✪✪✪ Parents Favoritism In The Book Of Genesis

Thursday, November 18, 2021 12:59:56 AM

Parents Favoritism In The Book Of Genesis



Israel's youngest son Benjamin, born from Rachel, stayed behind by his father's order to keep him Parents Favoritism In The Book Of Genesis. Retrieved 11 September He Blood Typing In Crime Investigation recognized in Islam as a prophet who received inspiration from God. Parents Favoritism In The Book Of Genesis, Israel was able to bless the Pharaoh. We address this to God.

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Jesus says:"Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. If in Lent we are to discover the way the Gospel makes us a community of Job-like protesters, of lamenters and advocates of justice, then also we are to discover that we have gospel hungers and gospel thirsts.

These are not satisfied by anything except earth and heaven wed, anything except being wedding-bound as we seek God in the works of justice and of beauty and of human kindness. For at least a few minutes before Wednesday, think and talk about this Lent and the way we can embrace its disciplines and discover in us the gospel clamor for justice, the gospel eyes to see clearly what is what in this town and this world, the gospel strength to imagine how we together can loosen the blindfolds over our eyes and the gags that close our mouths and the chains that keep us forever too busy to be a Job or to be Paul's letter to the world. Think and talk about the kind of fasting that will make us hunger and thirst for justice.

We are baptized to do this great and hard thing called Lent together. Sunday by Sunday we will be here in assembly to support one another, to bring our Lenten lives before the church and before the Lord, and to feast as we do each Lord's Day on the body broken for us, the blood poured out for the life of the world. As preparation, read again the book of Job and renew your wonder at its poetry. But from today until the end of November, five months of summer and autumn, we'll be in the"counted" Sundays. We began these numbered Sundays early this year, after Epiphany and before Lent.

Now we resume the counting and we call today the 12th Sunday of Ordinary- or "Counted"- Time. We'll go from Sunday number 12 to Sunday number 34 before we enter Advent in early December. This year is the middle year of our three-year cycle of reading the scriptures. Always in this middle year we read the Gospel of Mark on nearly all of these counted Sundays, going from the fourth to the thirteenth chapter. But we make a detour for a few Sundays in late summer, a detour into John's Gospel. We're bound to notice this because the style and stories of Mark are so different from those of John. The communities where these two writers lived had different memories of Jesus and different ways of understanding. In the second readings we now have some Sundays with Paul's second letter to the church in Corinth, then we come to many Sundays reading the letter to the church at Ephesus.

Then on September's Sundays the tone will change greatly as we read the letter of James. Later on, look for another change of tone as we read the letter to the Hebrews in October and November. The first readings, as usual, will be jumping from here to there in the Old Testament, the Hebrew scriptures. When these first readings are juxtaposed with the others, with the Gospels especially, sometimes- like today- each one enriches the other. One thing that the first people to call themselves followers of Jesus knew from their own Jewish tradition was this: When you come together, whether on the Sabbath or on the First Day, Sunday, you must always read together and listen together to the scriptures, to the word of God.

Jews continue to do this on Sabbath. Christians continue to do this on Sunday. Back we come, back and back and back again, to this book. However much we may or may not read the scriptures at home, here we read it all together, one family, one tribe gathered around someone whose ministry it is to speak it out that all may hear. These scriptures are not the private property of the clergy or the scholars or of any elite. They are first and last the words that exist to be spoken in the Sunday assemblies of baptized people. Sunday by Sunday and year by year and century by century the assembly hears the scripture and tries to grapple with it, tries to weave into its life these parables and stories, these poems and letters. In this year and this place, it is this assembly, you and I, who are to carry on this listening and this pondering.

Each Sunday when the scriptures and the homily conclude, ready or not, we turn to the work of interceding and to the work of giving thanks to God at the table where we have placed bread and wine, and so to the holy Communion. Sunday by Sunday the work of reading and the work of listening and the work of preaching are going to shape how we intercede, how we give thanks, how we become a holy communion. And we hope there is more. We hope that Sunday by Sunday the work of reading and the work of listening and the work of preaching are making us a church where intercession and thanksgiving and communion become a way of life. Sunday's deeds here are like a rehearsal for loving God's world by endless hard work toward justice. Enter Job in today's first reading.

Even people who never read their Bibles know Job. His name is synonymous with"troubles. Some would say that question is: Why do bad things happen to good people? But a better framing of this story's plot might be: If God loves us, if God is merciful, how will we ever understand the suffering of children, the suffering of the innocent? Job was a good person, a husband and father, faithful to God. The drama comes when Satan challenges God to take away Job's wealth, health, and family. Then we'll see how virtuous this fellow is!

