Dirty Jobs: Changing Without Being Changed

Doing the dirty job of shepherding required that Joseph stepped outside of the palace and into the presence of the people he was called to serve, he had to plan with their needs in mind, and yet the final step was the most delicate balance.

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Joseph was in the culture to change it without letting it fundamentally change him! (Genesis 41:50-57) 50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh[a] and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim[b] and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” 53 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.” 56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.

We get a glimpse into the changes in Joseph’s personal life. Continue reading “Dirty Jobs: Changing Without Being Changed”

PURSUED: Value Equation

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With Jonah’s forgiveness equation out of balance, his anger growing, we see the root of his problem, no pun intended (Check out earlier chapters of PURSUED)…

 

The Value Equation (Jonah 4: 5-9) Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”Jonah was holding out hope in the back of his mind, that maybe, just maybe, God would hear his grumblings and bring the city down to the ground. As he waited God miraculously provided a plant to shade the prophet, alleviate his discomfort, and as the worm chewed to the root, the real problem with Jonah’s heart became clear, again he decreed his go to line- ‘it would be better for me to die than to live.” The value equation was out of whack; find the plant more pertinent than the lives of people. Just how valuable is one life?

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Ethicist Peter Singer argued not very valuable, “Surely there are nonhuman animals whose lives, by any standards, are more valuable than the lives of some humans.” That value equation is being lived out–worldwide 42 million lives are aborted before they get a chance to prosper.

Several years ago a fragile young woman expecting her first child was under the care of Dr. Joe Wheeler. About a month before the baby was due it was discovered that the baby was in a breech position which caused the doctor great concern as he knew of difficulty of such a delivery and the high death rate involved. Continue reading “PURSUED: Value Equation”