Journey Through Scripture
Daily Readings for 1/20/2018
Genesis 49-50, Matthew 13:31-38
15 When Joseph’s brothers realized that their father was now dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us, and wants to pay us back seriously for all of the terrible things we did to him?” 16 So they approached Joseph and said, “Your father gave orders before he died, telling us, 17 ‘This is what you should say to Joseph. “Please, forgive your brothers’ sins and misdeeds, for they did terrible things to you. Now, please forgive the sins of the servants of your father’s God.”’” Joseph wept when they spoke to him (Genesis 50:15-17, Common English Bible).
What would it take to make you cry? Obviously, for some of us, it is more than for others. There are those who believe gender makes a difference. Perhaps it does though I have known some men who cry easily and women who rarely if ever shed a tear.
Most of us don’t cry for no reason at all. There is something that makes us cry. It might be due to a physical pain. It could come from an emotional or even spiritual pain. I can remember following the end of my maternal grandfather’s funeral and my paternal grandmother’s funeral, I was in tears for both. If I said I didn’t shed a few tears when my Dad died, I wouldn’t be honest with you or with myself.
For most of us, those times when we lose someone close to us we weep from the pain of loss. It may not be due to the loss of a parent or a grandparent. I don’t know the pain that goes with the loss of a child but I have seen it on the faces of people I know and love. It could even be due to the loss of a pet. To some that may seem silly. To others, it would seem silly not to cry.
It isn’t any of those reasons we see Joseph in tears in our lesson today. We could look back just a few verses back to the beginning of this chapter and we would see Joseph weeping over his father Jacob. But in this lesson, it is something different.
After all they have been through, Joseph’s brothers still don’t know him. When we first looked at Joseph several days ago, we saw a spoiled child, a child whose father had given him too much, a child who thought he could get by with most anything. That was the child, Joseph. That was the Joseph before he was sold into slavery before he was in prison.
The difficulties Joseph faced in life changed him. Age changed him. God changed him. This was no longer the kid who annoyed his brothers to the point they wanted to kill him. This was a man who worked hard, who rose to power and now was seeing his family well cared for. The troubling part was, his brothers still didn’t know the difference.
Joseph wept because his brothers still didn’t know him. Their lack of knowledge of who Joseph had become had them fearing for their lives. They were so scared of Joseph and what he might do, they lied to him about their father’s last words. Joseph knew they were lying. But, Joseph, much more now than before was a grown man and no longer a child. He knew it was time to move forward.
Perhaps that is a lesson all of us could use to move forward in life. Joseph forgave, and so should we. But, more than that, Joseph worked to demonstrate for his brothers the changes in his life. He is doing so again in the lesson. What was needed by them was, to open their eyes and see. The same thing is needed by us.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
If you have gotten behind on your “Journey Through Scripture” readings, as we finish Genesis, now would be a great time for you to catch up. Tomorrow we begin reading Exodus.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved