Tuesday, March 16, 2010

bread or stone?

In the Sermon on the Mount Christ teaches an important principle about the gifts God gives us.

Matthew 7:7-11
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

We know that God ONLY gives good gifts. He would never give a stone or serpent. He ALWAYS gives bread or fish -- he gives us what we need to live and does not give us things that hurt us. However, how often do we perceive what we have received to be a stone or a serpent? Or in our minds and hearts turn it into a stone?

In Genesis 37 Joseph, a free man, is sold into Egypt to be a slave by his own brothers. Bread or stone?  In Genesis 39 Joseph refuses the advances of his master's wife and is thrown into prison. (He's THROWN INTO JAIL for doing the RIGHT thing!) Fish or serpent? In Genesis 40 Joseph is still in prison but interprets the butler's dream and asks to be remembered -- however, when the butler is restored to his position by Pharaoh he totally forgets about Joseph. Bread or stone?

It isn't until Genesis 41 when Pharaoh has his dream that the butler finally remembers Joseph. Joseph is brought in and interprets the dream and Pharaoh is so impressed that he makes Joseph a ruler of all Egypt. Now this one is OBVIOUSLY bread and not stone -- but the others were not stones either. They may have seemed that way to Joseph, but they were all leading up to great blessings.

The Lord sees the bigger picture. He loves us and will give us bread. We just must remember that it IS ALWAYS bread and it is NEVER a stone, no matter how much we think it might be. That is part of faith. Trusting that whatever it is that God gives us, it is WHAT WE NEED.

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