God agrees to the contest, and soon Job's wealth is gone, his children are dead, and his health is ruined. Various members of the community urge Job to beg God's forgiveness. Job will have none of this. He knows this suffering is not punishment for any wrongs he has done and he will not grovel. On a Sunday last February we read a short passage in which Job voices his grief and his weariness with himself, with the world, and with God. Job says:"I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle; they come to an end without hope. Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again.

Listen here, Job, even if you don't know how you sinned, repent! But Job will not beg God's forgiveness for wrongs he never did. What kind of god would demand that? What kind of a god would on purpose or by neglect let awful suffering come to the good and bad alike? It is still a question. Some despair of an answer. Job's wife tells him it was a fantasy to think God would reward good and punish evil. No such thing. So rise up in anger that all your efforts to be a good person were for nothing. It is an answer we can well understand. But more is at stake for Job than his own life, his own death. What is at stake is how people are to live with one another. When Job finally lifts his voice it is not to ask forgiveness but to demand some answer from God.

Here we begin to see how flimsy are many of our own ways to deal with suffering and injustice in this world, our too-easy answers about rewards in heaven, our day-by-day excuses for living quietly and in comfort while we know full well the lot of- for starters- innocent people in prisons and children born with AIDS. Job's speech to God in Chapter 31 shows a down-to-earth understanding of how Job had always understood what God meant life to be in a harsh world. It seems an honest speech and a searing accusation.

Job says: Look at my life. I wept for those whose day was hard. My soul grieved for the poor. I knew well that you, God, care as much about the poor and the slaves as you do about any of us, and so I reared the orphan like a father. If I saw a person without warm clothing, I gave of my own. I never made wealth or power my goal. I never took delight even in the sufferings of cruel people. I never failed to care well for the land itself. Job says: God, I did feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty and I clothed the naked and visited the prisoner and sat the poor down at my own table. Isn't that what we are supposed to do? What was read this morning was a tiny excerpt from God's long answer to Job. That answer is at once a beautiful poem and a harsh disappointment.

The core of God's answer is simple: Who are you to question me? Instead, Job, I will question you. And so comes the refrain: Where were you, Job? Where were you when I fashioned the earth and when the morning stars sang together? Where were you when I put limits to the sea? Did you ever call for the sun to rise? What do you know of this world? Was it you, Job, who gave birth to the ice?

Do you cause rain to fall? Job, do you even know what a wonder is a mountain goat or a horse or a hawk? Perhaps this reminds some of us of a time that we challenged our mother or our father when we thought they were being unfair. And Mom or Dad gave a sharp answer that didn't seem to have anything to do with our question. Like:"I suppose you know what it takes to keep food on our table, to keep the lights on? I suppose you know how we had to do without for years so that you children could look forward to a good education? Maybe you've said something like that. And though the story of Job adds a brief, happy, and very superficial ending, God's poem is the story's climax. Job, like us, wanted an answer. In the end, Job had to face the hard truth that neither God nor religion is about answers.

Like the disciples in that Gospel boat today, we are terrified both of the storm and of the one whose word can calm the storm. We might be afraid that if we try to deal here in this assembly with God we'll get a poem instead of an answer and we'll have no idea what to do with that poem. We might on some Sundays have been thinking about the suffering of the innocent in this world, maybe we've been thinking- for it is much in the news these days- about what is almost certain to befall the poor of the world as global warming takes hold. We might be graced to wonder about the fairness of this.

After all, those who will suffer and those who will die are very unlikely to be the ones who caused the problem. We might be toying with questions to put to God. The truth is we do put this to God every Sunday, sometimes well, sometimes not, when we make those prayers of the faithful, those intercessions. It seems harmless enough to raise up the names of the sick, the condition of the homeless, the suffering of those who live with war, the loneliness of the old.

It seems harmless but it isn't supposed to be. In fact, when we do this we are Job-like, going before God and saying: This isn't right! How can you let innocent people suffer? Do something about it. Such talking to God is something that comes with baptism. What else can we do? We're the descendents of Job and of the terrified disciples. It is our responsibility to bang on God's door and demand justice for the innocent.

But doing so, we know well the answer God gave Job. Where were you, Job? We work with stories here. We work with hard questions. We work from that never comfortable deed we will together do in a few moments: giving thanks over bread and cup for the life and bloody execution of the one we call our Lord Jesus Christ who asked Job-like questions. Ponder now what hard questions we are going to put to God this day and what we will do when God answers with a poem.

The following is an example of how catechesis from and for the liturgy may be done in the Sunday homily. This is the July 4 weekend. Thus this attempt at mystagogia draws on both the liturgy of the Christian assembly and that of the nation. And at this end of the weekend stands our assembly, the Lord's Day gathering of the faithful. Gathering with the sign of the cross. Proclaiming God's word. Thanksgiving over bread and wine. Holy Communion. Thus within these few days we juxtapose two answers to the question: Who am I? On Friday, we probably answered easily: I am an American. And today the same"Who am I? Or: I am a Roman Catholic Christian. What seems to go without saying is that we can also answer: I am a Christian by religion and an American by citizenship.

