August 17 Devotional (2021)

“And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him…”

August 17, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings:   Genesis 45:1-15 / Acts 7:9-16 / “St. Patrick the slave” from The Confession of St. Patrick

Invitatory

Come! O Come to the well of God’s Word and meet your Savior; the water He has given will become in you a spring of eternal life. 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

    hallowed be thy Name,

    thy kingdom come,

    thy will be done,

        on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

    as we forgive those

        who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

    and the power, and the glory,

    for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn

“All the way my Savior leads me”

By Fanny Crosby (1875)

Representative Text:

1 All the way my Savior leads me–

What have I to ask beside?

Can I doubt His tender mercy,

Who through life has been my guide?

Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,

Here by faith in Him to dwell!

For I know, whate’er befall me,

Jesus doeth all things well;

For I know, whate’er befall me,

Jesus doeth all things well.

2 All the way my Savior leads me–

Cheers each winding path I tread,

Gives me grace for ev’ry trial,

Feeds me with the living bread.

Though my weary steps may falter

And my soul athirst may be,

Gushing from the rock before me,

Lo! a spring of joy I see;

Gushing from the rock before me,

Lo! A spring of joy I see.

3 All the way my Savior leads me–

Oh, the fullness of His love!

Perfect rest to me is promised

In my Father’s house above.

When my spirit, clothed immortal,

Wings its flight to realms of day,

This my song through endless ages:

Jesus led me all the way;

This my song through endless ages:

Jesus led me all the way. [1]


Morning Prayer

A COLLECT FOR PEACE 

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [2]

Short Verse

My soul magnifies the Lord and rejoices in God my Savior.

Joseph gave orders to his servants to fill their sacks with wheat: illuminated Bible by Raphaël de Mercatelli, Ghent, late 15th century
(source)

Morning Reading: Genesis 45:1-15

Joseph provides food

1 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.

4 So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.

[17]

Morning Lesson

God overcomes

Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, but God sent him to Egypt. The brothers sold him for profit, but God sent him to save lives. “Although Joseph’s brothers had wanted to get rid of him, God used even their evil actions to fulfill his ultimate plan. He had sent Joseph ahead to preserve their lives, save Egypt, and prepare the way for the beginning of the nation of Israel.” [3] “God overcame their sinful purpose with His saving purpose. Christ died for our sins, and thus overcame all injustices for man’s salvation.” [4]

“God made Joseph lord of all Egypt, but He made Jesus Lord of all the world (Acts 2:36; 10:36).” [5]

[20]

Genesis 45 Commentary from the Early Church

Verse 3

“I cannot but be amazed here at this blessed man’s remarkable fortitude in putting up with the strain of concealing his identity to this point and not letting on. And [I] am particularly surprised at the way they could stand there and gape without their soul parting company with their body, without their going out of their mind or hiding themselves in the ground. ‘His brothers were unable to say anything to him in reply. They were dumbfounded.’ No wonder! Aware of the way they had treated Joseph, of his position in comparison with theirs and realizing the high office he had attained, they feared for their very lives.”

  • St. Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis [6]
  • Verses 5-8

    “‘Don’t be hard on yourselves; don’t think,’ Joseph [essentially] says, ‘that you did these things to me out of your intent. It was not so much from your malice in my regard as from God’s wisdom and ineffable love that I should come here and now be in a favorable position to provide nourishment to you and the whole country.’” 

  • St. Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis [7]

  • Midday Prayer

    Father of all mercies, you revealed your boundless compassion to your apostle Saint Peter in a three-fold vision: Forgive our unbelief, we pray, and so strengthen our hearts and enkindle our zeal, that we may fervently desire the salvation of all people, and diligently labor in the extension of your kingdom; through him who gave himself for the life of the world, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen. [8]

    Short Verse

    The LORD himself watches over you;* the LORD is your shade at your right hand, So that the sun shall not strike you by day,* nor the moon by night.

    Psalm 121:5-6
    “Joseph Sold to Egypt”
    By James Tissot, 1902
    (source)

    Midday Reading: Acts 7:9-16

    Joseph’s family is fed in Egypt

    9 “And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him 10 and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. 13 And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. 14 And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. 15 And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, 16 and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

    “Joseph in Egypt “
    By Jacopo Pontormo
    (source)

    Midday Lesson

    ‘If it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy it’

    “Famine was a catastrophe because ancient peoples relied almost exclusively on their own crops for food. Almost perfect conditions were needed to produce good crops because there were no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Any variances in rainfall or insect activity could cause crop failure and great hunger. Lack of storage, refrigeration, or transportation turned a moderate famine into a desperate situation. The famine Joseph prepared for was especially severe because seven years of famine came one right after the other. Without God’s intervention, the Egyptian nation would have crumbled.” [1]

    “Why was grain so valuable in those days? As a food source it was universal and used in nearly everything eaten. It could be dried and stored much longer than any vegetables, milk products, or meat. It was so important that it was even used as money..” [10]

    “Jacob was especially fond of Benjamin because he was Joseph’s only full brother and – as far back as Jacob knew – the only surviving son of his beloved wife, Rachel. Benjamin was also Jacob’s youngest son and a child of his old age.” [11]

