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Let the Teacher choose the School – The Prison

You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I AM. – John 13:13 (NKJV)

Joseph was called for greater things. Even as a child, he had two dreams that told everyone, including his jealous brothers and his over-protective father, that he was destined for great things. Yet, there was one small problem. For all the glory and honor the Patriarchs possessed, they – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were tent-dwellers, sojourners passing through the Promised Land. They still were not city dwellers; naturally, any little inclination they would have had, would have vaporised with Sodom and Gomorrah, and with what happened to the progeny of Lot.

But the plan that the Lord had for Joseph included him being a city dweller, to live in a mansion, and take care of various chores. How many times it has happened with us? We have received great promises, but we have no idea about the demands that have to be met before those promises are fulfilled. So, the Lord took Joseph away from the protective hands of his father, from the safety of his tents in Canaan. Though he was sold as a slave, he was bought by Potiphar, the chief officer of Pharaoh, and the commander of the royal guard (Genesis 39:1).

There Joseph learned, though as a slave, what it meant to live in a mansion, working with so many others, and slowly being in charge of all of them. This was his calling, and again, I would have thought his education was complete and when the time was right, God would fulfil His promises to Joseph. Yet again, how little I know of God’s way of teaching!

Just like David, who had the basic training needed in the palaces of Saul and the battle fields of Israel, Joseph had his basic training in the mansion of Potiphar. But as it was with David, there was more training needed, for Joseph to become the refined gold that the Lord had in His mind. And like David, in one day, Joseph was taken out of the comforts of Potiphar’s mansion, and was thrown into the confines of a prison. And the most intense training that he needed, started there.

The Bible tells that the Word of the Lord refined him (Psalm 105:19) right there. Just like David became a shining diamond in the wilderness of Judah, Joseph became refined gold in the prisons of Egypt. As someone pointed out: If Joseph had not been Egypt’s prisoner, he would never have been Egypt’s governor; the iron chain about his feet ushered in the golden chain about his neck.

Dear friend, are you wondering why God has suddenly put you in a prison? Why are you confined to four walls, when you have all the basic training needed? Because the Lord needs you to be refined by His Word. For His plans are greater for you than you imagine. So, let His Word refine us when we are inside the prison walls. So, when we come out, may everyone be astonished as how pure we have become. Amen. Glory to be our God and to His Son Jesus Christ, and may His grace be upon us.

Psalm 105_19

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El Roi – God Who saw Hagar

Gen 16:13  Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

Hagar was Sarah’s maid and she never became anything else. Moreover, she despised Sarah and was dealt harshly because of that. To make things worse, Hagar ran away from her mistress.

It was a grave error during those times, to run away from your master or mistress. Yet, it did not stop Hagar from running away.

Yet the LORD’s eyes saw her. Saw Hagar, who was a maid, a slave who despised her mistress and was running away from Sarah. Yet the LORD saw her. He saw her during the worst time in her life.

There are times in my life, where my behaviour was not at its best. When was supposed to be grateful, I behaved as if they were destined to help me out. And I had been to my shares of wilderness and loneliness. And, unfortunately, I had been preached that the LORD covers His face from sinners like me.

But at the worst times in my life, I have seen the presence of the LORD. I have seen His face, just like Peter saw the face of the LORD after denying Him three times (Luke 22:61-62)

Why would the LORD look at me during those times? Unworthy as I am, it was hard for me to understand till I realized, I am His child. It was not by who I am, but because of His Son and my LORD Jesus Christ. And I now know that the LORD Who saw a maid in the wilderness is gracious and merciful and He will surely sees all His children.

Yes, dear friend, the  LORD sees you. Probably you are struggling with sin at this moment, but the LORD sees you. You may be struggling with people who are dealing harshly with you – and it may be even your fault, but El Roi is seeing with compassion at this very moment.

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15) So cry out to Him. Let us cry out to our Abba, to our Father. Now. At this moment. For our Father, our Abba is El Roi – God Who sees us. With compassion and love.
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… cast him into a pit.

When Joseph went looking for his brothers, as I mentioned in one of the previous blogs, he showed a glimpse of what our LORD was going to do for us. But it did not stop there.

When his brothers saw him, they first cast him into a pit and then sold him to the Midianites for twenty pieces of silver. And, our LORD was betrayed by Judas for 30 pieces of silver.

When I read ‘Silver Blaze’, one of the famous Sherlock Holmes’s stories, like most of the readers, the curious incident of the dog that didn’t bark made a huge impact in me.

Why is this important here? Though there were 10 brothers there, Joseph was still 17 and I am sure he could have made lots of noise, whether when he was in the pit or later when he was being sold. But the Bible does not mention that he made any noise.

Of course, one can argue that the Bible does not also mention that he DID NOT make any noise. But when we read further, the Bible mentions that Reuben was not there when Joseph was being sold. And Reuben returned to the pit and saw that it was empty.

If Joseph was making lots of noise when he was in the pit, Reuben would have known that something was wrong as soon as he came back, as it would have been silent as Joseph was sold already. But the fact that he had to check the pit to know that Joseph was not there tells that he was not making any noise.

Imagine Joseph’s character. Favorite son of his father. Had great dreams about his future. And now being cast into a pit and being sold as a slave. Yet, he did not make any noise, he did not open his mouth.

He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opened not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. – Isaiah 53:7 (MKJV)

This is about our LORD Jesus Christ. Now, we can see how what Joseph did was similar to what our LORD did. This is where we all miss the point.

We all want the blessings of Joseph. We all want our life to change one day suddenly, like the life of Joseph. We all want to get out of prison and to be called by the ruler of the land and to be honored before the eyes of those who had accused us falsely. But, what do we do with our mouth?

Dear friend, we may be falsely accused. We may be betrayed. People may come against us. Things may go wrong in every possible way against us. But the question is, what are we doing with our mouth? Are we following the foot steps of our LORD? Or are we using that mouth to complain and complain more?

Yes, during such times, it is very difficult to praise the LORD. But if we can not praise Him, at least let us not open our mouth in vain. May the blessings of Joseph be ours truly. Amen.

Isaiah 53.7  

Psalm 25:14-15“The LORD confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only He will release my feet from the snare.”

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