Sunday, April 29, 2012

Peas

I eat my peas with honey.

I’ve done it all my life.

It makes the peas taste funny,

but it keeps them on my knife!

Anonymous

Monday, April 23, 2012

Whatever Happened to Potiphar's Wife?

You remember Potiphar’s wife. She figures into the story of Joseph in Genesis 39. He had been sold into Egypt by his brothers based on their jealousy of his apparent favor with their father and suggested by the gift of a beautiful cloak. You see, Potiphar held the position of Captain of the Guard in Egypt—I suppose like a Homeland Security Chief. He soon learned to trust Joseph, and left him in charge of all his house and everything he owned.

The Bible says that Joseph was well-built and handsome, and Potiphar’s wife had specific designs on him. One day, she took an opportunity to seduce him in the privacy of her home. Joseph refused to comply with her wishes and ran from the scene, leaving his cloak (another problem with a cloak!!) behind. Because Potiphar’s wife felt rejected and angry over this snubbing, she called all her household servants and reported his attempt to assault HER. She also reported this lie to her husband, and succeeded in getting Joseph placed in prison.

Even in prison, God’s favor on Joseph gave him privileges and success. Nevertheless, he stayed there two years because of this woman’s false charges against him. Through some more twists in the story, Joseph was noticed by Pharaoh for his skill and wisdom, and within a single day rose from a prisoner to Prime Minister of the whole land of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. This enabled him to not only spare the Egyptians from the famine ahead, but also his whole family, the nation of Israel.

Were there still people in the upper echelons of Egyptian government who believed Potiphar’s wife’s claims? Did she maintain her false charges? Did she continue to fight for retaliation against him? OR, did God show those who listened to her, in the years that followed this incident, the actual conniving person she was? As Moses told the people in Numbers 32:23, You can be sure that your sin will find you out.

I love the way this whole story ends for Joseph. What God allowed to look for so long like everything had turned against him, He changed in a moment of time. The nameless wife of Potiphar, seemingly in a position of power, never had the last word. Her attempt to undermine this servant of God came to nothing, and Joseph enjoyed God’s favor and the redemption of His people.

This story gives us hope that God will always vindicate His people who have been wronged. Sometimes He allows the injustice to continue for years, but we can be sure, that even if we have to wait until Judgment Day, He will exonerate His faithful servants.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fairest?

Remember the Wicked Queen in the story of Snow White, and her famous question of the mirror?
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who’s the fairest of them all?
Of course, the only acceptable answer to her was that SHE was the fairest. When she learned that Snow White was the most beautiful maiden in the land, she set out to destroy her.

Unfortunately, in our dog-eat-dog world, we still can find people who look in their mirror and ask who in their kingdom is the “fairest of them all.” Some of these insecure and jealous people, who have set themselves up to gain the adulation of others, will do all they can to rid their tiny realms of anyone who is brighter, or more beautiful, or more popular, or more ___________. (You add the quality.)

Those of us who live in the Kingdom of God, come with insecurities and jealousies of our own too. We look at each other as competitors rather than as brothers and sisters, or as other parts of the Body of Christ. God has so designed us that He has arranged a place for all of us. No one can take the place of another. No one need feel insecure.

In fact, the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:4,
Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.
When we realize all that God has given us and the secure place in which He has set us, we can get down to the reason we live, which is to say,

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.

—M√ľnster Gesangbuch

Monday, April 2, 2012

Stuck!

One spring day in my fourth or fifth year, I was enjoying exploring around the farm buildings where I grew up. Walking between two of the buildings, I found myself stuck in the mud. I was wearing my tall barn boots, but couldn’t pull myself out of the mess I was in. So, I did the only thing I knew to do. I yelled for my father to come pull me out. And he did!

Fast forward to another spring about twelve years later when I was learning to drive the car. One Sunday afternoon, I wanted my Dad to go driving with me, but he was tired and preferred napping. He told me I could take the Nash Rambler (stick shift) and drive it around the farmyard. I did fine driving up and down the driveways, backing and turning, using the clutch and gear shift, UNTIL, I decided to drive across the farmyard. This was exactly the area where many years before I had stood in the mud in my boots yelling for my Dad. You guessed it. I got the car stuck in the mud. Again, I had no choice but to run to the house and call my Dad to get me out. He interrupted his nap to get the tractor and pull me out.

I suspect that I had something to do with cleaning up the car that day. After all, we all knew where the blame lay.

Can we draw a life lesson from these muddy adventures? I think so. When we land in the mud, in order to get out successfully, we first need to acknowledge we have caused a problem. Then we need to call someone to get us out of the mess—and the best one to call is our Father, then, accept our role in the problem and thank Him for His help. Thirdly, we must clean up the mess as best as we can. It may take a long time to eventually get the mud out of all the crevices, but at least we’ve made an honest attempt to correct our fault.

Did my Father prevent me from getting my driving license because of this incident? Of course not. He realized that I had done all I could, learned from my mistake, and might even be a better driver for the experience. Our Heavenly Father treats us much the same way!