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.