And then one can add: I am a truck driver by profession, a mother, a member of this or that organization, a descendant of slaves or of immigrants or of natives to this land. And so we are. But the question wasn't: What is my religion and what is my citizenship. The question was: Who am I? That is: What is the heart of the matter here, the core? Where and with whom do I find the meaning of life and of my own self? Do I judge a matter by all that makes me Christian or by all that makes me American? What's the mix? Who am I-first and last? The scriptures that happen to fall on this Sunday seem eager to contribute something to the answer.

Ezekiel, the prophet of the dry bones, gets a rare chance to be heard in our assembly. Where is he? He's in Mesopotamia, the land between two rivers, the land we call today Iraq. He and thousands of others were taken into exile when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians. We know from where we stand that some of their children will go back to Jerusalem in a few decades, having decided that"who they are" means being there. And we know that the children of other exiles will stay in Babylon and be the beginning of a Jewish community that has endured and sometimes thrived these years. But Ezekiel is speaking here at the very beginning of the exile time, when the community is just sorting out"Who am I?

And little that Ezekiel has to say is going to give much comfort. Perhaps that is why Ezekiel is at pains to say: This is not what I say but what God says. He narrates how God told him:"[O]pen your mouth and eat what I shall give you. It was covered with writing front and back, and written on it was: Lamentation and wailing and woe! So I opened my mouth and [God] gave me the scroll to eat" Ezekiel , What is this about?

Ezekiel wants it to be clear: If you don't like what I have to say, if you don't like these words of lamentation and wailing and woe, just know that they are not my words but the words God put into my mouth. We heard today how God gave Ezekiel this commission:"I am sending you to the. Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they. And whether they heed or resist. The gospel tells a story that happens more than seven hundred years later. The prophet Jesus is teaching in the synagogue of his hometown. As in Ezekiel's day, there are multiple answers to"Who am I? Or do we see the Romans as enemy occupiers of our land against whom we have to preserve our lives and identities?

And what is that identity anyway? And if that isn't enough, who is this Jesus to tell us anything at all, this fellow who grew up here, the carpenter for heaven's sake, Mary's boy? We can almost see the town's people raising their eyebrows and nodding their heads slightly as they add: Yeah, we all know that family. So we have these two prophets, Jesus and Ezekiel, these two persons who do what prophets do. Prophets do not foretell the future. Prophets tell God's truth about the present.

And telling that truth, whether we heed or whether we resist, is where the future comes into it. The prophet is a problem. Anyone can claim to be one, claim to have God's word, even the most unlikely suspects such as Ezekiel and Jesus. Most are on ego trips. A few are not. How to know the true prophet from the false prophet? The true prophets almost never say things we like to hear. They do offer us some help for answering"Who am I? More likely the real prophet will be as hard to take as Ezekiel or Jesus: Not a fun person at the party but someone consumed with getting us to see what God wants of us, hard stuff that God wants. We come here Sunday by Sunday. Most of the time we have to work hard to hear the prophet's voice here in our assembly.

But if we are hungry for God's truth about the present we should know that God's truth is being told right here. What we do here, all of us together, are prophet-like deeds. They move us a little closer to seeing "Who am I? But we can miss God's truth because our eyes aren't focused, our ears not in tune, our hands in our pockets. All of us miss it most of the time, perhaps because we don't come hungry but already satisfied. The prophetic things we do here often just sail right by. What prophetic things? What do we do here that tells God's truth about the present moment in the world's life?

What do we do here that brings us face to face with any ways we have been holding to some truth other than God's about the world's life in this summer of ? What do we do here over and over again on the Lord's Day that is able to give us not words but deeds that will define who we are? What do we do that shapes in us a way to live and a way to see and a way to think and a way to act? Consider just two tiny deeds of this sort. The first is this: We enter this room and we take water- water that reminds of our baptism- and we make on our bodies the sign of the cross. Then a few moments later, all together as an assembly, we again trace that cross on our bodies. What is this? What are we doing?

We have seen infants brought into this assembly by their parents. Those parents say they are here to ask for baptism. Then presider and parents and godparents all sign the infant with the sign of the cross and the presider says:"I claim you for Christ. It may be that child will learn from parents that the day begins with the sign of the cross, or that we end our prayers at bedside with the sign of the cross. Or rather: What does it mean to be a person who identifies myself with a cross traced on my body? How is this a prophetic gesture, telling God's truth about this world and how we are to live?

