Through the Word in 2020 / Jan. 22

We are reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. You can download it free of charge from:
Today’s 4 readings are: Matthew 9:1-13; Acts 13:1-25; Psalm 21, Genesis 46-47. And if you hadn’t noticed – you’ve already completed reading 5% of the entire Scripture with today’s portion. 
As I write this today, I am reminded of a repeated motif in Scripture which gets repeatedly overlooked. As in the 10 plagues which will come when God is ready to liberate Israel from Egyptian bondage, so here: God’s people are most often KEPT in the World’s trials, not utterly exempted from them. 
If our faith is always bound up with God keeping us from trial, temptation and trouble, we will find ourselves doubting God at every turn – every time something grievous or overwhelming enters our lives. But He has not promised to keep us from all these things, but to keep us in them! 
So all of Egypt and Canaan were suffering under this famine. And God’s chosen race was not exempted from it. Instead, what they were to find out, is that God had made provision for them – well ahead. And that, by redeeming for their good the very sin they had committed in selling Joseph into slavery. That doesn’t mitigate their sin. Because God can and does bring good out of evil is no justification for evil. But it does show how in His faithfulness to His people and His promises, even in our failures – He has made provision for us. 
We may well witness the collapse of Western Culture as we know it. I don’t know. We may well see our political system undo itself or face ecological, biological or economic disaster. Individually and as a people there may be hard and dark days ahead that we never imagined. Individually you or I may suffer all forms of physical maladies, weaknesses, doubts, fear, confusion, distresses and challenges. But our God is faithful. Like preserving Noah in the Flood, or Israel during this famine – our God knows His own, and keeps His own. In the very midst of judgment and/or tragedy. He makes a table for us, in the very presence of our enemies. (Ps. 23:5) 
What a good God we serve.    

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