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There was a real and serious problem in the church where vulnerable people were going hungry. The leaders recognise the problem, but they also recognise their own limitations, so they delegate responsibly to others.
God’s power works through weakness - he work in weak people with a weak message preached by weak messengers. Hence we should boast in God, not in ourselves. We should think of our time of worship as a time of boasting in God.
Great darkness covered the land when Jesus was born. Herod was an example of this. The religious people, who knew the Bible, made no effort to search for the Messiah. We must not fix our eyes on the evil that surrounds us, but on Jesus.
Joseph was a righteous man. He knows what Leviticus and Deuteronomy say about adultery and divorce, but he decides not to humiliate Mary. He was not asking for God to speak to him in a dream, but God gives him a dream anyway.
Just as a power tool can do nothing without electricity but a lot with it, so we can do nothing without Jesus but so long as we remain in him we can bear much fruit. He chose us, and all we have to do is to remain in him and allow him to prune us.
Jesus rescued us not just from the darkness in the world around us, but also from the darkness in our own hearts. We can walk in darkness or we can have the light of life by following Jesus and obeying his teaching.
God loves the hungry, he tests those who have all they want, and even when we go through difficulties in this life he satisfies those who believe in him. So let’s not just seek good things, or good works, or miracles, but instead, seek God himself.
Following Jacob’s death, the brothers wonder if Joseph has really forgiven them. He has: and followers of Jesus need not ask the same question of God - they have been totally forgiven by him. Christians don’t need to live with a nagging sense of guilt but can know the fullness of God’s grace and peace.
Joseph tests his brothers to see whether they have changed or whether they will allow Benjamin to become a slave. Judah shows that he has changed, and is willing to bear Benjamin’s punishment himself - just as Jesus bore our punishment.
The foxes represent small things that might be overlooked, but in fact are destructive, distracting or discouraging. We should catch them by staying close to the King (Jesus) and his bride (the Church).