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

This Time it's Personal

We need that.

Genesis 50:22-26 (ESV)

So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father's house. Joseph lived 110 years. And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation. The children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were counted as Joseph's own. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Joseph uses a word here that doesn’t sound like much in English but is actually hugely significant – “visit.” Any time the Old Testament speaks of God “visiting” his people, pay attention; God does not stop by casually. The only other time “visit” appears in Genesis, God does a lot more than just say, “Hi.”

The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. – Genesis 21:1-2 (ESV)

As Ellen Brody said in Jaws: The Revenge, “This time it’s personal.” A visit from God is much more than just an answered prayer. God is there – there like He is in the Holy of Holies, there like He is in Christ.

Joseph is making an astonishing prophesy – the return to the Promised Land will involve God’s personal presence. That’s exciting, but there’s an implication here that should make their blood run cold.

The return to the Promised Land will need God’s personal presence.

Christ was the ultimate visit, and the Holy Spirit is the ultimate houseguest.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)

But the same chilling implication applies. We are blessed by God’s personal presence, but it’s because we need His presence. Our sinful nature is an unending disaster. We are lost save for God’s miraculous intervention.

Spend some time thinking about your role as the temple of the Holy Spirit. We’re not good at this (I know I’m not).

But the solution is not to try harder; the solution is to get help. Commit yourself to the task and ask God to nudge you forward toward sanctification.

God honors this kind of prayer.

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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