Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 92:1 – 4
Read the “0117 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.” (Genesis 43:18)
If the book of Genesis was a movie, this would be the part of the movie that you would be on the edge of your seat, mindlessly shoving popcorn in your mouth, wondering what’s going to happen next? The story of Joseph’s life starts out looking like things are really good. Joseph seems to have favor with his father and with God. God is giving him special dreams that seem to show him that he is going to be used for some bigger purpose. Then things seem to take a turn for the worse. Jealousy from his bothers, anger, betrayal, slavery, false accusation, prison. At this part of the movie, you’re wondering why you spent the money. It’s depressing. But things then begin to turn around for Joseph. God brings him out of prison, begins to bless him in ways that you could only dream of.
Everything seems to be going well. This movie was crazy, but they all lived happily ever after. Then all of a sudden, Joseph is taken through a time machine, and blasted with a whirlwind of emotions. He sees his brothers. The brothers that wanted to kill him. The brothers that sold him as a slave. What is he going to do now? He know who they are, but they don’t recognize him. I encourage you to read the whole story if you haven’t yet.
And the story goes on. The brothers are wondering why they are being singled out. Joseph, no doubt is wondering if or when his brothers will recognize him. Eventually we get to the passage of Scripture that I have at the beginning. The brothers are afraid. They are looking over their shoulders, expecting to be deceived. Have you ever noticed about certain people, that they think everyone is lying to them all the time? I’ve come to find in most cases, they themselves are compulsive liars. Or, people who think others are talking about them all the time, are generally the biggest gossips. They live their lives a certain way, and they they just assume that everyone else is the same as they are. I think that is the case with Jospeh’s brothers here. If you read back through the past couple of chapters, you can see stories of lies, deceit and deception all involving Joseph’s brothers. So, naturally they are here expecting Joseph to be the same way. And Jospeh does use some deceit here. I believe he does it to wake them up. They have lived their lives in deceit so much, they now have deceived themselves into believing their lies.
Joseph, on the other hand, lived a life of honesty and integrity. He lived a life trusting God. And even though he faced many difficult situations, he was never looking over his shoulder wondering what was going to happen next. He just trusted that God knew what He was doing, and although he may not enjoy what was happening at the moment, he knew God was with him.
I have lived my life at times, sadly, like Jospeh’s bothers. I have, at times, to the glory of God, live my life like Joseph. And I can tell you, that the latter helps you sleep much better at night. In this new year, I don’t want to be afraid, constantly looking over my shoulder, waiting for what’s going to happen because of an ungodly, selfish way of living. I want God to be with me. I want God to be pleased with me. How about you? Let’s tackle 2023 together, living a life that is pleasing to God.
Posted in Devotions, Guest Posts by Phil Erickson Jr. with 3 comments.