The AMI QT Devotionals for August 14-16 are provided by Joanna Tzen, who graduated from U. Penn and currently works in Philadelphia. Her husband Paul and Joanna attend and serve at Grace Covenant Church.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
Murphy Was Wrong!
Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought from the prison. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he went in and stood before Pharaoh. 15 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.”16 “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”
You might have already heard of Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” While the so-called law doesn’t exactly come from the Bible, it appears that Murphy wasn’t completely off base when we examine the life of Joseph. As if being sold into slavery by his own brothers wasn’t bad enough, Joseph was thrown into jail on false charges as a result of his faithfulness to God at Potiphar’s house. There, after meeting two prisoners who had served as Pharaoh’s chief baker and cupbearer, Joseph was able to interpret their dreams. He hoped he would be remembered by the cupbearer whose dream of freedom he had interpreted correctly, but “the chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him” (Gn. 40:23). Joseph waited two more years before being remembered and then summoned to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Always spiritually alert no matter what the circumstances, Joseph attributes his gifting to God. And this is where Joseph’s life parts company with Murphy’s Law: after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, he is lauded for his wisdom and appointed second in command of Egypt.
Even though we know Joseph’s happy ending, we can’t help but wonder what he thought as each day passed. As doubts crept into Joseph’s mind, he returned to the promises of God as his only hope. It was not the promise that he would one day rule over others as his dream predicted, but he clung to the hope of a faithful and trustworthy God. In fact, it appears that Joseph had long forgotten the dream, for it was when he saw his brothers for the first time in over 20 years that “he remembered his dreams about them” (Gn. 42:8).
What waiting period do you find yourself in today? Let’s return the promises of God when we are waiting and tempted to lose hope. As our hope is restored, we find strength to be faithful in our present circumstances. God continuously shapes and molds our character in the seasons of waiting. We saw how God used that waiting period to shape Joseph from a proud and impetuous boy, to a wise and humble man. When Joseph rose to power, he was no longer proud; but his faith was solidly founded on the One who had not failed him.
Prayer: God, I confess that I feel weak and hopeless in my season of waiting. Lift my eyes above the mountains to the One who can move them. Thank you for the unconditional love demonstrated on the cross. Remind me that You are working in my time of waiting.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 3
Lunch Break Study
Read Genesis 21:1: The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. 2 She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. 3 And Abraham named their son Isaac. 4 Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. 5 Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.Read Genesis 21:1: The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. 2 She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. 3 And Abraham named their son Isaac. 4 Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. 5 Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.
Questions to Consider
- Who kept his word?
- Who decreed the timing of Isaac’s birth?
- What can we learn about our own character and God’s character during our waiting?
- The Lord kept His word, and did exactly what He promised in bringing Abraham and Sarah a child.
- Verse 2 says Isaac’s birth happened at just the time God said it would.
- 25 years had passed between God’s promise to Abraham in Gen 12 to Isaac’s birth in Genesis 21. God was refining Abraham’s character in that time, as had always trusted in his own schemes rather than in God’s promises. Abraham learned that God is trustworthy and His way is better than what we have planned in our own efforts.
Lord, remind me of what You are doing in my waiting season. You are refining my faith and shaping my character to reflect Christ. Remind me that waiting is not purposeless, and that there is joy coming in the end. Jesus’ death and resurrection shows me that You are for me and with me. Amen.