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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

Genesis 43

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 43

As the narrative continues, the story is about to take an important turn.  It is interesting to me that although Simeon had been left in Egypt, no one seemed to be to concerned about him or about going back to get him.  They just ate up all the food they brought from Egypt.  And when the decision to go back to Egypt for more food, the issue of Simeon being held there and Benjamin having to be taken there suddenly came to forefront. 

I would love to just jump all of those guys for that.  But reality has a way of calming us down.  There is something about the way that most of us humans are wired that causes to put off the big, tough, difficult decisions until we are in a place that a decision just has to be made. 

There is almost always wisdom in thinking through important decisions.  But procrastination is seldom a virtue.  If a decision is inevitable, the best approach is almost always to decide. And, honestly, it is often better to decide now than later.

There is another very common but not good thing that happens in this chapter.  It begins in verse 11.  Jacob/Israel finally developed his plan for the boys to follow when they got back to Egypt.  But it is not until he communicates the plan that he invokes God. 

I won’t say I haven’t done the very same thing.  In fact, I have done that.  Many times.  Too many times.  But it really is backwards isn’t it?  In the face of a significant decision, we should approach God for wisdom and direction.  He is much more prone to bless His plans than He is to bless our plans.  Just saying…

One last thing for you to think about today. At the end of verse 14 Jacob/Israel says, “If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”

As Christ followers we need to have faith in God.  We need to trust God.  We need to be pliable to move in the direction that God wants us to go.  But we shouldn’t be fatalistic.  Fatalism almost always extinguishes our faith.  Although Jacob/Israel had a long history of God doing some pretty amazing stuff in his life, he sounds ready to give up and give in.

As Christ followers we should move forward, trusting a Sovereign God to do what only He can do, what He knows needs to be done.  But in almost every instance, He chooses to work through folks like us.  So, even in the darkest, most difficult times we can be assured that God is at work, that He hasn’t forsaken us, and that we have a place in His plan.  Let us live in faith that pleases God.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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