Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday January 15th: Genesis 43-45 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Genesis 43-45

In today's reading, there were a couple points that stood out to me:

It is always easier to blame someone else.  Taking responsibility is not the usual trend when we find ourselves in a sticky situation that we are not happy about.  Jacob was no different towards his sons.  Jacob was blaming them about telling "the man" that they had another brother.  Obviously Jacob was getting older and making the 300 mile journey would not be easy, but being the dad, maybe he should have been the one going to Egypt?

Interestingly enough, a common response when being blamed is to lie……the brothers were telling their father that the man in Egypt questioned them closely about their family (vs 7), where in fact, they were only questioned about being spies.  Back in chapter 42:13 they openly told Joseph (whom they did not recognize) that their youngest brother was back with their father.

While the blame game is going on, Judah now steps up and challenges his father to stop thinking of only himself, and to start thinking of what's best for the entire family.  Whoa, who is this guy?  Judah was the one who proposed they sell Joseph to the Midianites.  He also separated himself from his family to live with the Canaanites, hung around Hirah (an ungodly man), married an unbeliever, and slept with a supposed prostitute.  He is a changed person.

A good reminder that if Judah changed, anyone can change!

So after some convincing, and Jacob feeling that his back was against the wall, Jacob sends his sons back to Egypt.

There were also a couple of verses that stood out to me:

The first being chapter 43:18 -
"Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, “We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.

What this verse reminded me is that when we have sinned against someone, in the back of our minds we cannot fully live our days without fear.  Whether we have stolen, cheated, or lied to someone, there remains the fear of getting caught.  It will continue to haunt us until we confess it, or the sin becomes exposed.  The brothers we no different, as they were in fear of their safety.

The second was chapter 44:33-34 -
“Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy,and let the boy return with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.”

This is Judah's response to Joseph when the brothers are told that Benjamin is to be held back in prison for having possession of the cup.  Judah wanted to fulfill the words he gave to his father in that he would protect Benjamin with his own life.  He was given the opportunity to act on his words and he was prepared to do so.

Something that I believe to be important is to say what you mean and mean what you say.  After that, be prepared to follow through with it just like Judah was.

Chapter 45:5 -
"And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

Wow!  Joseph had a response that I wouldn't have had after revealing myself to my brothers, but Joseph could see a bigger picture.  He realized that God had a plan and that everything that did take place needed to take place.  "So then it was not you who sent me here but God." (chapter 45:8a)

Lastly, chapter 45:11 -
"I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute."

I liked this verse because Joseph essentially tells them what he was telling them before they sold him.  Only this time, their response is different as they are now grateful.

Am I grateful?  What kind of circumstance do I have to go through before I am grateful for what I have or who I work under?

Our life is like a jigsaw puzzle.  We are only given a couple of pieces at a time, and we try to figure out where they fit, and what the picture will look like.  As time passes, and we pick up more pieces to our puzzle, things that once troubled us now seem to fit into place.  We are able to gain a new appreciation of God's wisdom because nothing is ever wasted.  He never has to start over, and He doesn't have an undo button.  Everything fits somehow, somewhere, someway.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 46-47


Emma Reimer said...

I liked that point about how if Judah can change, anyone can change. And Judah, who had done all these things, was an ancestor of Jesus! Even though we sin, God forgives us, and He still uses us for His glory.

Nathan Reimer said...

Genesis 45:8 So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt."

Joseph gives credit where credit is due - to God. God takes us down a strange road sometimes, but He takes us to where He wants us to be. I pray I too give credit to God for all the good we have in our lives and how He has worked over time to bring us to this point in our lives.

Miriam said...

Great points. The verse "So then it was not you who sent me here but God." (chapter 45:8a) stood out for me as well. We all go through times in our lives that are difficult or even painful, but God always has a purpose for our pain, even if we don't know what it is. We may never know and that can be hard, but it is never in vain.

Pamela said...

I know Joseph did have a bit of fun with his brothers before he revealed himself but he really did go easy on them for all the years he spent in prison or as a bought slave. I wonder if the years he spent as a bigwig in Egypt made him confident of the big picture before his meeting with his brothers.