Todays readings … Genesis 46&47, Psalm 50, Romans 3&4

Today we read of how Joseph’s father and brothers and their families came to live in Egypt.  This created the situation in which they would grow into a nation and God would raise up Moses and Aaron to lead them out of Egypt. He would then give them his laws at Sinai: but their faith would then falter and they would wander in the wilderness and that generation would die.

In a sense the world today is ‘wandering’ in the wilderness of unbelief – and part of our Psalm (50) today in a sense, describes this wandering! How appropriate are the words in v.17 & 18, “For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you … you keep company with adulterers.”  Verse 22 challenges such people, “”Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart … ”  Much of our world today deserves to be torn apart.The last verse is outstanding – as an exhortation to us! “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”  Our thanksgiving must be genuine – the outpouring of our hearts.

A fitting conclusion to our thoughts is the way in which the Apostle Paul quotes from the Psalms in today’s chapters in Romans.  In ch, 3 v.10-12 we read, “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless …”

Paul is quoting this, primarily to the Jews!  He asks them “Are we Jews any better off?” [v.9]  They must not look down on the Romans, they must not forget how their Lord condemned their religious leaders, they were no better than them.   In our world “no one seeks for God” What of us?  Are we sure we do – in a fully committed way? In ch. 4 we are told “that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness.” [v.9]  Abraham showed his faith by his actions – when “no one” around him sought “for God” when he lived in Ur. (Gen. 15 v.7)  May we follow Abraham’s example – and therefore lay claim to being “his offspring” spiritually.

In conclusion let us take special note of v. 12 & 13, and “walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham ….through the righteousness of faith”   Let us “seek for God” in the same way.

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