Discerning the Days :: By Bill Wilson

There is a lot of angst in this world. God’s creation warring against itself. If you read the Biblical prophets, they indicate that things will not get better prior to the return of Christ. There are difficult times ahead, raising many questions.

How do we handle it? Do we go with what the world says? Or do we go with what God says? How do we know that God is talking to us?

Difficult situations can cause us to react emotionally or respond spiritually with wisdom and discernment. Shutting out the noise of the world and listening to that still small voice. Discerning what you hear—God will not go against his word. Checking his word is a good path to take. Remember that God works all things to the good for those who love him.

Recall Joseph, son of Jacob, sold into slavery and ending up in Egyptian prison because of false accusations. After two years, the Pharaoh had a perplexing dream, and Joseph was called up to interpret. Joseph rightly interprets the dream to be God’s warning of a coming famine in seven years. There would be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. The repetition of the second dream meant that the matter was fixed, and God would shortly bring it about. Joseph then advises Pharaoh on what to do, and Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of everything— his household and all of his people. He said in Genesis 41:38, “Can we find anyone like him? The Spirit of God lives in him!”

Joseph became second in power, only to Pharaoh, and was given an Egyptian name, Tzafnat-Pa’neach (discerner of secrets), and an Egyptian wife, Osnat, the daughter of a pagan priest. Joseph went throughout the land preparing for the famine by collecting extra grain during the seven years of plenty. When the famine came, Joseph’s father, Jacob, heard there was grain in Egypt, and he was very decisive. He said in Genesis 42:2, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”

Long story short, these actions resulted in reunion and reconciliation among Joseph and his family, as well as saving countless lives from starvation. There are many more incredible outcomes from this reunion and types and shadows of the coming Christ and his salvation plan.

Herein, we can learn from Pharaoh, Joseph, and Jacob. God spoke to Pharaoh through a dream. Joseph, who had the Spirit of God living in him, interpreted the dream. Then Joseph was led by God to wisely prepare for the famine. Jacob decisively sent his sons to Egypt to buy grain. These events were not happenstance. Joseph and Jacob shut out the difficulty and emotions of their situations and focused on what the Spirit was telling them. Then they acted with wisdom.

As we look at our challenges today and the constant noise around us, how are we to hear from God?

First, we must be in relationship with Christ. Then we need to fellowship with him and listen. Making sure what we hear is from God, we check our thoughts with the Bible. Then we take action. That action may be the opposite direction from the world, but faith will prove true.

Posted in The Daily Jot