Day 18

Your Kingdom Come

Wisdom Psalm 10:12-18
New Testament Matthew 13:18-35
Old Testament Genesis 36:1-37:36


Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022) ruled the United Kingdom for seventy years. She was by far the longest reigning British monarch. Each year, on Christmas Day, she gave a message to the nation. In her final Christmas message, on 25 December, 2021 she said, ‘The birth of Jesus marked a new dawn with endless potential. His teachings have been handed down from generation to generation and have been the bedrock of my faith.’

In another recent message she said, 'Only a few acknowledged Jesus when he was born. Now billions follow him. The message of Jesus is never out of date and is needed as much as ever.'

The Queen of the United Kingdom was pointing to another kingdom, a kingdom that Jesus came to establish, and which he will come again to rule. Jesus taught us to pray, 'Your kingdom come' (Matthew 6:10). The kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God.


Psalm 10:12-18

  12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
   Do not forget the helpless.
  13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
   Why does he say to himself,
   “He won’t call me to account”?
  14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
   you consider their grief and take it in hand.
  The victims commit themselves to you;
   you are the helper of the fatherless.
  15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
   call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
   that would not otherwise be found out.

  16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
   the nations will perish from his land.
  17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
   you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
  18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
   so that mere earthly mortals
   will never again strike terror.


Cry out for the transformation of society

The Lord is King for ever and ever’ (v.16a). God is in ultimate control of the universe. Yet the writer also cries out to God: ‘Time to get up, God – get moving’ (v.12a, MSG). He prays, in effect, that God’s kingdom will come on earth. When God gets moving, ‘The reign of terror is over, the rule of the gang lords is ended’ (v.18b, MSG).

The psalmist prays in particular for social justice. He prays for those who are:

  • Helpless (v.12)
  • Troubled (v.14)
  • Grieving (v.14)
  • Victims (v.14)
  • Fatherless (v.14,18)
  • Homeless (v.18, MSG)
  • Oppressed (v.18).

If you want to see God’s kingdom come and society transformed, these are the people you must be concerned about.


Lord, thank you that you’re my King. I lift up to you those who are in need… May your kingdom come.

New Testament

Matthew 13:18-35

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

The Parable of the Weeds

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

  “I will open my mouth in parables,
   I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”


Keep telling people about Jesus

Every time you have told someone about Jesus and the gospel, you have ‘planted’ a seed in their heart. Not every seed you plant will bear fruit, as we see in the parable of the sower. Some seed never takes root (v.19). Other seed produces only temporary results. We can be drawn away from God by ‘trouble’ or ‘the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth’ (vv.21–22).

Yet if the seed grows well, each of these parables shows us that you can have a huge impact. ‘The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams’ (v.23, MSG).

When I look at the lives of some of those who did Alpha five, ten or fifteen years ago, they have had a massive impact. Some have even started ministries that have had a global influence.

Jesus tells many parables about the kingdom of God (the ‘kingdom of heaven’ is Matthew’s preferred form, following the regular Jewish practice of reverentially saying ‘heaven’ rather than ‘God’).

The kingdom is both ‘now’ and ‘not yet’. Jesus’ parable about the weeds tells us that there is a future aspect of the kingdom. At the moment, the wheat and the weeds grow together. One day there will be a harvest and a judgment. When Jesus returns the kingdom of God will come in all its fullness (vv.24–30).

Jesus goes on to say: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in a field. Although it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree so that the birds come and perch in its branches’ (vv.31–32).

The image of birds in branches appears quite a few times in the Old Testament, where it symbolises people from all nations becoming part of God’s family (see Ezekiel 17:22–24; 31:3–14; Daniel 4:9–23). Jesus was reminding his listeners that the kingdom of heaven was not just for one nation but for the whole world.

There are many different types of planting. For example, one small group plants another and ‘it grows’ (Matthew 13:32). Then there is ‘church planting’. What is planted is often quite small – like a mustard seed. But when ‘plantedit grows’ (vv.31–32).

