Well today is Wednesday. I cannot believe my vacation is almost done. I am hopeful though that my time here will refresh me for a season. In some ways, I am ready to go back to the hectic life I left one week ago. Until then though, I will remain in my copasetic state of relaxation and enjoyment.
Today, Dr. Lutzer would talk not once but twice-in one day. Being a man of his age, I hope he can handle the additional forty-five minutes of teaching this evening. I have no doubt that he will. This morning though, his topic was, “Family Feud.” What an interesting topic. I thought the ‘Family Feud’ board would magically appear from the ceiling and we would split up into ‘family teams.’ I was ready to shout my answers. I was wrong though. This is not the family feud we were going to discuss.
We looked at the story of Joseph. Interesting story. The story is simple. Joseph was one of the younger children. He had dreams though that his family (mom and dad, brothers and all) would bow down to him. Even though I am not the oldest child in my family, I would wonder who Joseph thinks he is. He did have these dreams though and was not coy about sharing them with his family. His brothers got real mad because of his brother that they took him and threw him in a ditch. He was later picked up by some travelers and made to be a slave. So it goes.
Later on, Joseph works for this dude. He is left alone with this dude’s wife. She wants to have relations with him and does not. She grabs his coat and tells the town that he tried to rape her. Being falsely accused, Joseph is but into jail. He meets some friends in jail and helps him out. This guy he met said he would help Joseph get out of jail but he ends up forgetting about Joseph. After about two years in jail, Joseph is called upon to interpret a dream and is considered a great man. As a famine sets, Joseph’s brothers and, later on, his father comes and bows before him – thus confirming the dream he had years ago. Joseph forgives his brothers and helps them in their time of need. That is the basic story as it is told in the Bible.
So. What can we get from this? One of the first things we can learn from this story is that we need to choose to live in the future, not the past. If Joseph wanted, he could have made his brothers pay for all the wrongdoing they did to him several years before. He did not though. He chose to live in the future and love his brothers. We also need to chose to set people free from the past. We need to allow God be present in all of our situations. If we look hard enough, He is visible (even when we cannot see clearly). Joseph could have cursed his brothers but he chose to bless them. I do not know if I could bless those that curse me but then again, the Bible says I need to do so. So it goes.
As I read through it on my own, I can say that I have learned more about this story outside of Dr. Lutzer’s teaching (which I guess is the point of personal study and devotions). My mind goes back to when Joseph worked for a man whose wife tried to have relations with him. Joseph had the right view of God and the right view of sin. So often, we either have the right view of God and the wrong view of sin or vise versa. Joseph understood the importance of both. With that, the first secession was over.
In other news… I decided that I would put my skills to use in playing ping-pong. I won the first game and lost the second game (a very close game at that). The gentleman that I played was very upset throughout our game. Later this evening (around 8:30 or so) I saw the guy I had played who had beaten me and he had his arm in a sling and it was wrapped. Confused and concerned, I talked with him and found out that he had lost his match. He was so mad; he punched the wall and broke his hand… Now, usually I would take a moment and laugh out loud. However, I feel as though I need to pray for him. For someone to get that upset over a game of ping-pong is really sad. His name is Adam. Please keep him in prayer.