Thursday, February 22

lentpurpleGenesis 37:13-36

13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” 14 So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word.” So he sent him from the Valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” 16 “I am seeking my brothers,” he said. “Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” 17 And the man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

18 They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” 21 But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. 24 And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25 Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.

29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes 30 and returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?” 31 Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; please identify whether it is your son’s robe or not.” 33 And he identified it and said, “It is my son’s robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” 34 Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father wept for him. 36 Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard.

Psalm 49

Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, 2 both low and high, rich and poor together! 3  My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. 4  I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre. 5 Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me, 6  those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? 7  Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, 8  for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, 9  that he should live on forever and never see the pit. 10  For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. 11  Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names. 12  Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. 13  This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah 14  Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell. 15  But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah 16  Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. 17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. 18  For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed —and though you get praise when you do well for yourself— 19  his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light. 20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

Matthew 23:23-36

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Questions to Ponder:

In this life, do you work hard to achieve wealth? Do you strive after praise from others? As Jesus speaks to the people about the scribes and pharisees, he tells them to look to what is on the inside. If the outside is shiny and bright but the inside is dark and unclean then there is a very real spiritual problem going on. 

Do you bring yourself before the Lord every day, asking him to work within you so that your heart is pure? Do you repent of the things you have done or left undone? Or, the things you have said, or left unsaid?

Jesus reminds us to see ourselves as He sees us and humble ourselves and pray. He can and will forgive us and restore us to his new creations. We simply need to submit to his mercy. 

2 thoughts on “Thursday, February 22”

    1. I think that’s what makes you so strong, Carolyn – your willingness to admit your weakness and instead of relying on your own strength, you rely on Christ. You are an inspiration to us and you mentor us with your love for Christ. Thank you for all you do and how you show us his love. (ACL)


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