There's one response to that today from Paul in the second reading:"I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong" 2 Corinthians That sounds like someone who has made the cross his own, who lives as if claimed by Christ. Weakness and insult. Hardship and persecution and constraint. We make the sign of the cross and that's what we're signing on for. Or think of another tiny prophetic deed we do here each Sunday. When the time comes, the bread is broken for holy communion and we come to the table to take the Body and Blood of Christ. The plate that the minister holds does not have large pieces of bread for some and small pieces for others. The thought is absurd!

It does not have large pieces for the best donors, or the most active, or the seniors. It is the same for all. And exactly here is the prophetic deed, telling the truth about who we are. The prophetic deed is saying that before God these distinctions of ours don't matter. In the world we would fashion, all would share and share alike as we do here at this table. And that is a part of this understanding of who I am and who you are and who we are. Those willing to be so claimed will, like Paul, find ourselves in constant trouble, for there are other claims on us, claims that offer lots more than weakness and insult, hardship and persecution.

It is one exploration of how the liturgy the assembly is celebrating, the scriptures that have been listened to, and our lives in the present moment might come together. If the homilist wants to use this poem, it should be well rehearsed. The four words,"This is for me," seem especially important. The text also presumes that the full longer form of the Gospel reading will be heard. Gabe Huck We heard a rather startling assertion at the very beginning of the first reading.

That Sunday was his seventy-fourth birthday and the poem tells us that his own advancing age brought thoughts of his mother. Milosz's poem begins: Those poor, arthritically swollen knees Of my mother in an absent country. I think of them on my seventy-fourth birthday As I attend early Mass at St. Mary Magdalen in Berkeley. A reading this Sunday from the Book of Wisdom About how God has not made death And does not rejoice in the annihilation of the living.

To make me rise from the dead And repeat the hope of those who lived before me, In a fearful unity with her, with her pain in dying. Milosz heard the readings that we have listened to this morning. Think of how it began:"God did not make death, nor does God rejoice in the destruction of the living. The author is unashamed to celebrate and proclaim that there is wonder and truth not only in the tradition and learning of the Jews, but in other traditions. This writer knows also what harm and what tragedy come when such mutual respect is lacking. Then fear and hatred enter and there are persecutions and terrible clashes between peoples. If God did not make death and does not rejoice in the destruction of the living, neither does God prevent the destruction of the living.

But if such destruction, age after age, brings sorrow to God, should not we share in God's sorrow day after day, we who claim that human beings are made in the image of God? The poet Milosz knew such violence from his early decades in Poland: the Nazi occupation, the war, the destruction of the Jewish community, the hard and oppressive years afterwards, the deportation of whole communities. Milosz heard today's reading from Mark's Gospel from that same history. He heard Mark's two stories, one enfolding the other. The center story tells of a woman who for twelve years had suffered from bleeding and no physician had been able to help her.

The outer story tells of a sick child, herself twelve years old, who dies even as Jesus, summoned by her father, is coming to their home. In the inner story, the woman works her way through the crowd and touches Jesus' clothes. When he asks who has done this, she steps forward"in fear and trembling" because of what she knows has happened to her. Listen to what Jesus says to her:"Daughter, your faith has made you well.

Go in peace, and be healed of your disease. The outer story of the dead child called back to life echoes two stories already ancient when Jesus lived. One of these told of the prophet Elijah who takes the dead body of a child from the grieving mother, carries the body to a small upper room and prays to God for the child. The other story is about the prophet Elisha, some years later, and here, too, a child has died. These children, like the twelve-year-old girl in the Gospel story, are raised to life when the prophets cry out to God.

Such stories would have been well known to these grieving parents and their friends, but at the family's home, Jesus finds that the people who have come to mourn the girl's death clearly expect nothing. Instead, they laugh at Jesus and he tells them to leave the house. Then Jesus, the parents and three of Jesus' disciples crowd into the little room where the child lies dead. Jesus- like Elijah and Elisha before him- touches the dead body and says the words that the poet Milosz heard with such gratitude centuries later:"Talitha cum," "Little girl, get up. In the poem, Milosz has four simple words in response to"Talitha cum" and to what the Wisdom writer had said about God not rejoicing in the destruction of the living, and to what had happened to the woman who touched Jesus.

Milosz says:"This is for me. He is speaking of his mother's life and death and of others"who lived before me. We somehow know to say:"This is for me. This is to make me rise from the dead. This"Talitha cum," this grasping by the hand, this concern that the child be given something to eat. This is for us, to make us rise from the dead. We are to hear our names and we are to hear the name we are all called,"Church, get up. We all so easily shrink this thing called hope and think of it only terms of the tiny world of self and of family. We seem often not to imagine that the hope we have as church grounds itself not in optimism but in looking straight on at what ails our times, what ails our town, what ails our world.

