Thursday, July 18, 2013

Abounding Hope: Week 9—The Brink of Hope

July 17, 2013 by Jen Baierl

The Brink of Hope

This week, we see the prophesy begin to unfold for Joseph.
The land is destitute and people are traveling to Egypt for food.  Ten of Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt and bow before him, as Joseph had dreamed and told his father and brothers previously.
“Then he [Joseph] dreamed another dream
and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have
dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon,
and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”  But when
he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father
rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream
that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother
and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves
to the ground before you?”  And his brothers
were jealous of him…”Genesis 7:9-11a
Joseph doesn’t let on to them who he is, but instead seems to be harsh to them.  This harshness is not out of revenge, but to bring them to repentance and humility. 
Matthew Henry says “God, in his providence, sometimes seems harsh with those he loves, and speaks roughly to those for whom yet he has great mercy in store.”
What Joseph wants most is to see his brother, Benjamin.  He puts one of his brothers in prison while he is awaiting Benjamin to be brought back.  He reassures them, with the words, “Do this and live! I reverence and fear God!!!” – Genesis 42:18b

As the brothers travel back to their father, their guilty conscience begins to kick in and they are blaming each other for the harm they caused Joseph.  When they reached Jacob, he was troubled.  He was frightened of the money found in their sacs, distraught that Joseph was already gone, Simeon was in prison, and now they wanted to take Benjamin.  He distrusted his sons and laid the fault on them.
Proverbs 21: 8 “The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is upright”
Little did Jacob know that the Lord had this all in His hand and was leading him to a place of great HOPE.
Matthew Henry says of Jacob “We often think that to be against us, which is really for us. We are afflicted in body, estate, name, and in our relations; and think all these things are against us, whereas they are really working for us a weight of glory. Thus does the Lord Jesus conceal himself and his favour, thus he rebukes and chastens those for whom he has purposes of love. By sharp corrections and humbling convictions he will break the stoutness and mar the pride of the heart, and bring to true repentance. Yet before sinners fully know him, or taste that he is gracious, he consults their good, and sustains their souls, to wait for him. May we do thus, never yielding to discouragement, determining to seek no other refuge, and humbling ourselves more and more under his mighty hand. In due time he will answer our petitions, and do for us more than we can expect.”
Yes, Lord, that we may seek no other refuge other than YOU!!


Anonymous said...

It's so funny that truly God works everything for our good. There's been someone in my life who has been trying to keep me from serving God pretty much from the time she met me, which was about 15 years ago. And each time God thwarted her and He used me despite her efforts to keep me from being an effective Christian. The very things that she accused me of in character and motives were what she herself was doing and she was merely deflecting onto me those things. I guess she was afraid someone was going to take away her ministry and she absolutely wouldn't allow that to happen, not realizing that in God's kingdom there is room for everyone to use our gifts for Him. I have tried to meet with her on numerous occasions and get to the bottom of the issues so as to at least have some kind of working relationship, and each time she refused to meet in person, instead in emails came up with even more accusations, and then had the gall to say she forgave me and that our relationship is fine. But to this day, she will very very rarely even acknowledge me, if we are in the same vincinity. She eventually did see to it that our family could no longer attend our home church. But God in His graciousness is still using me for His kingdom and He told me He's the one in charge of using me for His kingdom and not anyone else. Don't ever let anyone try to control whether or not, God can use you, because He can. No matter what our past is, He has made us into a new creation. And when we are put in the same position as Joseph, be kind enough to provide for our family in Christ. Even if they did try to destroy us. So now, I'm preparing for the day that she might need my help and I'll give it and not hold any grudges.

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