Today's Manna

January 27, 2017
God's Ways Are Higher Than Our Ways
by Eric Doucet
Scripture Reading: Genesis 37

As a result of Isaac’s death in Genesis 35, Jacob is now the patriarch of the chosen family. Therefore, the author of Genesis begins a new section in which he records the history of Jacob’s descendants, focusing on Jospeh and Judah.

Chapter 37 gives the details of Joseph’s betrayal by his brothers in which they sold him to traveling merchants because of their envy and hatred for him. The traders took Joseph to Egypt and sold to him to Potiphar. The main purpose of the story is to let the readers know how Joseph ended up in Egypt because (spoiler alert) Jacob will eventually join him in Egypt, and out of Egypt a nation will be born, God’s chosen nation of Israel.

With that in mind, think back over today’s reading. We are reading about the beginning of that nation. It’s just a chosen family at this point, not a chosen nation. However, if you were going to start a nation and you could choose any family on the earth or create one, do you think you could do better than Jacob and his twelve sons? I certainly think I could.

Yet, God chose a conniving, stubborn, dysfunctional dad with twelve sons by four women to start His nation. Of his twelve sons, one (Joseph) was his favorite because he was the firstborn of his favorite wife, Rachel. Instead of keeping his favoritism to himself, he made Joseph a special coat to wear so all the brothers would know whom dad favored.

The divisiveness that existed between the four sets of brothers as a result of dad’s favoritism gives way to envy and hatred directed at Jospeh as a result of him sharing his dreams with them. Surely Joseph wasn’t so naive as to think his brothers would be excited to hear that he was dreaming about them bowing to him one day!

It seems absurd to think that God would use these knuckleheads to start a nation that would carry His name and eventually give birth to His Son. Yet, that’s exactly what He did, proving His ways are higher than our ways (Is 55:8-9).

God is not limited by what we are and our futures aren’t limited to what we can see. God is the Author of our futures and He has no limits other than His own character. God’s purposes will be carried out and He can and does use knuckleheads like us to fulfill His purposes in spite of who we are and what we have done. He chooses us because of who Christ is and what He has done!

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