goldman Sachs. Let the many others do likewise. It’s about time the rich pay for their crimes against the common man. And if the nation crumbles, so be it. Hopefully they will rebuild on a solid foundation this time. And who’s to say the 700 billion they’re asking for will stabilize the situation eh? Originally it was just a few billion, but every day more fallout comes to light. Someone termed it a financial Pearl Harbour. Nonsense! The Japanese came upon Pearl Harbour stealthily. This situation’s of their own making. Any sensible, non-greedy person knows that you can’t build on lies and fraudulent schemes forever, it must implode sometime. And these are the keepers of the gates? No wonder the world’s in such a mess, during the most prosperous and advanced times ever. Oh Friends, I never meant to talk about the financial meltdown, but seeing Joseph’s handling of the situation in Egypt, and how we’re handling this one, it struck a sensitive nerve. And it does have something to do with our greedy, selfish, evil, materialistic society, that’s turning away from God. For when you turn away from God; He turns away from you. Let’s hope all these disasters wake us up and lead us back to the God of our fathers. Much LOVE!…when yuh doh hear…yuh does feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 September 2008 Genesis 45:16‏

Genesis 45:16    And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.
 
Wow Friends! It’s obvious that Joseph was well liked and respected in Egypt. But for his brothers’ coming to have created such joy, means his stature was extremely amazing; in reality, second only to Pharaoh, who told him; ‘And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.’ (vs.18) Friends, that deserves another Wow! It had to be the Lord’s spirit moving in Pharaoh’s heart. Praise His Holy Name people! Imagine an Egyptian ruler nuh, a demi-god, being that kind to Hebrews, people they couldn’t even eat with, especially with five years of severe famine left to go in his own land? But Friends, our God, moves in mysterious and mighty ways. Pharaoh even said to Joseph. ‘Now thou art commanded…take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father and come.’ (vs.19) Pharaoh’s largesse was second only to God’s. But Friends, that’s what happens when we put our entire lives and complete trust in the Lord. He works wonders on our behalf, opens doors we don’t even know exist. Joseph followed Pharaoh’s orders; gave his brothers wagons loaded with food, and clothes to all. But to Benjamin, he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of raiment. To his father he sent, ‘ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.’ (vs.23) Can you believe all that stuff going out of Egypt in the midst of a famine to feed and clothe Hebrews? Brother! Joseph certainly found favour in their sight through his righteousness. Wish we could all be more like him, Christianity would be in much better shape now; no setta divisions and senseless internecine strife, causing unbelievers to move even further away from the faith. Friends, how did we get from one church, under Jesus, teaching one thing, to numerous religions, teaching, God alone knows what? And everyday we hear of some new splinter group. Where will it end? However, when the brothers get home and tell Jacob that Joseph’s alive, and his exalted position in Egypt, he refuses to believe them, till he sees the wagons Joseph sent to bear him, then his spirit revived. ‘And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.’  (vs.28) Imagine the joy in Jacob’s heart nuh Friends! After thinking for twenty odd years that your favourite son’s dead, you suddenly hear that he’s alive and doing famously in another land. It’s enough to burst the cockles of any parent’s heart with joy. So they all set out for Egypt: sixty six direct descendants of Jacob, not counting his son’s wives; add Joseph, his two sons and Jacob himself, the household numbered seventy. The start of God’s promise when He changed his name to Israel: ‘ a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee; and kings shall come out of thy loins.’ (Gen.35:11) And we know the Lord kept His promise, anytime we speak of ‘the children of Israel.’ And Joseph rode his chariot to meet them in Goshen, and wept on his father’s neck for a while. His tear ducts must have been sorely overworked, but who can blame him for those tears of joy after all he’d suffered? ‘And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.’ (Gen.46:30) What a happy reunion people! Only because the two principals stayed faithful and true to the God of their fathers. Friends, if we too remain faithful to the Most High God, Jehovah, He will cascade, rain down blessings on us, till we turn fool. (smile) Much LOVE!…showers of blessing…showers of blessing…He’s promised…to those faithful and true…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2008 Genesis 45:5‏

 Genesis 45:5    Now therefore be not grieved or angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
 
