• The Decree of God Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    Joseph has just revealed his true identity to his astonished brothers. It had been a tearful moment (Gen. 46:2, 14; cf. 42:24; 43:30). He is about to engage in a discourse on predestination and the divine decree (yes, really!), but this is no abstract theological exercise; it is theology engaging the harshest of realities — betrayal, false imprisonment, and injustice! Joseph had, from one point of view, every right to think that life made no sense at all because there was no controlling power governing the course of events. He might have been tempted to think along the … View Resource

  • The Edge of Death Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2007

    All of us who are adults have had the temptation to pat a child on the head and say something appropriate. When Jacob had spent seventeen years in Egypt with his family and the time of his death drew near (Gen. 47:29), he made his son, Joseph, swear to him that he would ensure that he would not be buried in Egypt, but in his own burial plot back home in Canaan — a piece of land bought by Abraham (50:13). Then, as news of his death came to Joseph, he took his two sons, Ephraim and … View Resource

  • Everything Is Against Me! Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007

    It is Jacob’s lowest point. As far as he knows, Joseph is dead. That’s the story his sons have led him to believe, showing him the blood-stained “coat of many colors” (Gen. 37:31–33). He mourned his son’s death and “refused to be comforted” despite the hypocritical attempts of his sons who knew full well that Joseph was alive somewhere.  Many years have now passed. Joseph has spent two years in prison, been installed as second-in-command to the pharaoh, and enjoyed seven years of abundant harvest. Now the predicted seven years of famine have begun (something that Joseph had … View Resource

  • The Faithful Endurance of Suffering Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007

    Pharaoh begins having disturbing dreams, and not one of his magicians or wise men is able to interpret them. The chief cupbearer suddenly remembers the accuracy of Joseph’s interpretation of his dream, and Joseph is brought before the pharaoh. Joseph gives all of the glory to God for the ability to interpret dreams and proceeds to explain the meaning of Pharaoh’s dream. He reveals that after seven years of plenty there will be seven years of severe famine. Because of the wisdom and ability that Joseph demonstrates he is exalted by Pharaoh to a position of authority in Egypt second … View Resource

  • Finding God in the Dark Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2007 | Genesis 39

    Four times in Genesis 39 we read that God was with Joseph (39:2-3, 21, 23). The statements form a set of pillars at either end of the story of Joseph’s initial experience of Egypt. On the one end, they come at the beginning of the story after Joseph has been sold by the Ishmaelites to Potiphar, the pharaoh’s “captain of the guard” (39:1). The point of the description is to show to us that God’s presence “prospered” Joseph (39:2). He was a “successful man” (39:2) because “the Lord was with him” (39:3 … View Resource

  • More Than a Tale for Children Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2007

    I was raised in a family where singing was an important part of life. My mother was the adult-choir director for our church when I was growing up, and she also directed the “Son’s Singers” (the children’s choir). Sacred music was well-known in our house. In addition, my parents were also well-acquainted with the popular music of their youth, and it’s possible that no one knows obscure songs from the sixties better than they do.  Needless to say, I have inherited this love of song and generally appreciate all different kinds of music. I am particularly fond of musicals and … View Resource

  • Present Suffering and Future Glory Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2007

    My friends and I often have discussions in which we try to understand why people ever settled in the great state of Florida. Please do not get me wrong, I have a deep affection for the Sunshine State, largely because I have lived in Florida all of my life. But it is difficult for me to grasp how men and women survived the summers here when people began moving into the state en masse during the 1800s. There was no air-conditioning back then, and the summers here can be brutal, largely because of the humidity. These settlers did not have … View Resource

  • The Providence of God Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    The entire life of Joseph is summarized in Genesis 50:20: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” The teenager we met at the beginning of the story is now over a hundred years old. His life has come full circle, and he is addressing his duplicitous brothers. Their actions, in selling him into slavery, had nothing but evil intent written all over it. Their malevolence can in no way be lessened by the knowledge that things did not turn out as they might have done. Truth is, God overruled their evil … View Resource

  • The Veracity of God Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2007

    The story of Joseph is one of the finest examples in Scripture of what Paul meant when he wrote, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28). All things? Yes, including evil things. Nor should we attempt for one moment to lessen the evil intent in men’s actions (or Satan’s for that matter, for he lurks in the background of every evil deed and thought); Joseph’s brothers meant to harm him, but God overruled their actions for good. It will be Joseph’s clear announcement at the end of the story … View Resource