In fact, we often avoid paying too much attention to all the sorrow and mayhem of the world or all the scary stuff about climate, because we don't want to be gloomy. We figure: I'll be good as I can be in my own little realm, good to my family, my neighbors, my coworkers. Leave the science and the politics and the economics to someone else. What difference will it make to us that God does not rejoice in the destruction of the living? What difference will it make to us that a woman broke all the rules to touch Jesus' garment? What difference will it make to us that Jesus takes the hand of a dead child and says simply:"Talitha cum"?

Get up, little child. These stories, these words proclaimed in and by the church, these are for us, to make us"rise from the dead and repeat the hope. It is the language we learn from the scriptures and it is the language that we speak at the table when we lift up our hearts, proclaim the mystery of faith, put the resounding Amen on a prayer that chooses to give God thanks even when we have looked straight at the suffering world and all the ways we ourselves contribute to it.

This language of ours, this language of hope, is spoken here with such seemingly harmless, powerless things as bread given to eat and wine to share from a cup, with greetings of peace and songs and processions to the table. We rehearse this and try Sunday by Sunday to find in such words and deeds done together who we are and what we are doing here. We have no large budgets to back up our language of hope, and the very people most identified with our church often seem intent on reducing that hope to mere institutional survival.

No wonder so many of us, never really so fluent in this language of hope anyway, are content to narrow, narrow, narrow ourselves until the world God loves so much is but a blurry background to our own modest ambitions. But where today, on the Sunday nearest July 4, are we Catholics who are also living in this nation to go with the kind of hope that brought a woman to touch Jesus' garment, that got the little girl to rise up, that got a poet to know and admit a"fearful unity" with the suffering of his mother and of whole peoples and generations?

From the hope we proclaim at this table and in our holy communion, do we have anything to confess? Anything to ask of God and of one another? Anything for which honest thanks can be given? These are immense questions because the military and economic might of our nation is- so we say- our responsibility. The failure to join in making national sacrifices to stop global warming is- so we say on July 4-our responsibility in a democracy. The failure to uphold and strengthen international law and courts of law is our responsibility. This is not only what the church teaches, it is what the church rehearses. On every Lord's Day. At this table. All of us.

So when we look, as an example, at the controversy over so-called illegal immigrants, are we right there with the archbishop of Los Angeles and others who have said that if we have to break laws to keep faith with the Gospel, then that is what we must do? This and so many other troublesome issues should be in our hearts and in our conversation this week and beyond. Sometimes it is so hard, but what we come here to do on Sunday is to remember and rehearse those Gospel hopes that will take us who knows where.

Jesus, who sent the woman away in peace and who told the mourners there was nothing to mourn, would soon enough have no garments for anyone to touch and no hand free to take a child's hand. That is what hope means. We come to the table of the one who not only spoke"Talitha cum" to the child, but a moment later said to anyone:"Give her something to eat. This attempt at mystagogical preaching invites the assembly into reflection and conversation on the presence of bread in our midst Sunday by Sunday. Gabe Huck Every third year when we are reading through the gospel of Mark Sunday by Sunday, we come to this stretch of five summer Sundays when we detour from Mark's gospel to John's gospel.

Today we are on the middle Sunday of the five. This detour to John happens when we reach Mark's telling of how Jesus fed the multitude with bread and fish. That seems to remind the church that John goes on at some length about this event, and so we go the sixth chapter of John and take these five Sundays to read through it. Listening to the gospel today we may be thinking: Hey, that sounds like what we read last Sunday. It does! A week ago in the gospel Jesus says,"I am the bread of life. Two Sundays from now, Jesus admits:"This saying is hard! It may not even catch our attention.

Better at getting our attention are the characters we meet these Sundays in the first readings. Two Sundays ago we met Elisha who did his own multiplication of loaves. Last Sunday we had a story of Moses and the manna God provided in the wilderness when the hungry people were about ready to turn back toward Egypt: Better a good dinner as a slave, they said, than dying of hunger in this endless wasteland.

Next Sunday the first reading will introduce a feminine image of God. This is Wisdom and she is calling throughout the city for all to come to the table, to eat and to drink what she will provide. Two weeks from now we meet Joshua, who took over leadership after Moses. Joshua confronts the whole assembly with a choice: Will they serve the Lord or serve the old gods of other times and nations? Joshua draws the line and concludes: "As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" Joshua Elisha, Moses, Wisdom, Joshua- and with them today's appearance of Elijah. Here is possibly the most unpopular prophet of them all. Elijah has just been through the great contest where he took on the prophets of the other gods, prophets in the employ of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.

Read about it in First Kings 17 and God came through and Elijah won the contest, but also he won the wrath of Jezebel. Now he is on the run from assassins and he is weary in body and spirit and ready to die. Take my life! He falls asleep under a tree, but twice he is awakened by an angel. So he eats and he drinks and this prophet who came from nowhere and has no following walks off, forty days and forty nights, fasting and alone, to the mountain of God. Like the hungry people in the wilderness, like all those called to Wisdom's feast, like the crowd that had come to hear Jesus, Elijah is fed, sustained. And likewise tells us. Coming every three years to this mix of stories about hunger and food, we can only wonder at our own assembly's hunger and food.