What awesome insight and forgiving spirit Friends! Like the chicken and the egg, which came first? Did the realization of God’s long range plan engender the forgiveness? Or did the forgiving spirit make him aware of God’s plan? However it happened, Judah’s last minute appeal told Joseph it was time. His emotions were so overwhelmed that he sent everybody away except his brothers. ‘And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.’ (vs.2) Who says that grown men don’t cry eh? (smile) Probably not often, but when they do, it’s usually heartrending and really sorrowful. Then Joseph enlightened them: ‘I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled in his presence.’ (vs.3) That’s putting it mildly. They possibly considered him dead, or languishing somewhere in pitiful slavery, and to suddenly discover he held their crummy lives in his palms, would jolt their systems. Joseph must have seen the shocked look on their faces and felt the concurrent fear racing through their hearts, as they thought he was about to exact his revenge. But Friends, true believers don’t take petty revenge, although selling their brother into slavery was worthy of great retribution. And such was the elevated state of Joseph’s heart and mind, solidly grounded in the God of his father, through years of misfortune and hard-earned wisdom, that he called his brothers closer to him, and graciously exonerated them of their crime, saying: ‘I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved or angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.’ Oh Friends, what incredible compassion and forgiveness Joseph showed there. Many of us would have adamantly demanded our pound of flesh, but that’s the Lord’s department, and Joseph realized God had exalted him for a greater purpose; to be a living example of His grace and mercy, to extol His Holy Name and draw unbelievers to Him. Joseph patiently explained that there was yet five years of famine to come, ‘And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God.’ (vs.6-7) What godly reasoning people! Although they committed a heinous crime, Joseph seeks to allay their guilt and fear by calling it God’s Divine plan, which it was, though it doesn’t excuse their wrong. Anyway, Joseph tells them to hurry, go home and get their families and belongings and come back down to Egypt and dwell in the land of Goshen, near to him.’And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt.’ (vs.13) Then they all hugged and kissed and made up. Oh Friends, it’s so wonderful when families reunite! But when I see how families behave ‘unfamily-like’ nowadays, it strikes a discordant note in my heart. The family is the smallest and most important unit of any society, and if they ill-treat each other, what’s to be expected of strangers eh? Sadly, the family’s importance today has deteriorated. It no longer comes first, a big reason for our society’s ongoing demise. The place where proper ‘groundings’ and guidance should be instilled, is itself being dismantled by the busyness of society. It’s become a vicious circle: Families no longer interact like before; seldom eat, play or pray together, which leads to no manners, prayers, discipline or consideration for others, just pure selfishness, while the news-media, not the Bible, dictates their lifestyle. But people, once there’s life, there’s yet Hope. To turn it around though, we need a concerted effort from all of us. Friends, we have to. Imagine what kind of world our great grand children will inhabit if we don’t restore morals, discipline, manners and above all, prayer and faith in the Most High God? Not a very pleasant one. It starts with us Friends. If we truly care, then let’s start regaining control. We can do it if we really try. Much LOVE!…the first step…is always the hardest…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2008 Genesis 43:28‏

Genesis 43:28    …And they bowed down their heads and made obeisance.
 
