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Are You Up to Your Neck in Alligators?

Daily Reading: Genesis 39

Scripture Focus: So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him. (Genesis 39.4)

Devotional Thought: "When you're up to your neck in alligators, it's hard to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp." I suppose there were, if not alligators, then crocodiles in the area of Egypt where Joseph found himself after being sold as a slave by his brothers. It would have been perfectly understandable if Joseph had just given up. After all, he didn't even know what his objective was in Egypt. He couldn't see how God was using the 'alligators' to bring about a great deliverance for his family.

Some people would just try to skate by and stay low. Not Joseph. Instead of grousing, Joseph set about making the best of his circumstances. When he found himself in Potiphar's service, Joseph distinguished himself by working hard and making good decisions. He was quickly promoted.

The Bible says that "the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands" (v. 3). Note that God caused all that Joseph did to succeed. He had to do something! God will only bless the work of our hands (minds, etc.), if we actually work! If I want tomatoes from my garden in the summer, I have to plant tomatoes in the spring!

Through the twists and turns of life - false accusations, prison, and being forgotten - Joseph's life was by no means a straight line to success. Yet, Joseph kept his mind focused through it all. He worked hard and trusted in God.

Life is not always fair, but God is. When alligators are all you can see, remember Joseph and keep working hard and trusting in God.

Prayer: God, thank you for your promise to bless the work of my hands. Help me to keep my eyes on you and to keep right on working through the vagaries of life. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD. 10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. 11 As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! 12 For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. 13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me! 14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! 15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, "Aha, Aha!" 16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, "Great is the LORD!" 17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! (Psalms 40:9-17)

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