If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Genesis 49, Luke 2, Job 15, 1 Corinthians 3. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Genesis 49.
Israel’s blessings on his sons are forward-looking, but they are often rooted in the past and the character of the son he is blessing. Reuben, for instance, “will not longer excel” because he “went up onto your father’s bed... and defiled it.” When Israel got to his son Joseph, it was not his character that was praised as much as his God. Verse 23 described the trials Joseph faced in terms of archers attacking him; yet, in verse 24, he was strong in the face of those attacks “because the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob...." I’m sure when Joseph was in the pit, then in hands of slave traders, then falsely accused of attempted rape, then forgotten in prison, it did not seem like the hand of the Mighty One was with him. Many of us would be tempted to take credit for remaining faithful in the face of such adversity or we would feel justified in living unfaithfully to God. Joseph, however, never lost faith in God no matter how discouraging his life became. How do the descriptions of God in verses 24b-25a encourage you to remain faithful when life circumstances are unexpectedly difficult?
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.