It’s one of those days Friends; I’m continuing Joseph’s story, but can’t decide on a suitable Bit, so I’m trusting the Lord to show me one. Now Joseph, having received his brothers’ present, enquires of their welfare and their father’s. They say Jacob’s alive and well, ‘And they bowed their heads down and made obeisance.’ Wow! That’s it people! That’s Today’s Bit! I knew he would lead me to one. Thank you Lord! It’s amazing how often they bowed before him, totally unaware of the irony of their action. But Joseph’s not concerned with their obeisance. He sees Benjamin, asks if that’s the younger brother they spoke of. Receiving a yes, he blesses him. ‘And he said, God be gracious unto thee son.’ (vs.29)  But the sight of his mother’s second son, whom he doesn’t know, causes him such emotional upheaval that he hurries to his bedroom and weeps. When he’s done crying, the Word says; ‘And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.’ (vs.31) Yuh see Friends, some things never change. Thousands of years later, after crying, we also wash our faces, compose ourselves, then go back and face the music with renewed confidence. So the servants set out the meal; a place for Joseph, by himself, one for the brothers, by themselves, and one for the Egyptians dining with them, ‘because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.’ (vs.32) Steups! Gimme a break nuh people! We can all eat the same food in the same room, but not together. Sadly, lots of nonsense like that still happens today. It’s those simple, illogical things that first create, then perpetuate the divisiveness between God’s children. Instead of using them to initiate greater understanding, we use them to remain aloof and apart. So the brothers sit before Joseph, eldest first, youngest last, and marvel at the unaccustomed luxury. And Joseph sends them food from his table, but Benjamin, his whole brother, gets five times more than the others. ‘And they drank, and were merry with him.’ (vs.34) But if they thought that was the end of their troubles, they were sadly mistaken. Joseph wasn’t done tormenting them. He ordered they be given as much food as they could carry, their money returned in the bags and the silver cup he divined and drank from placed in Benjamin’s bag. So they set out for home at daybreak, but shortly after, Joseph sends his steward after them. He accuses them of stealing Joseph’s cup.’Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?’ (Gen.44:4) Joseph instructed the servant to ask. Oh Friends, how often have we asked or thought the same thing eh? But accepting disappointment bravely is an integral part of being a Christian. The brothers deny the accusation, pointing out that they’d even returned the original money from their sacks, so why steal from Joseph now? But to cut a long story short (smile) they agree to a search of their bags, offering the life of anyone found with it, and the rest of them as bond servants. It’s found in Benjamin’s bag. What a situation! So they rush back to Joseph, ‘…and they fell before him to the ground.’ (vs.14)  More obeisance. Joseph admonishes them. Judah admits they have no excuses and offers them as Joseph’s servants. But Joseph refuses. ‘God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.’ (vs.17) Ah Friends, remember, ‘time longer than twine’. It was over twenty years since they’d sold Joseph into slavery, and most likely forgotten about it. But the hands of God though slow, are sure. The brothers would gladly have given up their own lives, rather than go home without Benjamin and face their father’s wrath, heartbreak and eventual death. And Judah, who’d stood surety for Benjamin took Joseph aside and detailed their precarious situation, offering to stay in Benjamin’s place. Oh Friends, we do it all the time; take hasty action without considering the consequences, both short and long term. And we believers ought to know better, for the long arm of the Lord’s always there, ready to pounce on us at anytime to pay for our wrongs. Let’s think carefully before we act, so we don’t have to pay later on. Much LOVE!…if you can’t do the time…don’t do the crime…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2008 Genesis 43:23‏

Genesis 43:23    And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.
 
Yes Friends, may Peace be also with you, and be not afraid! Isn’t it wonderfully amazing when those words are spoken over us, how we feel relieved, like a balloon being slowly deflated, like a wave of calm gently washing over us? That is our God’s doing people! And note, in the Bit, it’s not a Hebrew servant speaking those words of Peace. From the start of Joseph’s sojourn in Egypt, all those around him, even Pharaoh, could see the hand of the Most High God moving in his favour, and consequently allied themselves with him. It’s marvellous when unbelievers recognize a higher power moving in tandem with us! Yes Friends, that is what brings glory to God’s name! And Joseph certainly had that aura of a spiritual being working with and through him. So now, poor Jacob’s eleven children leave him bereft of offspring in Canaan and go down to Egypt to stand before the twelfth. Ah people, only our God can orchestrate such coincidence! When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, his heart must have leapt for joy. He immediately tells his butler to take them to his house and prepare lunch, as they would eat with him. But like all of us, who either have a guilty conscience, or just can’t fathom God’s goodness in our lives, the brethren are scared stiff, thinking that due to the money found in their bags, Joseph was now seeking a reason to confiscate their stuff and turn them into bond servants. The Lord must have looked upon them, shaken His head and sadly muttered; ‘O ye of little faith!’ Like He often does with us nuh, when He reaches out to bless us, but we’re too afraid to take the step of faith necessary to receive it. Anyway, they ‘communed’ with the servant at the entrance to Joseph’s house, explaining that they didn’t know how the money got in their sacks, but they’d brought it back. That’s when the servant said, ‘Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks. I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.’ Simeon must have been locked up in Joseph’s house. But what intrigues me is that the servant, most likely an Egyptian, is speaking in such rich, glowing terms of our God. Either Joseph explicitly taught him, or through constant association, it gradually assimilated into the servant’s consciousness. What’s important though, is that he knew of God, and His all-prevailing power. Praise His Holy Name people! But the next question is, do we give off that godly vibe? Do others get a sense of spiritual well-being when they interact with us? It’s important that they do, if we present ourselves as followers of Christ. We must talk, look and act the part. With those words of reassurance, the butler takes them into the house, where they refresh themselves and wait for Joseph. When he comes, they give him the present, ‘and bowed themselves to him to the earth.’ (vs.26) The Word doesn’t say it, but no doubt, every time they made obeisance to Joseph, he must have felt a little twitch of pride, of vindication, nothing malicious, just a touch of self-satisfaction, considering how they’d scorned him and laughed off his boyhood dream. Positive proof Friends, that with our omnipotent God, making a dream come true, is child’s play. Much LOVE!…dream big dreams…God LOVES a big dreamer…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2008 Genesis 43:14‏

