Duration: 365 days
OUR GRIEF-ACQUAINTED GOD
Jacob’s 12 sons stand as a tribute—God has increased Abraham’s family, just as he promised. Jacob loves Joseph the most and sews him a special robe. Joseph even has dreams of ruling over his family. Joseph’s brothers reel with jealousy. One day in the field, they strip him of his honor-coat, sell him as a slave to passing traders and convince their father of his death.
The beloved son finds himself as the slave of an Egyptian official. But God prospers everything Joseph does, and he’s placed in charge of the household. When the official’s wife tries to seduce him, Joseph refuses, but is wrongly put in jail. The favored manager finds himself a prisoner. But God again prospers everything Joseph does, and he’s promoted and put in charge of the prison.
Years pass until one day two of Pharaoh’s officials are imprisoned and put under Joseph’s charge. One night both of the royal officials have vivid dreams, which Joseph interprets. But while Joseph’s dream interpretations are accurate, the officials forget him, leaving him to languish in prison.
The King’s Heart
Slavery for the beloved son. Hardships for the ones who love God. Martyrdom for many who spread his love. It doesn’t seem like being chosen by God is a desirable calling. It doesn’t seem fair.
But we mustn’t forget God.
God created a beautiful universe and people to share in a great adventure. It was in his heart to be close to them, yet they follow his enemy. He pursues his people, but they give their hearts to made-up gods. It is this way for centuries.
Then Jesus leaves his heavenly home, where leagues of angels constantly declare his praises, to come to fallen earth. He lives lovingly, but people scorn him. He is innocent, but he is criminally convicted. Then the Giver of every breath allows his creations to take his.
God didn’t need to experience all of this pain. He willingly chose it—for us. For the love of us.
God-followers walk a hard road, yes. But to God, it’s not an unfamiliar road. Our grief-acquainted God walks with us, in us, through every hardship. And like the paths Joseph walked, and like the ones God walked himself, he is using every painful path for good.
With firstborn Reuben forfeiting his birthright (see Genesis 35:22; 49:3–4) and Joseph gone, Judah stepped in to inherit the family promises. But Judah’s first two sons, Er and Onan, weren’t suitable to carry on the blessings of Abraham, so they died. Tamar, however, found favor in God’s eyes, and through shameful circumstances bore Judah’s children—the next in line in God’s plan to rescue the world.
Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.