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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Tell The Truth

Just because.

Genesis 46:28–47:6 (ESV)

He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to show the way before him in Goshen, and they came into the land of Goshen. Then Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He presented himself to him and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while. Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father's household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. And the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock, and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ in order that you may dwell in the land of Goshen, for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”

So Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan. They are now in the land of Goshen.” And from among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, as our fathers were.” They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. And now, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is before you. Settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land. Let them settle in the land of Goshen, and if you know any able men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.”

This isn’t deceptive; Jacob and his sons really are shepherds. That’s almost surprising. Deception is a family tradition – especially when they’re trying to protect themselves. Now the truth protects them in a way that is strikingly similar to the way Abraham, Isaac and Jacob thought their past deceptions would protect them. Ironic, isn’t it?

This mocks the folly of lying. The failure of the previous deceptive schemes contrasts sharply with the simple success of truth-telling. That’s one of the basic lessons of the Bible – just tell the truth.

Never underestimate the importance of the basic lessons. This is one of the reasons why children’s ministry is so important. The basic lessons that a child learns become the foundation of his or her personality. Kids grow up to tell the truth because that’s just the kind of people they are, not because they calculate that it’s to their advantage.

Support your church’s children’s ministry, in prayer and in practice. Every church has the same struggles and the same prayer requests. Staffing is always a challenge. Finding a good curriculum is tricky. People get sick every week and replacements are hard to find on short notice. It’s never a dull moment.

Ask the Lord to bless this. It’s important.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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