Genesis 43:14    And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.
 
Our God, that master dramatist, at work again Friends, continuing to weave a devious, awe inspiring plot in Joseph’s story. When his brothers bow before him, he speaks roughly to them, accusing them of being spies. They refute his accusation, saying, ‘Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.’ (Gen.42:13) They simply explain the missing twelfth; ‘one is not.’ That must have stirred  Joseph’s emotions. He insists they are spies, instructing that one of them go and bring their youngest brother, else he would deal with them as spies, then he locks them up for three days. On the third day, he lets them out and says, ‘This do, and live: for I fear God.’  (Gen.42:13) His conscience is possibly pricking him some. One of them would stay locked up in Egypt while the others take food back to their families, but they had to bring their youngest brother back to prove they weren’t spies. Obviously agitated by this news, they argue amongst themselves, in front of Joseph, unaware that he understood their language, since he used an interpreter to communicate with them. They spoke of what they had done to him; their father’s youngest and favourite, and now his requiring again their father’s youngest and favourite, be brought before him. Hearing their controversy, the emotions so well up in Joseph’s heart, he leaves them, goes away and weeps. On returning, he has Simeon bound in front of them, then commands his servants to fill their sacks with corn, along with their money, and sends them away well provisioned. Along the way, one finds the money in his sack, and tell his brothers. ‘Their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?’ (Gen.42:28) Oh Friends, isn’t it sad that when we do wrong, we’re not concerned about God, but when something untoward happens to us, we quickly blame God, or cry out to Him in anguish. So with that fear in their hearts they come to Jacob and recount their strange experience, and find all their money in their bags. Jacob is fit to be tied. ‘Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.’  (Gen.42:36) And though Reuben offers his two sons as a sacrifice if Benjamin doesn’t return, Jacob is adamant. Benjamin will not go. But when the Lord’s involved, a man’s plans are like a breath of wind; easily diverted. And so it was that the famine worsened, and all the corn they’d brought from Egypt consumed. Then Jacob asked them to go back to buy more, but they refused, for Joseph had refused to deal with them again unless they brought their brother. They seem to have forgotten that Simeon was a prisoner in Egypt and would die if they never returned. With the food situation worsening though, they finally convinced  Jacob. In sad resignation, ‘their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this.’ (Gen.43:11) He also told them to take presents for Joseph, whatever was best in the land, double the money to purchase corn, plus the money they’d found in their bags, ‘peradventure it was an oversight. Take also your brother, and arise and go again unto the man. And God Almighty give you mercy before the man…If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.’ (Gen.43:12-14) Ah Friends, children don’t realize that a parent’s greatest fear and biggest heartache is burying their children, especially the youngest. It should be the children burying the parents. Any parent would understand Jacob’s reluctance to let Benjamin out of his sight, having lost Joseph. But Friends, please remember, the Lord’s always walking beside, or carrying us on his strong, broad shoulders, so once we’ve given our lives and hearts to Him, we need not fear. Like Jacob, we simply pray that God grants us His mercy. Much LOVE!…do your best…to God…leave the rest…
 

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