Kate Moon, our AMI missionary in E. Asia, will provide our QT Devotional for January 22-29.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Genesis 39:1-5: 1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 2 The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.
Pat* had been hired by a team leader he felt valued and respected by, but three months into his new job, this leader left the company—and his new supervisor was a terror. Everything Pat did seemed to irritate his new supervisor, who often demeaned him in front of his teammates. He was unhappy but couldn’t change jobs for at least another year, since it wouldn’t look good on his resumé. Have you ever felt stuck in a bad situation through circumstances not under your control?
(*Names, characters and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.)
At 17, Joseph begins his young adult life in just such a manner. The first verse of this chapter states twice how Joseph ended up in Egypt, both times highlighting that it was not of his own accord: He had been “taken down to Egypt” by Ishmaelites who had “taken him there.” He was in a bad situation through circumstances beyond his control, and at this point, he had several choices as to how he could react: 1) blame others (his brothers for selling him, his father for favoring him) and become either an angry, bitter person or lost in self-pity; 2) blame himself (“If only I hadn’t told them about the dreams,” or “If only I hadn’t worn that coat so often,”) and become lost in a sea of regret; or 3) rebel by being passive-aggressive—not doing his best on the job. He may very well have gone through all of these phases in his heart, but it looks like in the end, the choice he made was this: to trust God and do his work according to godly principles. How do we know? Because the text says that God blessed everything that Joseph did.
Are you currently in an unfavorable situation at work or home because of circumstances beyond your control? Such situations are truly difficult and frustrating to be in, but what choice will you make today?
Prayer: Lord, I accept that I cannot be in control of all things and say that I trust that You are still at work, even in unfavorable situations in my life. Would you help me to be faithful in honoring you and so to experience you in the midst of it all? In your name I pray. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Numbers 9
Lunch Break Study
Read the following passages: Genesis 1:26-28: 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Genesis 12:1-3: 1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Questions to Consider
- Why did God create human beings? For what role or purpose? (1:26, 28)
- Why did God set apart a certain group of people? In what position are they in relation to all other people? (12:2, 3b)
- In what ways do you see Joseph’s life fulfilling the two passages above, even as he found himself in an unfavorable situation? How do these verses and his example challenge you?
- To rule over all created things (v.26), under God’s authority, at his command, with his blessing (v. 28). To be God’s stewards over all creation.
- To receive God’s blessing and become a blessing to all people.
- Joseph managed well what was given to him and became a blessing to another people. To be a faithful steward and a blessing to others, even under circumstances I may not love, is to fulfill my fundamental calling as a human being and one who is of the people of God.
Reflect on these questions: Did anything happen today to place me in a situation not of my own choosing (i.e., not under my control)? How did I choose to handle or react to being in such a situation? Did I manage faithfully what God entrusted me with today? Did I bless others today?