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Genesis 45

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 45

Because of our physical detachment from this story, I am not sure we can grasp the impact that occurred when Joseph proclaimed to his brothers, “I am Joseph”.  I cannot imagine the mix of emotions that must have flooded their thoughts.  Surely, there was disbelief.  After all, they were convinced they were responsible for his death.  Surely, there was terror.  After all, they had horribly mistreated him and now he had total authority over them.  Surely, there was joy.  The one that they thought was dead was, in fact alive.

Another interesting aspect of this story is before this Joseph had only spoken to his brothers through an Egyptian interpreter.  His brothers would have believed that Joseph didn’t speak Hebrew and, therefore, their conversations would have been private even in his presence.  But now Joseph has sent everyone out of the room and he is speaking to his brothers in Hebrew.  I suspect part of the terror they were struggling with was trying to remember what they actually said in his presence.

Verse 5 is a huge statement.  Joseph told his brothers not to be afraid or angry because God had been sovereignly at work behind the scenes.  Looking back at all that had happened, Joseph could see that God was directing things so that Joseph would be in the position he was in to help his dad and the extended family.  Apart from that, the nation of Israel may very well have died in Canaan during the famine and the story of God would have ended or would have required a very sharp turn to another group of people.

This chapter gives us another beautiful example of Joseph as an Old Testament Christ figure.  Joseph had gone from suffering to triumph.  He had gone from prison to the throne.  And because of his victory over the suffering, he had great wealth and glory to share with those in His family.  

There is one last thing I want to call to your attention.  It is found at the end of verse 24.  Joseph is on the verge of sending his brothers back to their father and he tells them, “Do not quarrel on the way.”

I honestly don’t know whether to laugh at that or shake my head in disbelief.  On one hand you would think that after the events of this chapter, the brothers would be so relieved, so full of joy and excitement, so focused on purpose they would be in total unity.

On the other hand, they boys are humans just like most of us are.  They had a history like most of us have.  They have some tendencies like most of us have.  So, Joseph says, “Do quarrel on the way.”  “Don’t be fighting about stuff on the way home.”

We can be a quarrelsome bunch at times.  Even in the good times and especially in the not so good times.  Maybe as we continue our journey to our Father we would be well served not to quarrel so much either.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Genesis 44

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 44

Many, many years ago there was a game show on television called Truth or Consequences.  It was so long ago that I don’t think I saw the original telecasts.  I think what I remember were the reruns.  By the way, the show was hosted by a man named Bob Barker who would go on to host The Price is Right for about 504 years. 

You may be wondering why I am devoting some space to a little television history.  That is a good question.  I want you to think about the name of that game show Truth or Consequences.  From a Biblical worldview it points to two important things.  One, there must be truth.  Two, if you don’t live by truth, there will be consequences.

We live in a culture that is increasingly rejecting the notion of truth.  Today we can all believe what we want to believe which means, among other things, no one can be wrong.  And if no one can be wrong then there can be no consequences.  Moral absolutes have the habit of really getting in the way of stuff.

In our story, the sons of Jacob/Israel, have yet to face the truth of what they did to Joseph.  They hadn’t faced the consequences of that either.  But I have to believe the memory of their actions haunted them daily.  But things are about to change.

In verse 16, Judah makes some interesting statements.  First, there are times in our lives that our guilt should render us speechless.  Second, God has found out the guilt of the brothers.  It may be that Judah was speaking of the money in their grain sacks.  It may be that Judah was speaking of the silver cup found in Benjamin’s grain sack.  But perhaps Judah was also talking about they had finally been found out and were now going to face the consequences of what they did to Joseph.  (Remember they are still certain that Joseph was dead and that they were responsible for that death.)

It is also important that we see how Judah has taken the lead and become the spokesman of the group.  Typically that would have been the eldest son’s responsibility.  But Judah has taken on that role.  Remember Judah is the one who suggested they sell Joseph and he was one the one who had sex with his daughter-in-law Tamar.  But now he is in the lead.

We should see this as the great mercy and amazing grace of God in action.  God is able to forgive us of our transgressions and put us in a place of great use in His Kingdom.  If we are willing to repent God is willing to restore. 

There is one more thing I want to leave you with today.  As Judah was pleading with Joseph, he suggested that Joseph keep him and let Benjamin go.  Judah was willing to take Benjamin’s place.  You might remember early on in this story, we talked about how Joseph is an undeniable Christ figure.  Now we see Judah taking on that same role.  This is even more poignant when you remember that Jesus came from the tribe of Judah.  The Bible refers to Him as the Lion of Judah.

This whole story of Jacob/Israel and his boys is just a mess.  But through it all, there is so much undeniable evidence of God working to make sure His plan is carried out.  We should trust that God is equally at work today making sure His plan is carried out.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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