I look around at some of the ‘church plants’ from our local church and see the huge impact they are having on the area – ‘The birds of the air come and perch in its branches’ (v.32) – with people coming into God’s kingdom who are as unexpected as Gentile believers were to the Jewish nation. All over the world today we see the impact of ‘church planting’. As the church growth expert, Peter Wagner, has said, ‘Church planting is the most effective form of evangelism known under heaven.’

Jesus goes on to talk about the kingdom of heaven being like yeast that works its way all through the dough (v.33). Your influence can be enormous – in your home, family, school, university, factory or office. This is how the transformation of society takes place.


Lord, help me to plant as many seeds as possible as I seek to bring the good news of Jesus to our world. May your kingdom come in my city, nation and throughout the world.

Old Testament

Genesis 36:1-37:36

Esau’s Descendants

36 This is the account of the family line of Esau (that is, Edom).

2 Esau took his wives from the women of Canaan: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite — 3 also Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth.

4 Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath bore Reuel, 5 and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These were the sons of Esau, who were born to him in Canaan.

6 Esau took his wives and sons and daughters and all the members of his household, as well as his livestock and all his other animals and all the goods he had acquired in Canaan, and moved to a land some distance from his brother Jacob. 7 Their possessions were too great for them to remain together; the land where they were staying could not support them both because of their livestock. 8 So Esau (that is, Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir.

9 This is the account of the family line of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir.

  10 These are the names of Esau’s sons:

   Eliphaz, the son of Esau’s wife Adah, and Reuel, the son of Esau’s wife Basemath.

  11 The sons of Eliphaz:

   Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz.

   12 Esau’s son Eliphaz also had a concubine named Timna, who bore him Amalek. These were grandsons of Esau’s wife Adah.

  13 The sons of Reuel:

   Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These were grandsons of Esau’s wife Basemath.

  14 The sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon, whom she bore to Esau:

   Jeush, Jalam and Korah.

15 These were the chiefs among Esau’s descendants:

  The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau:

   Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 Korah, Gatam and Amalek. These were the chiefs descended from Eliphaz in Edom; they were grandsons of Adah.

  17 The sons of Esau’s son Reuel:

   Chiefs Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These were the chiefs descended from Reuel in Edom; they were grandsons of Esau’s wife Basemath.

  18 The sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah:

   Chiefs Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These were the chiefs descended from Esau’s wife Oholibamah daughter of Anah.

19 These were the sons of Esau (that is, Edom), and these were their chiefs.

20 These were the sons of Seir the Horite, who were living in the region:

   Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 21 Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. These sons of Seir in Edom were Horite chiefs.

  22 The sons of Lotan:

   Hori and Homam. Timna was Lotan’s sister.

  23 The sons of Shobal:

   Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho and Onam.

  24 The sons of Zibeon:

   Aiah and Anah. This is the Anah who discovered the hot springs in the desert while he was grazing the donkeys of his father Zibeon.

  25 The children of Anah:

   Dishon and Oholibamah daughter of Anah.

  26 The sons of Dishon:

   Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran and Keran.

  27 The sons of Ezer:

   Bilhan, Zaavan and Akan.

  28 The sons of Dishan:

   Uz and Aran.

  29 These were the Horite chiefs:

   Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 30 Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. These were the Horite chiefs, according to their divisions, in the land of Seir.

The Rulers of Edom

31 These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned:

  32 Bela son of Beor became king of Edom. His city was named Dinhabah.

  33 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah succeeded him as king.

  34 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites succeeded him as king.

  35 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, succeeded him as king. His city was named Avith.

  36 When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah succeeded him as king.

  37 When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth on the river succeeded him as king.

  38 When Shaul died, Baal-Hanan son of Akbor succeeded him as king.

  39 When Baal-Hanan son of Akbor died, Hadad succeeded him as king. His city was named Pau, and his wife’s name was Mehetabel daughter of Matred, the daughter of Me-Zahab.

