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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What is the church? Dependent on revelation.

What is the church?  And what can we liken it to in Genesis 40?

"When Joseph came to them in the morning he looked at them, and behold, they were troubled. And he asked the court officials of Pharaoh that were with him in the custody of his master’s house, “Why are your faces sad today?” And they said to him, “We each dreamed a dream, but there is no one to interpret it.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God?"

Here we see a slew of the characteristics of the church in play.  Joe's responsibility, even in jail.  Joe's compassion for his neighbors, fellow prisoners, foreigners, pagans.  His knowledge, right knowledge of God, not bumpersticker faith.  But fully convinced of the sovereignty of Yahweh, the All knowing, All powerful.  And last but not least, Joe's simple faith and trust in God's power, not his own.  

The church does not lean on its own wisdom and understanding and power.

Centuries later another prisoner and exile in a foreign land (church as alien) would have an opportunity to not just interpret dreams but know the dream outright without being told it!  And not just for servants of the king, but the king himself!  He does not lean on his own power either...

"Then Daniel went to his home, and he made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions, along with the remainder of the wise men of Babylon, would not be killed.
Then in a vision of the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel; then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Daniel said:
“Let his name, the name of God, be blessed throughout the ages,
    for the wisdom and the power are his.
And he changes the times and the seasons,
    and he deposes kings and he sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to wise men
    and knowledge to men who know understanding.
He reveals the deep and the hidden things;
    he knows what is in the darkness,
    and the light dwells with him.
To you, O God of my ancestors,
    I give thanks and I give praises,
for the wisdom and the power you gave to me,
    and now you have made known to me
what we have asked from you,
    for you have made known to us the matter of the king.”  Daniel 2

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