    “Joseph could have revealed his identity to his brother at once. But Joseph’s last memory of them may well have been staring at their faces in horror as slave traders carried him away. Were his brothers still evil and treacherous, or had they changed over the years? Joseph decide to put them through as few tests to find out.” [12]

    “Joseph remembered his dreams about his brothers bowing down to him (Gen 37:6-9). Those dreams were coming true! As a young boy, Joseph had been boastful about his dreams. As a man, he no longer flaunted his superior status. He did not feel the need to say, ‘I told you so.’ it was not yet time to reveal his identity, so he kept quiet. Sometimes it is best to remain quiet, even though we would like to have the last word.” [13]

    “Joseph was testing his brothers to make sure they had not been as cruel to Benjamin as they had been to him. Benjamin was his only full brother, and he wanted to see him face to face.” [14]

    “See how [Stephen’s message] demonstrates what Gamaliel said, ‘If it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy it’ [Ac 5:39]. See how [in Israel’s history] the victims of plots became the authors of salvation to those plotting against them; how the word, plotting against itself and itself plotted against by others, was saved for all this. The famine did not destroy them. And not only that, but they were saved through him who was expected to perish. The royal edict did not destroy them. Their number at that time rather increased, because [Joseph] died, the one who knew them. Their savior they wished to kill, but for all that, they had not the power to do it. Do you see how by the very means the devil tries to break the promise of God, the promise is increased?” (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles). [15]


    Eventide Prayer

    A COLLECT FOR AID AGAINST PERILS 

    Lighten our darkness, we beseech you, O Lord; and by your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen. [16]

    Short Verse

    Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,* who alone does wondrous deeds! And blessed be his glorious Name for ever!* and may all the earth be filled with his glory. Amen. Amen.

    Psalm 72:18-19
    ST. PATRICK IS KIDNAPPED AT 16 BY THE IRISH DURING AN ATTACK ON BRITAIN
    (from a colorful engraving, hand coloured with gold highlights on paper) 
    By Adriaen Collaert, Flemish, 1560-1618
    (source)

    Eventide Reading

    St. Patrick the slave 

    I, Patrick, am a sinner, the most awkward of country bumpkins, the least of all the faithful, and the most contemptible amongst very many. My father was Calpornius, a deacon, son of a certain Potitus, a priest of the village of Bannavem Taburniae, and there I was captured by slave traders.

    At the time I was about sixteen years old, and I did not know the true God. Along with thousands of other people, I was taken in captivity to Ireland. It was no more than we deserved, for we had turned our backs on God and did not keep his laws. Neither did we obey our priests who reminded us of our salvation. So the Lord scattered us among many nations, even to the utmost part of the earth, where my insignificance might be seen by strangers.

    In Ireland the Lord opened my eyes to my unbelief, so that I might at last face up to my wickedness and be converted with all my heart to the Lord my God. He respected my humbling and had mercy on my youth and ignorance. Even before I knew him, he watched over me. Before I was able to tell good from evil, he protected me and comforted me as a father would his son.

    So I cannot keep quiet—nor should I—about the tremendous blessings and the grace that the Lord poured out on me in the land of my captivity. 

  • The Confession of St. Patrick [18]
  • Compline Prayer

    Lighten our darkness, we beseech you, O Lord; and by your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen. [19]


    Devotionals compiled/written by S. P. Rogers

    Citations:

    [1] Author: Fanny CrosbyPseudonymns: A.V., M. A. E. A. (n.d.). All the Way My Savior Leads Me. Hymnary.org. https://hymnary.org/text/all_the_way_my_savior_leads_me

    [2] Morning Office, Anglican Church in North America 2019 Book of Common Prayer

    http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/06-Daily-Morning-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

    [3] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: Genesis. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 6610). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

    [4] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Genesis. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 95). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

    [5] Ibid. 4

    [6] Chrysostom. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 336). Nashville: Holman Bible.

    [7] Ibid. 6

    [8] Midday Office, Anglican Church in North America 2019 Book of Common Prayer

    http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/07-Midday-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

    [9] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Genesis. In Chronological life application study Bible (p. 81). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

    [10] Ibid. 9

    [11] Ibid. 9

    [12] Ibid. 9

    [13] Ibid. 9, P. 82

    [14] Ibid. 9, P. 82

    [15] Chrysostom. (2019). Acts. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 3118). Nashville: Holman Bible.

    [16] Evening Office, Anglican Church in North America 2019 Book of Common Prayer

    http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/08-Daily-Evening-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

    [17] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Joseph in Egyptian Dress [IMAGE]. In Chronological life application study Bible (p. 80). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

    [18] Simpson, R. (2013). Winter. In The Celtic Book of Days: Ancient Wisdom for Each Day of the Year from the Celtic Followers of Christ (Kindle, pp. 81–82). essay, Anamchara Books. 

    [19] Compline, Anglican Church in North America 2019 Book of Common Prayer

    http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/09-Compline-11.21.2019.docx

    [20] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). PARALLELS BETWEEN JOSEPH AND JESUS [CHART]. In Chronological life application study Bible (p. 80). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

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