40 These were the chiefs descended from Esau, by name, according to their clans and regions:

  Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 43 Magdiel and Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom, according to their settlements in the land they occupied.

This is the family line of Esau, the father of the Edomites.

Joseph’s Dreams

37 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.

2 This is the account of Jacob’s family line.

Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”

8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.

9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.”

“Very well,” he replied.

14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.

When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”

16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”

17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan. ’”

So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.

19 “Here comes that dreamer! ” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”

21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.

23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.

25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.

26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood. ” His brothers agreed.

28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”

31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”

33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”

34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave. ” So his father wept for him.

36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.


Bow down before the King of kings

Today we begin the story of Joseph. He was loved more than any of the other sons of Israel (37:3) and his brothers were jealous (v.4). Joseph was famous for his dreams, in one of which he saw his brothers bowing down to him (vv.7,9).

There is no doubt that God does sometimes speak to us through dreams – he certainly spoke to Joseph this way (vv.5,9). Through these dreams Joseph caught a glimpse of what the future held and what God was going to do with his life.

However, it is not always wise to tell everybody about the dreams and visions that you have for your own life. Joseph was aged seventeen (v.2). He was inexperienced. His mistake was to tell everyone about his dreams. This led to further hatred (vv.5,8) and to greater jealousy (v.11). His brothers said, ‘“Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?”’ (v.8a). They hated the idea of Joseph being their king.

Then he had another dream in which he saw them all, in effect, ‘bowing down to [him]’ (v.9). His father, wisely, simply ‘observed’ and ‘pondered’ over what Joseph had said (v.11, AMP). If you are unsure how to respond to a dream or a vision that you think may have come from God, the wisest response is simply to ponder it in your heart (see Luke 2:19).

However, Joseph again unwisely told his whole family. His brothers were even more jealous of him (Genesis 37:11). They plotted to kill him (v.18). Joseph was sold to the Midianites who sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard (v.36). Joseph came under another king of Egypt.

As a result of Joseph unwisely telling his brothers his dreams, he had to go through years of hardship and difficulty. God used all this to develop his character and prepare him for his life’s work.

The kingship we read about in the Old Testament is an anticipation of the kingdom of God in the New Testament. In today’s passage we see a variety of human rulers – from the kings and chiefs of Edom (36:31–43), to the Pharaoh of Egypt (37:36). One of the key messages in these closing chapters of Genesis is that God is ultimately above and behind all human rulers. This comes out particularly in the story of Joseph.

The twists and turns of the story can sometimes seem bizarre and random. Yet, throughout, we read of God’s involvement (such as in Joseph’s dreams), and we eventually discover that everything was working towards God’s purposes (50:20).

Joseph is a ‘type’ of Christ. In other words, his life foreshadows the life of Jesus (as we will see in the days ahead). But here at the start we see a contrast. Jesus also knew how God was going to use him, but he was very discreet about whom he told.

We also see in this passage the beginning of the similarities between Joseph and Jesus. One day, people were going to bow down before Joseph (37:7,9), and one day every knee will bow before King Jesus (Philippians 2:10; Revelation 19:4,6).

It is when you voluntarily bow the knee to Jesus now, and hold him as supreme King in your life, that you are less concerned about the outcomes of various power plays with other human beings that exist in your life (for example, the teacher, the boss and the government).


Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings, thank you that when I follow you I come under your kingship. I bow before you today and confess that you are Lord. May your kingdom come.

Pippa adds

Genesis 36:1-37:36

Jacob could do with a copy of The Parenting Book. Favouring one of your children causes problems. But God uses even our mistakes for his purposes.



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Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version Anglicised, Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 Biblica, formerly International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, an Hachette UK company. All rights reserved. ‘NIV’ is a registered trademark of Biblica. UK trademark number 1448790.

Scripture quotations marked (AMP) taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (

Scripture marked (MSG) taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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