But there is even more to put into this wonder today. By coincidence, we are here listening to these stories on August 10, the day when the church has for centuries kept the memory of St Lawrence. Who was Lawrence? A deacon in third-century Rome. Legends tell that during a persecution of Christians this Deacon Lawrence was summoned before the court and told to produce the riches of the church. Lawrence went out and returned to the court bringing with him the true riches of the church: the poor and the afflicted for whom he cared. Enraged, this official ordered Lawrence to be roasted to death. That roasting is what makes the good coincidence with our readings about food today. Kenneth A. Howard Marshall, A. Millard, J. Packer, and D. Roland K. Geoffrey W.

Bromiley Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, , John H. Especially for pastors: sermon notes on Joseph in the context of today's workplaces. Whether at the top of our game or the pit of disaster, God is with us, not only as a calming presence, but actually blessing us with the gifts and connections needed to work well and diligently, escaping difficult conditions to a better place. Two more years passed until Joseph gained an opportunity for release from his misery in prison.

Pharaoh had begun to have disturbing dreams, and the chief cupbearer remembered the skill of the young Hebrew in prison. Before Pharaoh, Joseph did not use the covenant name of God exclusive to his own people. Instead, he consistently referred to God with the more general term elohim. In the workplace, sometimes believers can give God credit for their success in a shallow manner that ends up putting people off. Like Joseph, when we confess our own inability to meet the challenges we face and find appropriate ways to attribute success to God, we forge a powerful defense against the pride that often accompanies public acclaim.

If ever there was a lure to leave his Hebrew heritage behind, this was it. God helps us deal with failure and defeat, yet we may need his help even more when dealing with success. The text presents several indications of how Joseph handled his promotion in a godly way. His personal nature was basically trusting of people. He seems to have held no grudge against his jealous brothers or the forgetful cupbearer. Before Pharaoh promoted him, Joseph knew that the Lord was with him and he had tangible evidence to prove it. Repeatedly giving God credit was not only the right thing to do, but it also reminded Joseph himself that his skills were from the Lord.

Joseph was courteous and humble, showing a desire to do whatever he could to help Pharaoh and the Egyptian people. Even when the Egyptians were bereft of currency and livestock, Joseph earned the trust of the Egyptian people and of Pharaoh himself Gen. Throughout the rest of his life as an administrator, Joseph consistently devoted himself to effective management for the good of others. Joseph was seventeen years old when his brothers sold him into slavery Gen. His final release from captivity came when he was thirty Gen. Joseph immediately went about the work to which Pharaoh had appointed him.

His primary interest was in getting the job done for others, rather than taking personal advantage of his new position at the head of the royal court. He maintained his faith in God, giving his children names that credited God with healing his emotional pain and making him fruitful Gen. He recognized that his wisdom and discernment were gifts from God, but nevertheless that he still had much to learn about the land of Egypt, its agricultural industry in particular. His office would have required that he learn much about legislation, communication, negotiation, transportation, safe and efficient methods of food storage, building, economic strategizing and forecasting, record-keeping, payroll, the handling of transactions both by means of currency and through bartering, human resources, and the acquisition of real estate.

His extraordinary abilities with respect to God and people did not operate in separate domains. For Joseph, all of this was godly work. The Hebrew words for wise and wisdom hakham and hokhmah denote a high level of mental perceptivity, but also are used of a wide range of practical skills including craftsmanship of wood, precious stones, and metal Exod. He would have to become familiar with the people who managed agriculture, the locations and conditions of the fields, the crops, the roads, and means of transportation. It is inconceivable that Joseph could have accomplished all of this on a personal level. He would have had to establish and oversee the training of what amounted to a Department of Agriculture and Revenue. During the seven years of abundant harvest, Joseph had the grain stored in cities Gen.

During the seven lean years that followed, Joseph dispensed grain to the Egyptians and other people who were affected by the widespread famine. To create and administer all this, while surviving the political intrigue of an absolute monarchy, required exceptional talent. After the people ran out of money, Joseph allowed them to barter their livestock for food.

This plan lasted for one year during which Joseph collected horses, sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys Gen. He would have had to determine the value of these animals and establish an equitable system for exchange. When food is scarce, people are especially concerned for the survival of themselves and their loved ones. Providing access to points of food distribution and treating people even-handedly become acutely important administrative matters.

When all of the livestock had been traded, people willingly sold themselves into slavery to Pharaoh and sold him the ownership of their lands as well Gen. From the perspective of leadership, this must have been awful to witness. Joseph, however, allowed the people to sell their land and to enter into servitude, but he did not take advantage of them in their powerlessness.

