Have ever driven down the same road over and over again thinking you know every pothole, every curve, and every sight along the way? Then one day you notice something you have never seen before and wonder how you missed it. Whether it is a building, a feature to the terrain, art of some sort, or an old sign.
The same thing happens to me every time I read the Bible. I have no idea how many times I have read through the scriptures. Whether for a seminary class, preparing for a sermon, B90X, or just feeding my own soul. Each and every time, there seems to be something that catches my attention I had never seen or had never cognitively ruminated.
Today’s Biblical “Roadside Point of Interest” is found in Genesis 41. Joseph has been in prison a full two years. Pharaoh has a dream, is puzzled by it, and needs it interpreted. Pharaoh’s cupbearer recalls a young man who can interpret dreams and tells Pharaoh about him. Pharaoh send for this dream interpreter.
One sentence that grabbed my imagination- “When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh” (NIV). What did he look like? Was he scraggly looking? Was he dirty and where would he have cleaned up? What did his clothes look like and where did he get a fresh set?
I digress. The thought occurred to me on how we present our selves to others. How we dress when we speak to a public official or stand in a position of authority? Do we take the time to look neat and tiddy before others. Did it matter? The message is the message. But yes, appearances do matter. It is the first impression thing. It was important for Joseph to look presentable as he had his moment in the presence of the Pharaoh.
I thought about the process of taking off and putting on that shows up in the Bible. There is lots of imagery of taking of something lesser and putting on something greater.
“to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Is. 61:3).
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old self, … and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:22-23).
“Put on the full armor of God” (Eph 6:13).
“So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:12).
Colossians 3:14 tells us to “put on love.”
Let’s shave and put on a fresh set of outerwear. Blessings.