Genesis 49, Psalms 22:12-31, Matthew 9:27-38, Acts 14
Genesis 50, Psalms 23, Matthew 10:1-20, Acts 15:1-21
A few days ago, we read Genesis 47:9, where Jacob says to Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are 130; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.” He uttered these words right after he saw his beloved son Joseph, whom he thought was dead and who rescued his sons and their families from the famine. I shook my head as I thought how like him we are. If we got to live over 100 years and witness such momentous events, some of us would undoubtedly be complaining that we were short-changed, too. Such is life.
Yet God continues to bless us and post us signs along the way. For example, Psalm 22 gives us detailed prophecies that are fulfilled in the New Testament. Verses 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 foretell Jesus’ painful experience on the cross where he was poured out like water, his heart was like wax, a band of evildoers surrounded him and pierced his hands and his feet, and they divided his garments among them.
In Psalm 23, we read of walking “through the valley of the shadow of death.” Just this week someone pointed out that we don’t settle down in the valley but pass through to the other side.
In Matthew 9:36, we read how Jesus proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom and healed sick people, because they were “distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” He might have been describing people in our world today. Thank God, all is not lost. In Matthew 10:19-20 he encouraged his followers, whom he sent like sheep into the midst of wolves, not to worry about what they were to say, for “it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”
So we reach the end of the January’s portion. Congratulations to you who are reading along, especially if it’s your first time to read through the Bible in a year!
Note: Because February is a short month, I plan to read on Monday and comment on Days 1 and 2 on Tuesday, the 1st.