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Jan 23: Gen 38 | Psa 41-43 | Matt 25

Reading 1 - Gen 38

There is an intended, and striking parallel, and contrast, between this chapter and the next. Where the elder brother, Judah, free and at ease, had sinned (Gen 38), the younger Joseph, in bondage, remained sinless (Gen 39). In this Joseph typifies Jesus, tempted in all points like his less righteous brethren, yet without sin (Heb 4:15).

Reading 2 - Psa 42; 43

David and Christ: A Meditation on Psalms 42 and 43

His tired eyes had seen more than their share of troubles. Now they stared into the depths of murky Jordan; he saw mirrored there the turmoil of his own life. It had come to this: his own son and an army of his own men in hot pursuit of him. "The sword shall not depart from your house," Nathan had well said (2Sa 12:10). The young men were beside him now. "Arise and go quickly!" Must it always be so quick? He glimpsed the panorama of the years, the scenes tumbling over one another -- a shepherd boy in the hills of Judea, a bear and a giant, a jealous king, a beautiful woman, intrigue and murder, a wrathful prophet, sorrow and tears... and now an old man by a dark river. "Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they crossed the Jordan" (2Sa 17:22).

"As a hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. I am as a hart, timid and fearful, as powerless as he to reach the pure underground streams of thy peace. When shall I return to your house, to behold your face again? Have I gone forth for the last time from 'the city of the great king'?

"Before thee, O God, my life is poured out as the blood of a sacrifice. Yet I remember still, what painful memories! Dancing with the throng, in joyful procession, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude celebrating your festivals. With what merriment we brought the ark into the city of David (2Sa 6:12-18)!