Joseph would have had to see that these properties were valued correctly in exchange for seed for planting Gen. He enacted an enduring law that people return 20 percent of the harvest to Pharaoh. In all of this, Joseph exempted the priestly families from selling their land because Pharaoh supplied them with a fixed allotment of food to meet their needs adequately Gen. Handling this special population would have entailed having a smaller, distinct system of distribution that was tailored for them.

Poverty and its consequences are economic realities. Believers may not have the power to eliminate the circumstances that require people to make hard choices, but we can find ways to support people as they—or perhaps we ourselves—cope. Choosing the lesser of two evils may be necessary work and can be emotionally devastating. In our work, we may experience tension arising from feeling empathy for the needy, yet bearing responsibility to do what is good for the people and organizations we work for.

Happily, by applying his God-given skill and wisdom, Joseph successfully brought Egypt through the agricultural catastrophe. When the seven years of good harvests came, Joseph developed a stockpiling system to store the grain for use during the coming drought. His wise strategy and effective implementation of the plan even allowed Egypt to supply grain to the rest of the world during the famine Gen. Instead God enabled Joseph, working in and through the Egyptian government, to provide for the needs of the people of Israel Gen. As an official in a sometimes repressive society, he became part of its power structure, and he personally imposed slavery on uncounted numbers of people Gen.

Become as familiar as possible with the state of affairs as they exist at the beginning of your service. Seek the practical good for others, knowing that God has placed you where you are to be a blessing. Be fair in all of your dealings, especially when the circumstances are grim and deeply problematic. Your life does not consist in what you gain for yourself. Generously extend the fruit of your labor as widely as possible to those who truly need it, regardless of what you think of them as individuals. Accept the fact that God may bring you into a particular field of work under extremely challenging conditions.

Accept the fact that sometimes people must choose what they regard as the better of two very unpleasant yet unavoidable situations. Believe that what you do will not only benefit those whom you see and meet, but also that your work has the potential to touch lives for many generations to come. Then they informed their father that the Vizier demanded that Benjamin be brought before him to demonstrate that they were honest men.

Jacob became greatly distressed feeling that they treated him badly. After they had consumed all of the grain that they brought back from Egypt, Jacob told his sons to go back to Egypt for more grain. With Reuben and Judah's persistence, they persuaded their father to let Benjamin join them for fear of Egyptian retribution Genesis — Upon their return to Egypt, the brothers were received by the steward of the house of Joseph. When they were brought to Joseph's house, they were apprehensive about the returned money in their money sacks. They thought that the missed transaction would somehow be used against them as way to induct them as slaves and confiscate their possessions.

So they immediately informed the steward of what had transpired to get a feel of the situation. The steward put them at ease, telling them not to worry about the money, and brought out their brother Simeon. Then he brought the brothers into the house of Joseph and received them hospitably. When the Vizier Joseph appeared, they gave him gifts from their father. Joseph saw and inquired of Benjamin and was overcome by emotion but did not show it. He withdrew to his chambers and wept.

When he regained control of himself, he returned and ordered a meal to be served. The Egyptians would not dine with Hebrews at the same table, as doing so was considered loathsome, so the sons of Israel were served at a separate table Genesis — That night, Joseph ordered his steward to load the brothers' donkeys with food and all their money. The money they brought was double what they had from the first trip.

Deceptively, Joseph also ordered that his silver cup be put in Benjamin's sack. The following morning the brothers began their journey back to Canaan. Joseph ordered the steward to go after the brothers and question them about the "missing" silver cup. When the steward caught up with the brothers, he seized them and searched their sacks. The steward found the cup in Benjamin's sack just as he had planted it the night before. This caused a stir amongst the brothers. However, they agreed to be escorted back to Egypt. When the Vizier Joseph confronted them about the silver cup, he demanded that the one who possessed the cup in his bag become his slave.

In response, Judah pleaded with the Vizier that Benjamin be allowed to return to his father, and he himself be kept in Benjamin's place as a slave Genesis Judah appealed to the Vizier begging that Benjamin be released and that he be enslaved in his stead, because of the silver cup found in Benjamin's sack. The Vizier broke down into tears. He could not control himself any longer and so he sent the Egyptian men out of the house. Then he revealed to the Hebrews that he was in fact their brother, Joseph. He wept so loudly that even the Egyptian household heard it outside. The brothers were frozen and could not utter a word. He brought them closer and relayed to them the events that had happened and told them not to fear, that what they had meant for evil, God had meant for good.

Then he commanded them to go and bring their father and his entire household into Egypt to live in the province of Goshen , because there were five more years of famine left. So Joseph supplied them Egyptian transport wagons, new garments, silver money, and twenty additional donkeys carrying provisions for the journey. Genesis — Thus, Jacob also known as Israel and his entire house of seventy [14] gathered up with all their livestock and began their journey to Egypt.

