Summary: Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. When we go through deep trials or great suffering, we need to be reminded that God is working purposefully, intelligently, and lovingly in our lives.

Let the Spirit Guide You as He Directed Joseph(Genesis 37:5-37:38)

Jesus said, "When He the Spirit of truth is come. He will guide you into all truth." Too many people fail to experience the Spirit’s leading, empowering and adapting corrections because they have preconceived notions of what they should be doing. Joseph refused to give in to bitterness, anger or feeling of hurt even when he was betrayed by members of his own family. Let us trust the Lord to teach us to be more sensitive to the leadings of the Spirit as He speaks through His word, circumstances and godly people.

Illustration: This also comes from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. --Isaiah 28:29

When we go through deep trials or great suffering, we need to be reminded that God is working purposefully, intelligently, and lovingly in our lives. Isaiah used the illustration of a farmer to teach this truth to the Israelites.

A farmer works with a specific purpose in mind. I know of an area that was solidly wooded 60 years ago when a young man bought it. Without the use of modern machinery, he cleared it of trees, plowed it, and seeded it. His one purpose was to harvest a crop.

When God digs into our lives, His plowing has a purpose too--a spiritual harvest that will enrich us for eternity.

A farmer also works intelligently. Isaiah described the careful selection of plots for different seeds (28:25). God too is careful to select for each of us exactly what we need for spiritual growth. Our trials are not the result of fate.

Finally, a good farmer uses as gentle a method as possible to thresh his crops (vv.27-28). Our loving God exercises the same principle. He never causes us needless pain.

Isaiah concluded that the Lord is "wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance" (v.29). Have you come to that same conclusion? (Our Daily Bread)

1. The Holy Spirit spoke to Joseph in ways that seemed to bring great distress to Joseph. Moses wrote, "Then Joseph had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. ‘I had another dream and this time the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.’ When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you? His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind." (Gen. 37:9-11) Ask the Lord to help you to be obedient to the God regardless of family pressures to go along with traditional cultural practices and customs of cooperation.

2. The Holy Spirit led Joseph in many ways, but chose to speak to him through dreams. Moses wrote, "Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, ‘We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.’ He brothers said to him, ‘Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule over us? And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said." (Gen. 37:5-8)

Even when others tend to misunderstand and criticize you for your God given directions, ask the Lord to allow you to persevere in your belief that He will perfect the plans that He has called you to accomplish. As Samuel said, let us also pray, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."

3. The Holy Spirit may choose to bless you through the most unusual of pathways, as He did by allowing Joseph to be sold into slavery within Egypt. Moses wrote, "Judah said to his brothers, ‘What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood! Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood. They sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt." (Gen 37:36-38)

Ask the Lord to carry out His plans for your life regardless of the betrayal, distress or persecution it may bring your way.

4. The Holy Spirit gave Joseph a legacy as one of the most Christ like people of the Old Testament because of his willingness to make the most of every situation. Moses wrote, "When Joseph’s brothers came and threw themselves down before him they said, ‘We are your slaves.’ But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them." (Gen. 50:19-21)

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