Today we are looking at the lives of several people. The people are spread across the Bible – one in the books of Moses, one in Kings and one in the Pauline epistles. There is a common theme in these texts. That theme is wisdom and power from God. In the passage in Genesis, the wisdom of God is the saving power that feeds the children of Israel. In 1 Kings, God’s wisdom returns a child to his mother. And in the New Testament, the wisdom of the Lord draws people to God through proclaiming the atoning death of the Messiah.
The passage we will consider in Genesis is about Joseph interpreting the Pharaoh‘s dream. The Pharaoh had a weird dream. Not a pleasant dream about a fair maiden in the land. He was dreaming about seven fat, healthy cows and seven skinny, ugly cows. And the seven scrawny cows up and ate the fat ones. And the scrawny cows were so starved, they looked malnourished and bonny even after eating the fat cows. Gross dream this. Cannibal cows, with a chocolate-like craving for cows. This is where we pick up the story in the Word.
Genesis 41:7-8 (Moffatt Bible) Then the Pharaoh woke up, to find he had been dreaming. 8In the morning his mind was disturbed, so he summoned all of the magicians and sages in Egypt, and told them what he had dreamed, but no one could interpret it for the Pharaoh.
Back to the story. One of the Pharaoh’s servants remembered Joseph had interpreted a dream for him. Joseph was called to interpret the Pharaoh’s dream. Enter Joseph and the interpretation. See verses 25-27 (Moffatt Bible) Joseph said to the Pharaoh, “The Pharaoh’s dream means one thing. God has been showing the Pharaoh what he is about to do; 26the seven good cows are seven years, And the seven good ears are seven years - it is one and the same dream. 27The seven lean and ugly cows that came up afterwards are also seven years, And so are the seven empty ears blasted by the east wind; there are to be seven years of famine.”
Because of the interpretation, the Land was able to prepare for the famine. Joseph’s family was saved from starvation, by the preparations made in Egypt for the coming famine. The wisdom of the ages and the wisdom of the Ageless One comes to the king of Egypt through a slave. The slave saves the entire country.
Never let the position a person has cause you to look down on a person. The least likely, the least in the eyes of society have the potential to do tremendous things. As queer Christians we have some sense that is true. Queer people have played leading roles in every aspect of society for thousands of years. The role gay, bisexual and trans-identified people have played in the church of Christ cannot be easily dismissed. Queer people are an important part of every denomination. Unfortunately, not all church denominations realize that.
Today, we are in the midst of a spiritual famine. Unfortunately, the famine may get worse before it gets better. Those attempting to fill their souls turn to sex, crime, violence and unethical conduct in an endless conquest fill a hunger only God can fill. People are chasing after philosophies, eastern philosophies and religion for the spiritual banquet offered by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
1 Kings tells a story of the two women fighting over a baby. You see both women had a baby. During the night one of the babies died. The mother of the baby that died tried to switch babies. Both women claimed the baby is their own. They take their legal fight to the supreme court of Israel, to the throne of King Solomon.
Showing wisdom, King Solomon proposes to have the baby cut in half, with each woman getting half of the baby. One of the ladies says she is willing to give up the baby, rather than see the baby cut in half. Solomon recognizes that as the maternal instinct to protect the child‘s life.
1 Kings 3:27-28 (Moffatt Bible) The king replied, 'Give yonder woman the living child, instead of killing it; she is its mother!'28All Israel heard of this decision of the king, and they stood in awe of the king, seeing that he had God’s own wisdom for doing justice.
When God gives you His wisdom, people notice. They know the source of the wisdom. You may be struggling with decisions that feel every bit as difficult and as important as the one that Solomon faced. Ask God for the wisdom. As the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, the Lord is prepared to give you wisdom.
Solomon united the child with his mother. The purpose of Godly wisdom is to unite people, and to unite people to their Heavenly Parent.
In 1 Corinthians Chapter 2, Paul talks about how he came in weakness, not strength. Instead of using human wisdom and persuasive speeches, he relied on the Holy Spirit and the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:1-2 (Moffatt Bible) Thus when I came to you, my brothers, I did not come to proclaim to you God’s secret purpose with any elaborate words or wisdom 2I am determined among you to be ignorant of everything except Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ crucified.
Paul knew something important. True power of persuasion comes not from university degrees, not from the fiery rhetoric of parliamentary debate, not from a large vocabulary, not from acting skills. Kingdom persuasion comes from the King! To have Kingdom persuasion, you only need to know Jesus and Him crucified. If you know little else, you can be a powerful force for Lord!
Feel a little sheepish today? Done a few dumb things this week? Feel totally unable to do what God wants you to do. You are not alone. Some of the best people have felt that way. Solomon did.
1 Kings 3:7-9 . . . (Moffatt Bible) O Eternal, thou hast madethy servant king, instead of Davidmy father; and Iam a mere child,I know not how to go about my business.
I love the way Young’s Literal Translation reads. I [am] a little child, I do not know to go out and to come in. My paraphrase reads, “I do not know enough to come in out of the rain!”
All three men touched lives. The key to touching lives lies with the Lord. Want wisdom? Ask God. Like the ability the bring healing? Ask the Lord. Hope to unite people to people and to Heavenly Father? Do what Solomon did. Look to God. And the Lord will give you Kingdom wisdom for Kingdom purposes.