Monday, March 2, 2009

Devotional reflection

This morning's Old Testament reading was Genesis 40-42.

The reading reveals to us Joseph's time in prison,his miraculous release from prison, and his attaining the second in command position in all of Egypt.

Additionally, we are shown how God used Joseph to save Egypt from the massive famine; and how Joseph's ten brothers came to Egypt to purchase grain.

What truly caught my attention this morning was the passage found in Genesis 42:38. "But Jacob said, 'My son {Benjamin} shall not go down with you' for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should befall him on the journey you are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow" (NASB).

Perhaps, because I am getting older, or maybe my heart is just getting more tender, I was able to empathize with Jacob, and the ten brothers.

Be sure your sins, and the truth, will find you out.

Anger, hatred, and jealousy, caused the ten brothers to plot against Joseph, and eventually sell him to foreigners as a slave; however, to justify themselves they made up a story that they found a cloak in the wilderness covered with blood.

Scripture tells us that Joseph was seventeen when he was sold into slavery, and that he was thirty when Pharaoh made him lord over Egypt. Quite a long time for Jacob to mourn the death of the son of his true love Rachael.

The usurper was being usurped of all he held dear.

Perhaps I am getting old, and sentimental in my years. Perhaps, because I have lost a child, I understand a little where Jacob was mentally. Perhaps, when it seems you have lost just about all you can lose, you understand the emptiness that comes from the fear of losing what you might have left.

Though Scripture does not address it directly, I wonder if Jacob had received the news of the death of Joseph, and did not seek the comfort of God, the One who had brought him through so many trials. I remember well, being in the hospital, and being told the rules would not allow me to see my daughter, because we were both patients. I remember too when I was informed that she had died; I still was not allowed to see her. Then, because there was so much damage to her head, a closed casket funeral was held; still I was not able to see her. Can you believe, that forty-two years later, I still have a question in my mind and heart whether or not she is really dead? I have received the peace in my heart that she is in heaven, and will be there when my time is up on this earth; how much I am looking forward to seeing her again.

One plus God is a majority!

Perhaps, if Jacob would have sought out God, he would have received affirmation that Joseph was OK, and that God was in control. I don't know, I ain't God and I ain't Jacob.

Anyway, Jacob's statement "you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow" just touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

Many years later, the shepherd king, David would pen the words, "yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff comfort me."

How easy it is to get our eyes off God and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and onto our precious little life. No matter how much God has made a difference.

Our precious little ego tells us that so much of what we have loved, and what God has given us has been taken away, and we have a right to be angry and afraid. We forget!

Job, I guess, said it the best: "Though He slay me, still I will trust in Him."

Where is our trust, this day? Where is my trust, this day?

1 comment:

Provident 360 said...

Dear Friend

I appreciate you sharing you experience with Genesis 42:38. It emphasizes the long lasting grief one can feels after losing a child. My condolence and sympathy goes out to you and your family.

Keep up the good work.