Uncommon Favor

Gen 37:1 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.

Joseph is now seventeen and he walked in uncommon favor. He was not the youngest, as  Benjamin was born after him. Still he enjoyed an uncommon favor even from the beginning. He saw the evil that his brothers did and brought back the plots of his elder brethren. He was given a coat of many colors by his father Jacob. Though uncommonly favored no one had an idea of the glory ahead for Joseph. It seemed to his brothers that Joseph may inherit the wealth of their clever father or the blessings of the first son. Jacob would find some way to give him an advantage. But God knew all the wealth and substance of Jacob will be exhausted in the famine that was coming.

Be encouraged. What God has prepared ahead is far ahead of what your enemies are incensed about. There is an untouchable destiny and position that men cannot in any way pull down. The future glory that will be yours has not been exposed to your brothers. Do you see that everything man can give other men can be and will be taken away? Joseph had a preferred position given to him by Jacob in the household. He lost that to become a slave in Egypt. Joseph had a coat of many colors given to him by his doting father. He also lost that and the coat ended up torn and stained with blood to deceive his father. But there are gifts that men did not give Joseph. Joseph could see the unseen … he had an access to the secrets and wisdom of God … God gave him answers when others had questions. These were not taken from him because they could not be taken.

Rejoice if men have taken anything from you. It only reveals that men gave them to you. Instead there are gifts of faith, discernment, wisdom … talents from God for His favored servants. Even the earthy life of Jesus that came through Mary was released to be taken by the other men who crucified Him. But none could take from Jesus the position next to the father that was always His even from the beginning.

A life with Christ is a favored life not because we have no trials and we do not lose things. But because we are gifted from Heaven. If earthly fathers know how to spoil their favored sons with gifts, imagine what God who has no limitation in resources is able to do for His beloved ones. To be a Christian is to enjoy unfair advantages. Anything men have offered you pales into insignificance and one day will be taken by other men. To be a Christian is to be positioned to receive many things from God that others will not be given and that cannot be taken by men. But ponder today, what does God want in return for showering you with so many undeserved gifts? He asks us to go and share the good news. Have you gone?

Song.

And I have brought to thee, Down from my home above,
Salvation full and free, My pardon and my love.
I bring rich gifts to thee;
What has thou brought to me?

Words: Frances R. Havergal, 1858 

Prayer: O Lord help me realize the need for me to serve you even more. Amen

 

The Songs of Joseph is an integration of encouragement scriptural devotions, prayers and a compendium of songs of mercy, salvation, new beginnings and victory.  We can expect as we trust and obey that our end will indeed be ultimately glorious  because God works His marvellous agenda.   Be blessed as you read and sing along, daily.   Edited by  Bolade Apampa 

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Obama’s Victory

The US elections are history … and Barack Obama has won. It will not surprise most to see that the sun still rises and heavens have not fallen.  The relief from a stormy fiery battle for power is assuaging … and the networks are on a brief break to find another big story.  Both winner and losers soon find they have challenges.  It is not always so obvious when we get what we want that we have found what we initially sought. Victories are full of its deceptions and one of its myths is that it is always sweet. What we learn from victory or defeat tends to reinforce what we should already have known.  The clear difference in the platforms provides enough guidance for stakeholders to make needed adjustments.  All can be winners by learning.

David came back from a heavy loss at Ziklag to recover all from Amalek only to be embroiled in a different internal battle … how to share the spoils.  The protagonists this time do not contend on open media but these poisonous fighters  insist that their investments in time, love and support for David must now yield the promised dividend.  David disagrees.

1Sa 30:22  Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart. 23  Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. 24  For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. 25  And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.  26  And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD;

I have often seen – even amongst brethren, a  wicked “winner takes all” posture that Is quick to freeze out many. The Bible identifies love as the ultimate test of who a Christian really is – and it is love for the less congenial that proves this virtue to onlookers.  Simply put – how we win will determine if we are sons of Belial or sons of God.   We may not be as comfortable with kissing our Judas … but if Judas had not hung himself we can learn from the truth that Christ would most likely have sought him out … like He did for another traitor –  Peter.

1Jn_4:20  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

President Obama is not King David and we cannot ordain that politicians should throw their hands generously to the dangerous opposition or the less ardent supporter to share in the spoils – but this can be the decent thing.  Christians know that their enemies are not physical but wicked spiritual arrangements arrayed to frustrate the purpose of God.  That is why the Bible is also clear that we should pray for all our leaders  (tools in the real battle) and  especially those able to impact events at a global scale – even if and especially when we did not admire or vote for them. This is commanded and is wise.  Still, from the perspective of God, little has changed.  He still reigns and His plans have not been dented – not even slightly.

Note also that not all that went with David are men of Belial.  This suggests that there are not as many wicked parties, groups or associations … as there are wicked men.   Ponder these truths as we felicitate and pray with winners all over the world.  The real losers are the wicked men and women of Belial. All assemblies tend to have them.

In the story of Joseph is another model of Christian forgiveness, love and generosity, even when Jacob his father dies and the opportunity to get even emerges. The author has written a new devotional “Songs of Joseph”   published by Authorhouse to be released soon.

Come to Christ and be a winner – always.

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