contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

365 Challenge

Filtering by Tag: Joseph

Job recap; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Wesley Skinner

Job is a great book for my generation, a generation that wants answers now! This is the microwave generation and one that doesn't wait long enough to see that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Take an engine, some seats, an air conditioner, and a radio; separately they function and have purpose, but put them together the right way( with other stuff) and you have a car. Something that involves all of the other mechanisms but in combination makes something else altogether. I wonder when Henry Ford invented the car, if he ever had in mind what we see today, or what problems may have led to progress. The "Model T" was no "Porsche". 

Now, put yourself in Job's shoes. Faithful to God. Good to other people. Blessed by God. Then, lost his wealth, livelihood, family, and comfort all in a few moments. Berated with accusations from his "friends" about his alleged sin. His wife tells him to curse God and die. We get to look at whole picture, knowing that God is showing Satan that he cannot win. But in the middle of it all, while Job kept honoring God, he wanted answers. At long last God speaks and helps Job see that he has a limited viewpoint. He doesn't understand everything.  

What if Job did know? Do you think it would have changed how difficult the situation was? I think Job knew that God was good and that his love was unchanging. I think knowing that truth kept Job's faith alive. Maybe we have hard circumstances, I doubt harder than Job's. If our hope rests in God's goodness, while circumstances may change, His love never fails. Often I don't understand why life is hard, but I know, just like Joseph in Genesis, and Job now, God's plan is good, but sometimes not easy or the way we would choose it to be. If we could only see the whole instead of focusing on the parts. 

The life and death of Joseph(Genesis 38-51)

Wesley Skinner

Joseph is one of the most interesting characters in all of Genesis. He is the poster child for a rags to riches story and demonstrates more character than the rest of the patriarchs, yet it is not through his line that Messiah will come. 

To recap: Joseph's father, Jacob(Israel), had one true love, Rachel. Rachel had trouble conceiving and Israel had children born from his other wife(Rachel's sister) and the two maid servants. When Joseph was born of Rachel, he was Israel's favorite. His brothers knew it and grew jealous. It didn't help that Joseph didn't know when to keep his mouth shut. Joseph has two visions from God showing his family bowing down to him, so of course, he immediately discloses all. When his brothers see the opportunity, they decide to sell him into slavery. 

Joseph is bought by an Egyptian official and we see a trend begin, everything Joseph does, God blesses and Joseph quickly ascends to positions of influence. 

Joseph's character is on display as he ignores sexual advances from his master's wife and ultimately runs out when he finds himself in a sticky situation(see last blog). Potiphar's wife lies about the incident and has Joseph thrown in prison. In prison we find the same narrative, God blesses Joseph, he ascends to a position of influence and interprets a dream for the cup bearer to pharaoh. 

Fast forward a few years, pharaoh has a dream, Joseph is brought to interpret and pharaoh makes him second in command. This is huge because famine is coming to all the land and by the position of influence Joseph is able to relocate and provide for his family. Preserving God's chosen people and setting the stage for God's next big event. "The Exodus"

One of my favorite verses occurs at the end of Genesis. Genesis 50:20 "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Joseph's brothers finally come to apologize and Joseph realizes something profound, it's a truth found, not just throughout Genesis or the rest of scripture, but an insight into the character and purposes of God that transcends time. Joseph realizes that all the crap he went through served a greater purpose. And that if we look at life as a series of separate events, we miss the bigger picture of what God is doing. Life is not compartmentalized. Everything that we do, everything that happens, God is using to write a story much bigger than ourselves. A story that started at creation and includes us, but transcends only us. The story of God's glory written throughout history. The purpose of man. The glory of God. 

 

Don't try to resist sexual sin, flee!(Gen 39)

Wesley Skinner

Anytime I get to talk about sexual temptation, Genesis 39 is my go to. Joseph is more concerned about honoring God than what other people might think of him. That's integrity. 

In Genesis 39, Joseph is employed by Potiphar, an Egyptian official, and Potiphar's wife continues to make sexual advances to Joseph. Now, before we go any further I have to put this out there, Potiphar was an Egyptian official, she was probably much younger than him and hot. So don't give me any of that, 'it was easy for Joseph to not give in to temptation because the girl wasn't hot' , rich, shallow, godless people have trophy wives. Potiphar was likely no exception. 

So what do you learn from Joseph? 

1. Don't put yourself in easy situations to sin. This is the first thing I talk to with students about boundaries, either in a relationship or personally. Your far more likely to give in to temptation when you're isolated than not. In a dating relationship, be careful where you spend your alone time. Third wheels and public places help keep your hands where they should be.  

2. Honoring God is paramount. Joseph acknowledges sleeping with Potiphar's wife would be a violation of the trust his master had given him, but Joseph was more concerned with how it affected his relationship with God. 'How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?' If your concern is only for yourself, it is easy to sin. But if you think about how it affects other people and ultimately if it honors God or not, a simple thing becomes more significant. Integrity, character. Because even if no one knows, God does. 

3. Flee from sexual sin! Joseph knew that it was better to run away and face the consequences than to stay in the place of temptation. When you are tempted, get out! Don't just think you can resist and fight the temptation, leave. And I mean leave, physically. If it's at home alone when temptation comes, get out of the house. If you are in a danger zone on a date leave that place, get around people, or at least not in an environment that leads to going farther. This might make you a weirdo, but you have honored God and respected the other person.  

Later in scripture we see Jesus make statements like, 'if your eye causes you to sin pluck it out', I don't think he actually means pluck out your eye, but we need to take radical steps to avoid sexual sin. The story doesn't end well for Joseph, he did the right thing and got thrown in prison, but he honored God and ultimately this may have been God way of getting Joseph into a position of influence later on in Egypt. 

4. Men need to take responsibility for sexual purity. This seems unnatural in some ways because today, men as the sexually aggressive ones. Being a man is not about having sexual exploits to brag about, it's about having character. Men need to be the ones to stop things before they start. In a dating relationship a man will honor his girlfriend and respect her. He is responsible for guarding the purity of that relationship. So men, step up and take responsibility!