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January 20



Reading for Today:

  • Genesis 39:1–40:23
  • Psalm 10:1-11
  • Proverbs 4:1-6
  • Matthew 13:31-58

Notes:

Genesis 39:2 The LORD was with Joseph. Any and all ideas that Joseph, twice a victim of injustice, had been abandoned by the Lord are summarily banished by the employment of phrases highlighting God’s oversight of his circumstances, e.g. “with him”(vv. 3,21),“made all he did to prosper” (vv. 3, 23), “found/gave him favor” (vv. 4, 21), “blessed/ blessing” (v. 5), and “showed him mercy” (v. 21). Neither being unjustly sold into slavery and forcibly removed from the Land (37:28), nor being unjustly accused of sexual harassment and imprisoned (vv. 13–18) were events signaling even a temporary loss of divine superintendence of Joseph’s life and God’s purpose for His people, Israel.

Proverbs 4:2 good doctrine…my law. There is no wisdom but that which is linked to good doctrine, which should be the focal point of all instruction (see 1 Tim. 1:10; 4:13, 16; 5:17; 2 Tim. 3:10, 16; 4:2; Titus 1:9; 2:1, 10).

Matthew 13:37 He who sows. The true sower of salvation seed is the Lord Himself. He alone can give the power in the heart to transform. He is the One who saves sinners, even through the preaching and witnessing of believers (Rom. 10:14).

Matthew 13:57 A prophet…in his own country. This is an ancient proverb paralleling the modern saying “Familiarity breeds contempt.” They knew Jesus too well as a boy and a young man from their own town—and they concluded that He was nothing special. Verse 58 gives the sad result (see Mark 6:4).


DAY 20: What did Joseph understand about the interpretation of dreams?

Oneiromancy, the science or practice of interpreting dreams, flourished in ancient Egypt because dreams were thought to determine the future. Both Egypt and Babylon developed a professional class of dream interpreters. Deuteronomy 13:1–5 shows that such dream interpreters were part of ancient false religion and to be avoided by God’s people. By some 500 years later, a detailed manual of dream interpretation had been compiled. Unlike Joseph, neither butler nor baker understood the significance of their dreams (see Gen. 37:5–11), and the sadness they project in Genesis 40:5 expresses their belief that the dreams required an interpretation.

Joseph believed that when it came to dreams that the “interpretations belong to God” (v. 8). He was careful to give credit to his Lord (see 41:16). Daniel, the only other Hebrew whom God allowed to accurately interpret revelatory dreams, was just as careful to do so (Dan. 2:28). Significantly, God chose both men to play an important role for Israel while serving pagan monarchs and stepping forward at the critical moment to interpret their dreams and reveal their futures.



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.