Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2009 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.
Oh Friends, oh Friends, our Lord is certainly something else yes! And though I’m sometimes sorrowful or overwhelmed by my problems, I have to laugh at His mysterious workings. Now I’ve written on this passage before, and been meaning to write something further on Bruh Joseph, for he isn’t acknowledged as much as my other two Bruh’s, David and Pablo, though his story is also of great importance and inspirational value in the Christian ethos. But the time just never seemed right. It is tonight though. The Good Lord decreed it. How do I know that? Well, for the last week or so I’ve been dealing with a problem I can’t seem to solve, even though I’ve prayed about it. Now it’s not a serious problem, but it still needs fixing, and you know it’s the small ones that we feel we should be able to fix, but can’t, that causes the most frustration. I’ve been biding my time, staying in faith, doing my part; been practicing all the things I preach, (smile), but this nagging problem still persists. The frustration here is that I have several avenues to pursue, but none clearly stand out as the best solution. So after writing yesterday’s Bit and talking about asking for a sign if we still don’t understand God’s plan, I did just that. And lo and behold Friends, to day I got an answer. I’d even forgotten that I’d asked for a sign. Talk about timing. As I keep saying, our God is the Master of Timing! Just when I was beginning to get real frustrated, a missive arrived from Uncle Charles, Charles Stanley. I support his outreach programme here in Canada and every month he sends out a two-page bulletin called ‘From the Pastor’s Heart,’ talking on some subject he deems important. Well mih people, this month’s bulletin was more than important, it was timely, very timely! And I just burst out laughing after I read the first two paragraphs cause it suddenly hit me that that was the sign I was seeking, for in it he talks about the trials and tribulation of Bruh Joseph, but how he maintained his sanity by steadfastly keeping his focus on God. Now we all know Bruh Joseph’s story: How as a teenager, the apple of his father Jacob’s eye, he went about in his coat of many colours, dreaming dreams, big ones. This dreamer’s attitude didn’t endear him to his older brothers, but when he told them of a dream that insinuated he would be a ruler over them someday, they really got fed up and conspired to kill him, but eventually sold him into slavery. He ends up in Egypt, a foreign country that he knows nothing of, or no one, can’t even speak the language, and for the next thirteen years experiences a real hell of a life on earth. Bruh Joseph must certainly have wondered if he’d read God’s dream right. How could he be a man of substance and power as a slave in a foreign culture? But people, he kept his eyes riveted on the God of his fathers. And Friends, when God is for us, who can be against us eh? NOBODY! We know that the wealthy and influential Potiphar bought him and eventually made him custodian of all he owned because he saw that God was with him. Unfortunately the beady eyes of Potiphar’s wife lusted after him and since hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, she spoiled his good thing by falsely accusing him of sexual assault. So Bruh Joseph ends up in prison. But again Friends, he didn’t fret and complain, simply did his best and kept his focus on God. And the Lord blessed him in jail too, for the jailer saw his decent, even-tempered demeanour and also made him his right hand man. God’s contrary movements must surely have puzzled Bruh Joseph, but he kept hanging in. Even after he deciphered the dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and baker, whom he asked to remember him and his innocence to Pharaoh when they got out, and they forgot him, he never rose up in anger. Well we can’t blame the baker cause he was hanged, but the butler for sure. But Friends, that’s the only time Bruh Joseph is ever quoted in the Good Book as asking for help in all his trials. (Gen.40:14-15) For two years after the butler got out he languished in prison, until the Lord was ready. He made Pharaoh dream a dream that none of his people could interpret. Only then the butler remembered him. But what’s always amazed me about Bruh Joseph is that through all his ‘sufferation’ the Good Book never mentions him getting angry, throwing a tantrum, being violent, crying woe is me, or none of that negative behaviour which one would normally expect under those unfortunate, unjust circumstances. He was an entirely different cup of tea to my other two Bruh’s, David and Pablo; the Renaissance man and the loudmouth, rabble-rouser. Neither of them would have gone quietly and said nothing, though they would have kept their faith. With that difference in personality, I tend to consider Bruh Joseph my soul brother. He was the quiet one who suffered in silence, just did his best at all times in a godly fashion and allowed his God to talk for him. He underwent all that injustice, like the Negro slaves did with patience and a quiet trust in God. That quiet trust eventually strengthened them and brought out the great spiritual songs from deep down inside. I can just imagine Bruh Joseph sitting in some quiet part of the jail and humming or singing some mournful, soulful tune to ease his hurt. Oh Friends, even when Bruh Joseph became Prime Minister of Egypt, with all the worldly power and wealth available, like Jesus, he still made himself of little account, and whatever he accomplished, gave all the glory to God. When we talk about a right heart, we’re talking about one like Bruh Joseph’s. It’s also nice to see that he held no bitterness towards his traitorous family or those who wronged him because he finally realized why God had put him through the wringer so to speak; to teach him wisdom, patience, understanding and all the other things he needed to successfully hold the leadership position God had reserved for him, to keep life and limb together for his Hebrew family and his adopted Egyptian land during the times of deathly famine. So Friends, we must never give up on our god-given dreams, though the road be rough, rocky and unfair, for we never know what God has planned, but everything He allows in our lives has a purpose. And when we talk about patience, Job’s name is the one that usually comes to the fore, but I want to advocate Bruh Joseph’s instead. Job was a big, experienced man when he suffered his terrible tragedy, but consider Bruh Joseph, just seventeen when sold into slavery by his family no less, and all the other wrongful stuff he suffered, he made no noise, just took his misfortune in stride without any serious complaints, never got all hot and bothered like Job, fully trusting his God to work it out in His own way and time. His crowning glory though is Today’s Bit, showing his eventual understanding of God’s higher mental capacity and his often complicated methods of bringing what we consider simple things to pass. As he wisely said to his family at their reunification: ‘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.’ Thanks Uncle Charles for reminding, encouraging and helping me to constantly keep my focus on the Lord, despite any difficulties I might face. Oh Friends, my problem is no closer to being solved, but my perspective has been renewed. I’m once again able to sit and wait patiently on the Lord. I sure hope this testimony shows that we all need encouragement at some time regardless of our level of Christian maturity, and that the Lord brings it to pass in ways we never expect. Please read the story of Bruh Joseph’s difficult but triumphal uplifting as he stayed purposed and focused on His God in Genesis Chapters 30-50. It’s a wonderful story that shows the kind of attitude we as believers must cultivate; though we have good grounds to carry on, yet we stay quiet and concentrate on God, and the good outcome we know He has for each of us, cause ‘We know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) Much LOVE!…as Uncle Charles says…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

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