Genesis 40:20 – Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in prison, the Lord was with him. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – God never deserts us. We may not feel His presence, because of the circumstances, but He is there. And as bad as it might seem, the burden is less than it might have been because He is helping us bear the burden.
My Advice – Whatever situation you find yourself in, be encouraged that God is right there with you. Try focusing on that eternal truth, rather than on the temporary circumstances. You will be surprised to find how much it helps your attitude and your ability to bear up until, when the time is right, God delivers you.
Genesis 32:7, 9 – In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people. Then Jacob prayed. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – How typical of us when we encounter danger or difficulties. Our first reaction, Like Jacob, is to take matters into our hands, by planning and taking action to solve the problem or get out of the situation. Then, almost as an afterthought we bring God into it and ask Him to deliver us. At the very least, this is backwards.
My Advice – Always make it your first priority to seek out God in prayer whenever you face a problem or danger. Do what you can that seems prudent and consistent with God’s Word in the situation, but do not be afraid to wait on God for a solution before taking action. Because sometimes, our actions make matters worse rather than better.
I Got This One God
Genesis 15:6, 8 – Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness. But Abram said, “O, Sovereign Lord, how can I know?” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Abram believed that God could do the “impossible” (give him countless offspring when he was so old), but doubted He would deliver on the easy things (give him possession of the land). God is a God of the possible and the impossible, we should not doubt Him.
My Advice – Do not be reluctant to take both your hard and easy problems to God. We sometimes have a tendency to “do it ourselves” on the small stuff, reserving the big stuff for God. Often, the small things turn into big things that might have been avoided if we went to God at the outset.
Genesis 12:1 – The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to a land I will show you.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We always want God to show us what His will is and cannot understand when he “fails” to do so. Sometimes it is because we still want to hang onto what we have; not realizing that we cannot take hold of what He wants to bless us with if our hands are already full. He will show us, if we are willing to let go.
My Advice – Receiving God’s blessings will sometimes mean letting go of something we are clinging to. It may not be as dramatic as Abram’s story, but will most likely fall into one of two categories. The blessings He wants to give us are greater than what we have or He cannot bless us because what we are hanging onto is not good to begin with. Be willing to let go.
Did God Really Say
Genesis 3:1, 4 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘you must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Satan does not often start with outright contradiction of God’s Word. First, he calls us to question it (‘did God really say?”). This may be combined with distortion or misinterpretation of the Word (“you must not eat from any tree?”) that makes God seem unreasonable. Eventually he will take us where he wanted to all along – disagreeing with God’s Word (“you will not.”)
My Advice – Be careful with teachings and philosophies that question, distort, misinterpret, manipulate or contradict God’s Word. They may be subtle and seem small and innocent enough, but if we give Satan a foothold, He will always lead us into something bigger and much less innocent.
For my first series of musings, I am sharing from “A Dad’s Devotions.” “A Dad’s Devotions” was a 365-day devotional that I wrote for my son Joel for his graduation from college in 2007. Each day included a verse from the Bible, my impressions (musings) and some advice for my son. Joel is graciously letting me pass these musings along to you. I hope you find them helpful.
You Are Free
Genesis 2:16 – And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Freedom (“you are free”), responsibility (you must not eat”), choice (“when you eat’) and consequences (‘you will surely die’). A complete package, all present from the beginning. Freedom is not a license to act outside the will of God. While we may choose to do so, there will inevitably be consequences if we do.
My Advice – Be responsible in how you exercise the freedom that God gives you. Make wise choices that are consistent with God’s moral laws. This way you can avoid the consequences of wrong choices.