November 03 2023
Today, Friday November 03
“He Sent a Man Before Them…”
16 Moreover He called for a famine in the land; He destroyed all the provision of bread.
17 He sent a man before them-- Joseph--who was sold as a slave.
18 They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons.
19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him.
20 The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free.
21 He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his possessions,
22 To bind his princes at his pleasure, And teach his elders wisdom.
23 Israel also came into Egypt, And Jacob dwelt in the land of Ham.
24 He increased His people greatly, And made them stronger than their enemies.
25 He turned their heart to hate His people, To deal craftily with His servants.
Psalm 105 is one of the five historical psalms (78, 105, 106, 135, 136), that reminds and encourages God’s people of the great truth that He is a covenant God Who always keeps His promises. The foundation of any society, culture, nation, community, church, family, or any relationship for that matter, that will allow people to enjoy protection, peace, and prosperity must be built on truth! Sadly, we live in a day where it appears that it is very difficult to hear the truth. In the book of Proverbs, we are told that when the wicked speak that “they breathe out lies”. In other words, they can’t even breathe without lying.
That’s why I’m so glad that I have a Book called the Holy Bible. Jesus in His High Priestly prayer in John 17 asked His Father to, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is truth.” Pilate asked Jesus one of the greatest questions that could ever be asked in John 18:38, “What is truth?” Pilate didn’t recognize that Truth was standing right in front of Him. “Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life….” (John 14:6).
God fulfills His promises through people! Psalm 105 could be divided into three sections of people. In verse 1-15, we have Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Patriarchs that God made His covenant promises to. In verses 16-25, we are told of Joseph that God prepared to preserve His people so they would become a great nation in Egypt fulfilling the promise He made to Abraham. In verses 26-45, we have Moses and Aaron that God used to release His judgements upon Egypt as He kept His promise to deliver Israel back to Canaan.
In our study today of Psalm 105:16-25, we are reminded of the story of Joseph in Genesis. In Joseph's dreams, God had promised him that his brothers would bow before him one day, but He did not explain how this would occur. Envy and a family quarrel took Joseph to Egypt where he prepared the way for his relatives and kept them alive during the famine (Gen. 41:55-57; 50:20). But before he became the second ruler of Egypt, Joseph experienced great suffering in prison, for in God's economy, suffering precedes glory (1 Peter 5:10), and being a servant precedes being a ruler (Matt. 25:21).
But the Word that God gave Joseph came true, and Jacob and his family moved from Canaan to Egypt (Gen. 46, the land of Ham; vv. 23, 27; 78:51; 106:22; Gen. 10:6). It was there that God in His grace turned Jacob's family of seventy persons into a nation so large and powerful that it threatened the security of Egypt. No matter how dark the day, God always sends His servant ahead to prepare the way.
God permitted the Egyptians to persecute His people, for suffering is one of the secrets of fruitfulness. God did not force the Egyptians to hate the Jews nor did He force Pharaoh to harden his heart. The Lord arranged the circumstances so that Pharaoh and his officers could either obey or disobey His Word, and their repeated disobedience hardened their hearts more. The record in Exodus reports that Pharaoh hardened his heart (Ex. 7:13-14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 34-35; 13:15) but also that God hardened it (4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8,17). God sent the plagues, but Pharaoh would not obey. The same sun that melts the ice will harden the clay.
My friend, the same God that prepared a Joseph, that “He sent as a man before them…”, is still alive and at work today behind the scenes not only in the world, but in our personal lives. This is the Truth that we can rely on and trust!