As they approached Egyptian territory, Judah went ahead to ask Joseph where the caravan should unload. They were directed into the province of Goshen and Joseph readied his chariot to meet his father there. When they met, they embraced each other and wept together for quite a while. His father then remarked, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive. Afterward, Joseph's family personally met the Pharaoh of Egypt. The Pharaoh honored their stay and even proposed that if there were any qualified men in their house, then they may elect a chief herdsman to oversee Egyptian livestock.

Because the Pharaoh had such a high regard for Joseph, practically making him his equal, [15] it had been an honor to meet his father. Thus, Israel was able to bless the Pharaoh. Genesis — The family was then settled in Goshen. The house of Israel acquired many possessions and multiplied exceedingly during the course of seventeen years, even through the worst of the seven-year famine. At this time, Joseph's father was years old and bedridden. He had fallen ill and lost most of his vision. Joseph was called into his father's house and Israel pleaded with his son that he not be buried in Egypt. Rather, he requested to be carried to the land of Canaan to be buried with his forefathers.

Joseph was sworn to do as his father asked of him. Later, Joseph came to visit his father having with him his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Israel declared that they would be heirs to the inheritance of the house of Israel, as if they were his own children, just as Reuben and Simeon were. Then Israel laid his left hand on the eldest Mannasseh's head and his right hand on the youngest Ephraim's head and blessed Joseph. However, Joseph was displeased that his father's right hand was not on the head of his firstborn, so he switched his father's hands.

But Israel refused saying, "but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he. To Joseph, he gave a portion more of Canaanite property than he had to his other sons; land that he fought for against the Amorites. Then Israel called all of his sons in and prophesied their blessings or curses to all twelve of them in order of their ages. To Joseph he declared:. Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob From thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel , Even by the God of your father who shall help thee; and by the Almighty who shall bless thee With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lieth under, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. After relaying his prophecies, Israel died. The family, including the Egyptians, mourned him seventy days. Joseph had his father embalmed , a process that took forty days. Then he prepared a great ceremonial journey to Canaan leading the servants of the Pharaoh, and the elders of the houses Israel and Egypt beyond the Jordan River.

They stopped at Atad where they observed seven days of mourning. Here, their lamentation was so great that it caught the attention of surrounding Canaanites who remarked "This is a deep mourning of the Egyptians. Then Joseph buried Israel in the cave of Machpelah , the property of Abraham when he bought it from the Hittites. After their father died, the brothers of Joseph feared retribution for being responsible for Joseph's deliverance into Egypt as a slave. Joseph wept as they spoke and told them that what had happened was God's purpose to save lives and the lives of his family.

He comforted them and their ties were reconciled. Joseph lived to the age of , living to see his great-grandchildren. Before he died, he made the children of Israel swear that when they left the land of Egypt they would take his bones with them, and on his death his body was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt. The children of Israel remembered their oath, and when they left Egypt during the Exodus , Moses took Joseph's bones with him. Exodus The bones were buried at Shechem , in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor Joshua , which has traditionally been identified with site of Joseph's Tomb , before Jacob and all his family moved to Egypt.

Shechem was in the land which was allocated by Joshua to the Tribe of Ephraim , one of the tribes of the House of Joseph , after the alleged conquest of Canaan. The majority of modern scholars agree that the Joseph story is a Wisdom novella constructed by a single author and that it reached its current form in the 5th century BCE at the earliest. It begins by showing Joseph as a dreamer; this leads him into trouble as, out of jealousy, his brothers sell him into slavery. The next two instances of dream interpretation establish his reputation as a great interpreter of dreams; first, he begins in a low place, interpreting the dreams of prisoners.

Then Joseph is summoned to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh himself. This sets up the climax of the story, which many regard to be the moment Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers Gen In the midrash , the selling of Joseph was part of God's divine plan for him to save his tribes. The favoritism Israel showed Joseph and the plot against him by his brothers were divine means of getting him into Egypt. A midrash asked, How many times was Joseph sold? In analyzing Genesis Chapter 37 , there are five different Hebrew names used to describe five different groups of people involved in the transaction of selling Joseph, according to Rabbi Judah and Rav Huna. The first group identified, are Joseph's brothers when Judah brings up the idea of selling Joseph in verses 26 and

Gathering with the sign of the themes in a view from the bridge. In the morning, when Parents Favoritism In The Book Of Genesis truth became known, Parents Favoritism In The Book Of Genesis justified his action, saying that in Was Malcolm X Unjust country it was unheard of to give a younger daughter before the Parents Favoritism In The Book Of Genesis. He was Rachel's firstborn and Jacob's eleventh son. Good leaders Parents Favoritism In The Book Of Genesis to foster cooperation rather than envy.

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