As we draw nearer the end of our studies into the life of Jacob, Genesis 42 sees Joseph and his brothers wrestle with the issue of...
WRONG or RIGHT
REVENGE or FORGIVENESS
REPENTANCE or REMORSE
RIGHT OR WRONG
Graeme Mackay shared with us from Genesis 42 and reminded us that repetitively there are seasons in Joseph's family history where wrong choices were made. They had a family history of wrong and were hugely dysfunctional as a family across time. One could ask the question, where was God in this family? He was there and active, they were just short on depending on God. It would be fair to say that there is not a whole lot different with us and our worlds. We too can often become short on our dependency on God. We are all sinners.
So why Joseph? Why was he right? God had a plan and purpose through the life of Joseph. He was to be a specific part of God's big plan and purpose, that was to culminate in Christ. God was going to use this family to bring Jesus to earth. There is ample evidence of Joseph's dependency on God as we have heard in previous messages.
REVENGE OR FORGIVENESS
Joseph is now seeing his dreams fulfilled. But he has a choice to make. How will he treat his brothers? Will he hold a grudge? Will he take revenge?
We humans have two lingering problems. We struggle to forgive and we struggle with not accepting forgiveness. Joseph chooses to forgive, but puts on a charade as he looks for a change of character in his brothers.
REPENTANCE OR REMORSE
Joseph gives his brothers time to consider their sin. Time does not heal guilt. Guilt is a gift from God. He pricks our conscience so that we seek forgiveness. In the same way, Joseph's brothers had the past come back to them. Joseph realises that what they had done had not been dealt with. They required repentance.
Repentance is admitting our guilt, changing our minds and turning to God. Like faith, repentance is a positive response to what God has done to us.
The brothers response to the silver in their saddle bag shows their hearts. Instead of seeing blessing, they blamed God for their guilt.
We need to ask God to sharpen our consciences so we can respond to His work. God knows our faults and failings and yet He seeks to see us reconciled to him.
Grace is undeserved favour. A gift.
Joseph's gracious act was more likely to lead them to repentance.
What has this passage/message brought up in your life? God wants to sort it out.
What is God calling you to do?