Genesis 41 & Transcendent and Immanent

God’s transcendence and immanence are related.  Because His holy glory is so transcendent, it is immanent (Isaiah 6:3).  God’s glory cannot be contained, it is infinite, immeasurable, vast; it is even right here.  In our text we see God’s transcendent sovereignty mingled beautifully with His immanent mercy.  In fact we learn that they are never separated.  His immanent mercy is a transcendent sovereign mercy.  You cannot dissect God and His attributes.  Consider what we learn of God here.

1. God is sovereign. He raises up kings and brings them down (Daniel 2:21).  Their hearts are in his hand (Proverbs 21:1).  He uses them as his tools (Isaiah 10:5-7).  God gives Pharaoh this dream and is Lord over feast and famine (Psalm 105:16; Genesis 41:25, 28).

2.  Not only is God sovereign, but He also has a plan. Strength without wisdom is a dangerous thing.  In God infinite power meets infinite wisdom.  All His sovereign power is moving all things to His purpose (Isaiah 46:8-10).  It was God’s plan for Joseph to go to Egypt (Genesis 45:5-8).  God desired for the chief cupbearer to forget for two more years.  God wants to relocate His people to Egypt for a time, and He is orchestrating all of this, exercising His sovereignty to achieve His plan (Genesis 15:13-16).

Too many are sloppy theologians, they compartmentalize and rarely harmonize.  For instance, I think few connect the doctrine of God’s omniscience with the doctrine of God’s omnipotence.  Why is it that God knows the future?  Because He has a plan and nothing can thwart it.  He knows the future because he does the future (Proverbs 19:21, Job 23:13, Isaiah 14:27, Psalm 115:3).

3. Not only Is God sovereign, not only does He have a plan, but He also discloses His plan to His people. Two generations before Joseph God told Abraham of these things (Genesis 15:13-16).  Joseph as a young boy was given a dream that is controlling this final narrative of Genesis (Genesis 37:5-11).  Now God is revealing to Joseph what He is about to do.  God does nothing without revealing His secret to the prophets (Amos 3:7).  We are not prophets as Amos speaks of, but we have the word of the prophets.  Jesus makes known to His own His plan (John 15:15; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16).

4. Not only is God sovereign, not only does He have a plan, not only does He disclose His plan to His people, but He also graciously uses us to accomplish His plan. Joseph becomes the means God uses to preserve, unify, and sanctify the covenant family.  Joseph is the means God uses to disperse the bread of life.  In a greater way, not lesser, God catches us up into His plan, to proclaim the Bread of Life that has been broken.

Oh what transcendence!  Oh what immanence!

Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples. (Psalm 77:13-14)

My Celebrity Wife

Bethany’s fame is growing.  Yesterday she had over fifty hits on her blog for her first post, then she makes the news last night.  Seems others realize what I have long known – I married an exceptional teacher, the best teacher in Tulsa.  Here is a excerpt from an article on the NewsOn6 website.

According to one parent, Mrs. King is a Tulsa Public Schools standout. The kind of teacher you pray for your student to have.

‘Her first grade teacher saw in her her desire to learn,’ said Mandy Vavrinak, Tulsa Public School Parent. ‘And really has spent the entire year, building her strengths, challenging her and pushing her to learn and grow.’

You can read the whole article here, or, watch the video here, or read her take on it here.

His Blood, Our Wine

Who knows not Love, let him assay
And taste that juice, which on the cross a pike
Did set again abroach, then let him say
If ever he did taste the like.
Love is that liquor sweet and most divine,
Which my God feels as blood; but I, as wine.

  – From The Agony by George Herbert

Jesus Cleans More Than Sin Defiles

Ceremonial symbolism in the Old Testament uses the fundamental distinction between the clean and the unclean.  The comparison of sin to filth is linked with the need for cleanness to approach holy things of the holy Lord.  The prevailing power of sin is shown in the fact that the unclean pollutes the clean, never the other way round.  Haggai’s message focuses on this feature (Hag. 2:10-14).  In fulfillment, the prevailing power of Christ reveres this principle.  When Jesus touches a leper, Jesus is not defiled, the leper is cleansed…  – Edmund Clowney in Preaching Christ in All of Scripture

The Doctor: Celebrate Christmas – All Year!

Now here the Apostle at ounce gives us a general test.  Whatever else the gospel is, it is ‘glad tidings’!  Here is the comparison – ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of great joy!”  Sometimes people think that I have suddenly gone mad if I announce Christmas hymns at some other time of the year.  But I have not!  I do it deliberately in order to introduce this very theme – and why should we not sing these hymns all year round?  Why should we leave them only to that particular time of the year?  The gospel in its fullness should be constantly in our minds.  It is glad tidings, good news!  – D. Martyn loyd-Jones, Romans Vol. 10, p. 299

How to Pray for Your Camp Evangelist

I encourage you to watch the whole video, or listen to the audio here.  But please at least watch and listen to John Piper’s prayer for Chandler starting at 46 minutes.

T4G 2010 — Session 8 — Matt Chandler from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.