Police Devotional

“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.” (Genesis 41:14)

When we last saw Joseph, he was in the Egyptian prison along with Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker who had also been put there. God had worked in both the butler and baker’s lives. They both had dreams that they didn‘t understand. Joseph saw that they were sad, and even in his own predicament, he was concerned about them. They told him that they’d dreamed dreams, and he asked them to tell him what they were.

The chief butler told Joseph his dream. Joseph interpreted it to mean that the chief butler would get his job back in three days. Joseph also asked him to speak to Pharaoh for Joseph, because he didn’t deserve to be in the prison. Then the chief baker told Joseph his dream. Unfortunately, Joseph had bad news—the chief baker would be hanged in three days.

Can you imagine being the chief baker, knowing that you would die in three days, and not knowing what awaited you on the other side of the grave? No doubt many people live in fear of death and the afterlife. They don’t know Jesus as their Saviour, just as the chief baker probably worshipped the false gods of Egypt and didn’t know the true God, the Redeemer who would one day come. So Joseph had a chance to talk with him about the true God, the God of Israel, before he was executed.

As for the chief butler, unfortunately, he forgot about Joseph once he got his job back: “Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.” (Genesis 40: 23). God, however, had not forgotten Joseph. Pharaoh later had a troubling dream. He dreamed of seeing seven fat, healthy cows that were eaten up by seven scrawny cows. Then he dreamed about seven fat, healthy ears of corn on one stalk that were eaten up by seven withered ears of corn. Pharaoh didn’t know what the dream meant, so he called his astrologers and fortune-tellers. They couldn’t help him, and it was then that the chief butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh how he had interpreted dreams for him and the chief baker. Pharaoh sent for Joseph to be brought immediately to him.

Joseph shaved himself and changed his clothes. He cleaned up to show respect for Pharaoh. He was about to see someone important. Did you ever see defendants in court who weren’t dressed for the occasion? Defendants should dress up, as much as they can. They are about to see someone important. When they don’t take the time to put on decent clothes, they show lack of respect for the court, like the judge is not important. Some judges realize that, too. Isn’t that an interesting detail from scripture?

Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams about the cows and the corn. Joseph told Pharaoh that the dreams were a warning to Pharaoh. Egypt would enjoy seven years of plenteous crops, followed by seven terrible years of famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh to appoint a man to oversee the gathering of food, and later the distribution of it. Joseph may never have dreamed that Pharaoh would pick him to be that man, but he did. So one day, Joseph is in the prison. The next day, he is the second-most powerful man in one of the most powerful countries in the world at the time.

God may not work in your life as dramatically as He did in Joseph’s, but whatever your situation, just “Trust in the LORD, and do good;” (Psalm 37:3). Psalm 46:10 also says, “Be still, and know that I am God:” Whatever your situation, God is in charge and has ways of working things out. We’ll also see more of how God worked in the lives of Joseph and his family later. Meanwhile, if you want to see how to receive Jesus as Saviour, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

Brian Miller 4/8/2015

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822

 

 

Police Devotional

“And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was he doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” (Genesis 39:20-23)

Joseph was a Hebrew who had been sold by his brothers, but God was with him. An Egyptian captain named Potiphar bought him. Joseph was honest and industrious. God blessed Joseph’s work in Potiphar’s house, and Potiphar made Joseph overseer over all his goods. Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife kept hitting on Joseph to have an affair with her. He didn’t just tell her “no;” he also told her why. He said, “…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9) That was pretty bold, to tell a high-ranking military officer’s wife that she was wicked. She probably didn’t appreciate that comment, but Joseph was determined to do right.

One day she grabbed his garment, trying again to seduce him. He refused and fled, leaving the garment behind. Now she was mad. She told the house servants and her husband that Joseph had tried to rape her. She even showed the garment as evidence. Now in Egypt, whom do you think everyone would believe: a high-ranking captain’s wife, or a young Hebrew slave?

So Joseph found himself in a foreign prison. His situation looked pretty miserable. However, look at our passage: “But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy…” God allowed the whole situation with Potiphar’s wife play out, but God had not abandoned Joseph. Look at what happened to Joseph in the prison. He was put into a place of authority over the other prisoners. “The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” People could see something different about Joseph. Even as a foreign prisoner, Joseph had integrity, served the Lord and did his best, and God blessed him in the middle of his predicament.

As a cop, you may find yourself in a bad situation that’s not your fault, like Joseph did. You may be in a place you don’t like, with a boss you don’t like or who doesn’t like you. You may not get a transfer to some great unit that you think you deserve. If you know Jesus as your Saviour, don’t be like some officers who say, “The city messed me over, so I’m not doing any work.” You don’t “get back at the city” by doing that—you sin against God, misuse taxpayer money by being lazy, and hurt innocent citizens who need your help. Maybe you got a bum deal, but so did Joseph. Psalms 37:3 says, “Trust in the LORD, and do good.” Ask the Lord to help you deal with it in a right way. Ask Him to use the situation to reach others with the gospel. Then trust in Him to work it out, and serve the Lord on the job by doing your best.

Most importantly, if you’ve not seen in the Bible how to have God’s forgiveness for sins and eternal life, please click on the “How do I go to Heaven?” link on the sidebar.

Brian Miller 3/24/2015

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822

Police Devotional

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” (I Peter 2:24)

An officer working an impound desk took a call from a man who wanted his car released from the lot. The officer asked for the car’s VIN number. The man gave it using phonetics such as “One George Three Charlie Robert…“ The officer was surprised that the man knew the phonetic alphabet and asked if he’d been a cop. He said, “No, but I’ve been arrested a bunch of times.”

As a cop, you’ve probably dealt with people who have “been arrested a bunch of times.” One drunkard was arrested so often that the police just made a copy of his booking card. Then when he was brought in—usually was too drunk to make any sense—they used the info off the old card to make a new card. They just changed the date, time, and location of arrest.

It’s too bad that people end up having a “record a mile long,” but here’s a good illustration of the truth in our passage. It’s about Jesus, Who “bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” You’ve probably heard many times that Jesus died for your sins. Did you ever stop to think, though, about what it actually means, that Jesus died for your sins?

Just for the sake of the illustration, let’s say you commit ten sins a day. That means thoughts, words, and deeds. Ten sins a day means 3,650 sins per year. Over ten years, that’s 36,500 sins. Over seventy years, that’s 255,500 sins. Multiply 255,500 times the world’s population of say, six billion, and the number of sins for which Jesus died is huge. If you try to figure in all those who have died throughout history, and all of their 255,500 sins, you almost can’t count that high.

Now go back to your own sins. If you don’t think your sins are that bad, do this: write down each sin you’ve ever committed in your life, even as a child. You may not remember them all, but you will remember some. Write them down. As you write, you may remember more sins. Write them down. You may remember some really disgraceful, embarrassing things you‘ve done. God knows about them, too. Write them down.  Whatever sinful thoughts you’ve had, write them down, too. “The thought of foolishness is sin,” as it says in Proverbs 24:9. Be honest when you do this.

You’ll see then that you have “a sin record a mile long.” Each of your sins—and you don’t know the actual count—is offensive to a holy God. Each sin alone is enough to separate you from God: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Each sin alone is enough to condemn you to eternity in hell: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14).

Yet God in his love put all your sins on his Son, the Lord Jesus, and Jesus “bare our sins [including all of yours] in his own body on the tree.”  Now do you see how meaningful it is that “Jesus died for your sins?” If you want to know how to have God’s forgiveness of your sins and eternal life by receiving Jesus as Saviour, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

Brian Miller 3/16/2015

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822