Saturday, February 12, 2011

Genesis: Chapter 42

The past is always a part of us and healing the damages (even self-inflicted ones) is necessary, possible, and yes, painful.  This chapter overflows with emotion and a glimpse of healing!  But before we get to that, we see Jacob offer a great example of 'believing.'  Believing involves acting upon belief; Jacob heard there was food in Egypt and he believed enough to send (most) of his boys.  His heart still ached from the loss of Joseph and he was not willing to risk that pain with Benjamin.  So, he acted on what he heard, to the best of his ability, and sent his older sons to the food source that they might all have life! We know the end of the story:  he did his best and God took care of the rest! (Sound like what we need to do with the Bread of Life?  Believe and Act!)

Joseph's brothers had spent a couple decades trying to 'get over' their part their brother's 'disappearance.'  We can never hide from our sins, only God can blot them out with His forgiveness.  The brothers had run from their actions and now they were to confront them:  in the face of their brother.  Although they didn't know it was Joseph (20 years had passed, he now looked and spoke like an Egyptian--indeed was an Egyptian ruler), but they were transported in time to confront their actions.  I can barely imagine Joseph's heart at this time.  He has a unique vantage point...he sees and hears the pain his brothers caused themselves.  Perhaps he has an increasingly clear view of God's plan that confirms the faith he has exercised over the years.  Joseph is wise, though, as we are called to be.  He tests his brothers and waits for the situation to develop slowly; he allows God's purposes to come together.  He didn't try to alleviate the brother's discomfort; he didn't prevent the emotional struggle his father would soon face.  He walked carefully and purposefully and God's glorious plan proceeded! 

Oh, might I learn from him and restrain my impulse to 'make things better' too quickly.

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