Wake Up, Shake Up (Advent 10, 2020)

When we love and serve a God who is all-seeing, all-knowing, and ever-present, we need to understand that Divine Interventions happen on His time schedule, not ours.  In His ways, not ours.  And often with a convoluted path leading to surprising outcomes.

Such was the case with Pharaoh who didn’t know God at all.  In Pharaoh’s dungeon, Joseph the dreamer was there.  He knew God and moreover, God knew the plans He had for Joseph.  The path to get from the fields at Shechem (when Joseph was sold into slavery) to the service of Pharaoh is crystal clear looking back over history. As God would have it, one is an honest man who must be feeling like he’s rotting away in prison and the other, a Pharaoh in a lavish and comfortable residence. One of the two of them wasn’t sleeping well.

Pharaoh’s nightmares were Divine Intervention to fulfill God’s plan.

Genesis 41:14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.  15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”  16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”

Joseph (who knew God) was witnessing to Pharaoh who was treated as a god by the Egyptians.  Were it not for Pharaoh’s bad dream, there would never have been an opportunity for a prisoner to speak to such a powerful man.  It was a divine appointment made possible by Divine Intervention.

Questions for thought:

  • When things are confusing in the unpredictable way they’re playing out, what is your reaction? 
  • The year 2020 has been a confusing year.  “Chalk it up to 2020” has been the motto of everything that went wrong, everything bad that happens, everything substandard, random, strange, or abnormal.  What a year, yes?  Yet, perhaps the reason God laid the Divine Intervention thought on my heart for Advent devotionals is that He’s working in the spiritual realm, doing things we cannot see or predict to open our eyes to witness to people.  Everyone has been under the yoke of COVID.   Everyone is under the yoke of sin.  There is one Person who can take that yoke from us.  And He was born on Christmas Day over 2000 years ago.  His birth remains a pivot point of history.  His life remains a legacy of biblical and historical significance.  Jesus is our Reason for the season.  Are you living in fear of death under the yoke of COVID or do you know the freedom to truly live? 
  • Death exists for one reason only: consequence of sin.  If you don’t know Jesus like Pharaoh didn’t, might COVID be a way to get your attention, to see the parallels, to know by experience what a yoke feels like—not so you’ll wither away under it, but so you will seek Christ who will free you from it?
  • Why might the world’s powers be trying to ruin every holy day among Christians? Do you think it’s a coincidence?

Father in heaven, You are all-seeing all-knowing and ever present. You know the past, the present, and the future. You know how Your circuitous path can lead us straight to Your Son Jesus Christ in whom we have redemption from sin; in whom we can be released from the yoke of sin; the yoke of slavery to spiritual evil; and who can bring us into the true life that awaits eternally in Him. We thank You that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He’s the Way for us to come to You. He is the Truth–absolute truth–because You are absolutely holy, absolutely righteous, and absolutely wonderful! Jesus is the Life: in Him is this fountain of life that each of us needs and without it we perish in our sin. Just as some will die *with* COVID, yet some will live eternally because COVID on this earth resulted in repentance, a change toward freedom brought about by their turning to Jesus Christ in their time of need. I ask, Lord, that for any who do not know You but–like Pharaoh– this time of distress has been a Divine Intervention, an interruption of their days, to get their attention, and draw their focus to knowing what they truly need in this life. They don’t need masks. They don’t need hand sanitizer or contact tracing. What they need is Jesus Christ who was born more than 2000 years ago and whose significance is eternal. What He did on the Cross, in the tomb, and in His resurrection changed the entire course of human history. No mask, no hand sanitizer, no social distancing, nor hand-washing can free us from the yoke of slavery to sin from which there is no therapeutic. There is only one cure. Only Jesus can do that, so I pray Lord that You will take these words of mine, these prayers that I’ve been praying, these devotionals that I’ve been writing, and that You would touch the hearts of people… not for my glory Lord–I’m content being insignificant. I only ask You to use me as a humble, broken instrument of Your goodness and the instrument of Your will to awaken, wake up and shake up those who do not know You! May they come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ so they can be truly free … for Your Word tells us that the one that Jesus has set free is free indeed! We celebrate freedom in Christ, we praise You Lord for this Advent season looking forward to Christmas Day not because of presents under a tree but because of the gift You gave in Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.


Advent 2020 began Sunday, November 29th and continues to Thursday, December 24th as we celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and look forward to His Second Coming.  “Divine Intervention” is this year’s devotional study. By signing up on the sidebar of my Home Page you can receive these daily devotionals. Or they will be reposted on SeminaryGal’s Facebook page as well.

Together we will see how God has been actively involved all along as Divine Intervention for a hurting world and nations in tumult– Intervention for you and for me when our status as sinners required nothing short of a miracle.


Acknowledging inquiries about an entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows: 

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series God’s Christmas list explored what might be on God’s Christmas list, learning what He wants from us. It began December 1, 2019.
  • Storyteller began December 2, 2018 and entered into the Christmas story through its telling.
  • The 2017 series Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 8, 2020

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