Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. Genesis 37:3
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
Monday: God's Providence
Bible Reading: Genesis 37:1-36
Jesse Tree Symbol: coat of many colors (go to Jesse Tree ornaments)
The story of Joseph is so rich with meaning and lessons for all of us: God's protection and plan for Joseph, although so many times the outlook was bleak; Joseph's trust in and obedience to God despite persecution and hardship; God's use of His well-placed man to affect the greatest nation at that time; forgiveness of others no matter what has been done and the dangers of parental favoritism...just to name a few.
God allowed evil to befall Joseph in order to bring great good for many. This evil, however, may never have begun if Joseph's father, Jacob, had not shown such blatant favoritism to his son. Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. Genesis 37:3
God is not that way. One of things that truly sets Christianity and our Savior apart is that His love is universal… His sacrifice is offered to all nations, all tribes, all languages and all people. Jesus calls all men and women to Himself. The blessing of His death and resurrection is for all the nations.
Thus, the coat of many colors can remind us that our God is a God of many colors. And we should be a people who love, not just our family and our neighbors and our nation, but the people of the world. They will be our brothers and sisters in Heaven.
The above commentary on Genesis is part of a 4-week Advent Reflection for the Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree is similar to an advent calendar. Every day you will read a Bible passage to your child(ren), discuss what it means to them in personal terms and color an ornament to hang on your Jesse Tree. A fuller description of this can be found at The Jesse Tree
When you are finished today, you might want to discuss how Christmas is about giving much more than getting. One way that your family can give is through their daily prayers. This might be a good time to pray for a specific country or for a group of people who do not know about Jesus. Today, over 2 billion people, 1/3 of the earth's population, have never heard the Gospel message. They don't know about a God who loves them, made them unique and celebrates who they are. They need our prayers.
Two great websites to help you do this are:
Operation World go to Featured Nation and click on Country Profile
Another way to give is by giving a gift to those, throughout the world, who have very little. It might be a chicken, or sheep or a goat...maybe you can help pay for the digging of a well or provide a sewing machine to a widow so she can provide for her family. There are many ways to help this Christmas. Visit Gospel for Asia and take a look at their Christmas Catalog.