January 22 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 44:1-45:28:

  • 1-13 – The brothers had promised, even to the point of risking the lives of their own children, to bring Benjamin home safely to their father. Finding the cup in Benjamin’s bag must have been devastating.
  • 16 – Judah is most likely referring to their guilt due to selling Joseph and lying to their father about it for all those years.
  • 33 – Judah offers himself up as a replacement for Benjamin as a servant to Joseph. When the brother sold Joseph into slavery, it was originally Judah’s idea. Everything is coming full circle.
  • 1-3 – Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers just as they’re begging for him to release Benjamin.
  • 5-8 – A beautiful act of grace and understanding. Joseph recognizes that God worked good out of what others intended for evil. Joseph was in Egypt at the perfect time to sustain tons of people through the famine.
  • 25-28 – Jacob understandably had difficulty believing that Joseph could be alive since he had believed for many years that he was killed by an animal. He makes it one of his dying efforts to go and see him.

Matthew 14:13-36:

  • 13 – When Jesus heard about John the Baptist’s death he retreated.
  • 14-21 – This miracle story is included in all 4 gospels. Very few stories are in all 4.
  • 23 – Note how many times throughout the gospels they mention Jesus going off by himself to pray.
  • 28-33 – Peter gets a bad rap because he sinks, but notice that he’s the only one that trusts Jesus enough to even get out of the boat. Also, this is a clear instance of when our faith fails, Jesus fills in the gap and takes care of us. This also elicits belief in the witnesses.
  • 34-36 – Clearly the story from chapter 9 where the bleeding woman is healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment had spread.

Psalm 18:37-50:

  • This Psalm is about a specific instance of God rescuing David. He describes how God handled his enemies when Saul was chasing after him and trying to destroy him.

Proverbs 4:11-13:

  • This gives great confidence to those who do follow wisdom. You can feel secure in your steps forward.

January 21 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 42:18-43:34:

  • 21-22 – Joseph’s brothers are still haunted by the evil they did to him so many years ago.
  • 28 – They assumed they would somehow be accused of stealing. They felt like God was repaying their evil.
  • 38 – Joseph and Benjamin were the only two sons from Rachel.
  • 16-25 – The brothers still have not recognized Joseph and are terrified that they are being lured into a situation where they will be punished for stealing the money they brought last time, even though they didn’t intentionally steal it. Why else would the overseer of all of Egypt want them to come to his house?
  • 30-31 – Joseph must have had a wealth of emotions. He was finally reunited with the brothers who had betrayed him as well as his youngest brother who would have been quite young when Joseph was sent away.

Matthew 13:47-14:12:

  • 47-50 – This sounds like a harsh judgment, but the hearers and now, the readers, have received warning after warning of what decisions we need to make and how we are to live.
  • 53-58 – As will continue to become clear, their culture was one of honor and shame. Everything about you either brought honor to you and your family or shame. Jesus came from a small town and a normal family. Those in his hometown saw nothing impressive or honorable about him.
  • 1-11 – John the Baptist was beheaded because Herod was weak. He did not want to have John killed, but he was clouded by drunkenness, the pressure of a crowd, and a hormonal spike caused by a young girl dancing.
  • 12 – We don’t often think of Jesus’ emotions, but he had to have been extremely sad about the death of his cousin and friend. We do know that Jesus knew John would die in prison because the message he sent to him earlier purposely failed to mention prisoners being released.

Psalm 18:16-36:

  • 20-24 – Most of us do not want the Lord to reward us based on our righteousness. Instead, we want the Lord to reward us based on the righteousness of Christ.
  • 36 – A beautiful image of grace. When the Lord makes our steps wide, it is harder to miss the places he intends for us to step.

Proverbs 4:7-10:

  • 10 – This verse offers a cause and effect. If you listen to and accept the words of wisdom you will receive a long life. We tend to like to know what we’re playing for, so this is helpful information.

January 20 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 41:17-42:17:

  • 17-32 – As Joseph makes clear in yesterday’s reading in verse 16, Joseph is not responsible for the interpretation, God is. Joseph is just the vessel.
  • 32 – As we’ve said before, when things are repeated, it means it’s important and should be paid attention to. This is no different with Pharaoh’s dreams.
  • 37-45 – Joseph’s faithfulness in the midst of adversity pays off.
  • 45 – Potiphera is not the same as Potipher whose house Joseph served in and was falsely accused in.
  • 1 – This is Jacob, Joseph’s father.
  • 4 – Benjamin was still young and Jacob had already lost the only other son of his favorite wife, Rachel.
  • 6-10 – Joseph’s dreams that frustrated his brothers when they were young, were now coming true. Joseph recognizes his brothers but they don’t recognize him because there is no way they could have imagined this scenario.
  • 12-17 – Joseph uses this ruse because he wants to see his younger brother.

Matthew 13:24-46:

  • 24-30 – A very powerful parable! God could have destroyed all the people who did not believe in him at any point, but he chooses not to because the destruction of all of them would certainly damage the faith of many believers. We see this even in reading Scripture and feeling sorry for the wicked people in Noah’s day who were drowned. We wonder why God had to destroy them. So God allows believers and non-believers to prosper even if it might make it more difficult for believers.
  • 31-32 – Mustard plants grow quickly and are wild plants.
  • 33 – Clearly Jesus wanted to describe the many intricacies of the kingdom of God. The fact that there are three parables describing the same thing means he wants you to take special note of this.
  • 44-46 – It is unprecedented for a theme to be repeated five times so quickly. The order of the kingdom of heaven was necessary to understand.

Psalm 18:1-15:

  • David attempts to describe the power of God and how he comes to our aid when we earnestly cry out for help.

Proverbs 4:1-6:

  • Solomon doesn’t just ask the reader to take from his lessons, he too took the lessons from his father, David.