Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 ‘Archers attacked him savagely; they shot at him and harassed him. But his bow remained taut, and his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.’

Genesis 49:23-24

If we look at this verse in context, it is speaking of the attack on Joseph’s life and his ability to remain consistent in the most difficult of situations. If we think about it spiritually, we can relate it to our Lord Jesus who was attacked by all the demonic hordes on the Cross and yet remained strong and won for us our salvation. If we think about this verse personally, it speaks to us of what we ought to be in God. Yes, we will be attacked at different times in our spiritual life but we must learn to be strong against all that comes against us. The truth is life will always have something to throw at us. Samuel Rutherford said:

‘If this storm were over, you must prepare yourself for a new wound.’

It doesn’t matter who the archers are or what the arrows say as they fly in your direction; don’t become entangled in their talk with explanations or excuses. If it wasn’t this that troubled you, it would be something else!

Joseph was troubled by many difficulties: his brothers hated him; he was kidnapped; Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him and lied about him; he was thrown into prison where he was forgotten by the cup-bearer, to name a few of his difficulties.  Yet Joseph remained faithful to God in all the hidden places of his heart, including prison!

There will be times when you are harassed by the archers, stressed with life or circumstances. Your bow must remain taut! Your commitment to Christ mustn’t waver. As you do what you know is right, your arms will be strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One. He will be as the strong Shepherd and the Rock of Israel to you.

There is a strength that many Christians don’t find in the midst of difficult circumstances. We often sing of strength, or preach about it in the good times, but when the difficulties come we crumble. We put down our bow and our arms grow weak. We lose ground and wish that life were different. We moan and complain and blame God that life is hard.

We need to learn like Joseph, in the midst of many trials, to trust in the strength of the Mighty One. He is able to keep our arms strong and our bow taut. Practice His presence today, and when things come against you, remember Joseph and his trials, and trust in the God of Jacob.