I INVITE you to consider four things about the Word “to day.” Genesis 40.6,7. I. What the Word means. II. How the Word is used in Scripture. III. How the Word is used in the Text. IV. The instructions that may be learned from the Word.
I. What the Word “to day” means. Dr. Strong defines the Hebrew Word for “to day” that is used in the Text to mean “a space of time defined by an associated term.” In these words, Dr. Strong says the Hebrew Word for “to day” is a Word that refers to time. It is a Word that refers to “a space of time.” At the same time, this Hebrew Word may be said to be in a sense general. It is the Context that helps define what the Word means.
II. How the Word “to day” is used in Scripture. In the Old Testament, this Hebrew Word for “to day” appears 2,239 times. In almost 2,000 of these times (1,939 times), the Word is rendered “day” or “days.” A central idea in these Scriptures is the present day. Yet among the appearances of this Hebrew Word in the Old Testament, there are Verses in which the Word is rendered “time,” “long,” “year,” and “age.” In these Verses, Dr. Strong's words come to light. The Word is largely defined by the Context. For example, Genesis 4.3 says: “And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.” In these Words, our Hebrew Word is in the Word “time.” “In process of time.” To have the phrase to read “in process of a day” would not correlate with the meaning of the rest of the Chapter. In the Chapter, there is implied a progression of time. Therefore the Words are rightly rendered “in process of time.” The Hebrew Word is spelled out by the Words surrounding it.
III. How the Word “to day” is used in the Text. In the Text, there are two Words that relate to time. There is the Word “morning.” There is the Word “to day.” The Text says: “Joseph came in unto [the officers of Pharaoh] in the morning.” The Word “morning” is a precise Word. There is no mistaking what this Word means. The Hebrew phrase reads: “Joseph came in unto them at the break of the day.” Then the Text says that in the morning, Joseph asked the officers of Pharaoh “wherefore look ye so sadly to day?” The Word “to day” (as I showed before) is a more general Word. But the presence of the Word “morning” inclines to the idea that the present day is referred to. So that the Words may well read: “Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?”
IV. The instructions. There are four instructions. 1. Here is a precious creation of GOD. In today's Sermon, I had you to think about the Hebrew Word for “to day.” Along these lines, there would be nothing to speak about if GOD did not create the day. If GOD had not created the day, we would have had no idea what a day is. But Genesis 1.5 says: “And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” There was no human there that first day. There was only GOD and the Angels. Yet that glorious system of day that GOD created that first day was such a remarkable creation as that it is a standing institution we still enjoy down to today.
2. Here is an inestimable gift of GOD. In this world, there are many tremendous gifts GOD gives us. There is none Who gives us gifts like GOD. GOD'S gifts are simply Divine. Psalm 139.15 says He gives us our bodies. Genesis 2.7 says He gives us our souls. Another gift GOD gives us is time. The admirable Independent, Dr. Thomas Shepard, the Founder of Harvard University, once said: “Time is one of the most precious Blessings which worthless man in this world enjoys.” He continued to say: “Time is a golden stream, dissolving, and, as it were, continually running down by us, out of one eternity into another, yet seldom taken notice of until it is quite passed away from us.” What an inestimable gift time is! When time has been rightly used, this world has received its greatest music, its greatest books, and its greatest achievements. When time has been abused, those have been among the worst catastrophes mankind has seen. We may be thankful that GOD did not just give us souls; but for many of us, He has given us sweet time so that if we rightly use our time we may save our souls.
3. Here is a reflection of ourselves. In today's Sermon, I showed that Dr. Strong defines the Hebrew Word for “to day” that is used in the Text to mean “a space of time defined by an associated term.” When you really think about what Dr. Strong says, there is a deep sense in which these words are a mirror. They provide an exact reflection of ourselves. Our lives do not consist of an endless supply of time. Our lives consist of a mere space of time. Life consists of that precious time that GOD Himself has appointed between birth and death. This one Truth is often laid out before us in Scripture. Sometimes, this Truth is plainly spoken. I Corinthians 7.29 says directly: “The time is short.” Very often, this Truth is spoken through symbols. James 4.14 compares our lives to a vapor. Psalm 39.5 compares our lives to a handbreadth. Psalm 78.39 compares our lives to wind.
4. Here is a place to admire JESUS. I grant, JESUS' Life also was a mere “space of time.” In Fact, His Story is clothed with weakness. He was born like us. He hungered. He thirsted. He was weary. He fainted. He slept. He was despised. In the end, His enemies got their way. They killed Him. But consider this. Proverbs 8.30 says JESUS lived in the eternity before time. Colossians 3.1 says today JESUS sits at the right hand of GOD. Hebrews 10.12 says JESUS shall remain forever fixed at the right hand of GOD throughout all of the eternity after time. If such a Person as this—the Second Person of THE ETERNAL GODHEAD—took the rags of our frailty on Himself, graced our world with His Presence, and laid down His Life for our sins—then surely such a Glorious Person is well able to save our souls. We may safely trust in Him. Although His Story is clothed with weakness, yet underneath is the Person and Might of ALMIGHTY GOD. So that Psalm 116.7 says: “Return unto this rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.” Amen.
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