GENESIS 37:1-38:30 | MATTHEW 12:22-45 | PSALM 16:1-11 | PROVERBS 3:27-32
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We have here perhaps one of the most famous stories of a dreamer: Joseph, the second to the youngest of Jacob’s sons who wears a lovely multicolored coat, and goes around telling the family about his dreams.
And how do his older brothers like that? They don’t — so much so, that they plot to kill him, and if it wasn’t for Reuben’s intervention, Joseph would surely be dead. In an epic tale of deceit and betrayal, Joseph is sold off into slavery by his brothers, and Jacob, his father, is actually told that Joseph is dead.
What happens next is to be seen, but in the meantime there is a small account of one of Joseph’s older brothers, Judah, and the bizarre happenings of his life and family.
Turning next to Matthew, we continue his account of Jesus’ ministry. A ministry that includes the most amazing miracles of physical and mental healing, that there are those who question the source of Jesus’ powers and accuse him of getting them from Beelzebub or the Devil.
And Matthew says: 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Jesus also takes this opportunity to instruct the people on the importance of owning the words that come out of our mouths.
He unequivocally states: 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
That last line couldn’t be clearer — it is as clear as can ever be.
Our Psalm for the day is one in which David sounds utterly confident in God’s mercies. He says:
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
11 You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
And Solomon, in these set of verses from the Proverbs, gives out practical advice to live by. Again, the importance of using words to help, not harm. He says:
27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow”—
when you now have it with you.
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse a man for no reason—
when he has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy a violent man
or choose any of his ways,
32 for the LORD detests a perverse man
but takes the upright into his confidence.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.