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July 2016 Issue

Hearing the Call of God

Devotions

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Devotion for Thursday, July 28, 2016

God’s Good Plan

Read GENESIS 44:1–45:15

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The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. Psalm 145:17

A man received a postcard in the mail with a car key attached; all he had to do was come to the dealership to claim his new car! Unfortunately, when he arrived at the dealership he discovered the disappointing truth: there was no prize car, only salesmen looking for a new sale. The original news was too good
to be true.

Joseph’s brothers felt like their trip to Egypt had been too good to be true. They departed for home with an abundance of food, Simeon restored, Egyptian goodwill, and Benjamin safe and sound. And then Joseph’s steward caught up to them. He demanded that they return the stolen royal cup, and a search soon produced the cup in Benjamin’s sack! Unknown to the brothers, Joseph had devised one last test. Would they abandon their younger brother as they abandoned Joseph years ago, or would they protect him?

The brothers headed back to Egypt. Once there, Judah pleaded with Joseph to allow him to switch places with the younger brother, Benjamin. Notice the change in Judah’s character. Where he had once so callously abandoned Joseph for his own gain years ago (see Genesis 37), he now willingly offered his own life in Benjamin’s place. Moved by Judah’s plea, Joseph finally broke down weeping and revealed himself to his long-estranged brothers.

This joyful scene was more than just a family reunion. God’s own hand was behind it all as a way to provide for Jacob’s family in time of dire need. Joseph’s own words capture the theological message of today’s reading: “It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you . . . So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God” (45:5, 8). Though hard to understand at times, God’s plan was for their good.

Apply the Word

Often hindsight produces clarity about God’s good plans. Reflect on the course of your own life—your jobs, your homes, your experiences, the people you’ve met. How has God used them to provide for you and those you love? Choose one or two specific examples and share those with a friend or family member as a way of bringing glory to God.

Pray with Us

Please add to your prayers the staff of Moody Publishers Fulfillment: Arthur Eastern, Chieu Nguyen, Ernesto Laya, and James Seffinga. May they work well as a team as they fulfill orders providing quality Christian books for readers.

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