Saturday, January 18, 2020

What is Seen isn't Necessarily What is...

What is Seen isn't Necessarily What is. 

"Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come closer to me.” And they came closer. And he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt" Genesis 45:4-8 NASB

In the more than a few years between when last they saw their brother and his revealing himself to them.  Things certainly changed.  Joseph wasn't the same and neither were they.  Joseph had bore no sign of anger or malice against his brothers.  They, on the other hand, throughout the years had a underlying gried and sadness at what they had done to their own brother and couldn't change. 
They lives with the constant reminder that their anger cost their father the joy from his life. 
In this story here are echoes of the story of Cain and his brother. What they did was to be found out concerning their brother. 

But look deeper.  God's mercy flowed in Joseph.  He had the power to crush and destroy his brothers.  He could have sold them into slavery because of their betrayal years ago. 

But he didn't.  He showed kindness and compassion. 

We are a kind, that as someone once said, who let people live rent free in our heads.

We don't forgive and stew over the other person.  We consider all the ways the other person hurt us. How they betrayed us.  Oh the anger.  The crushing desire to return the favor.  And the reality is...that other person probably already moved on. They, for whatever reason, didn't dwell on the same matter as us and walked away, never giving it a second thought.  Whereas our lives have been ripped apart their is their brand of normal. We are trying to figure out how to breathe and they have never missed a breath. 

The Bible's take on revenge isn't what the world's is.  We are called to leave it with God and move on.  To do the unthinkable. Because the world's way is to repay evil for evil.  It's insanely hard for reporters today to share that kind of forgiveness in a story.  They still live by the moniker that if it bleeds it leads in the headlines.  

In Our Daily Bread today it was about a pair of missionaries whose husbands were killed by natives.  The wives chose to stay and still be a witness of the love of God to those people.  

We are quick to say what should be done to others to punish them.  I know that I can be. 

Yet my life's experience has shown me that when I leave those judgments to God, His punishment is far more than anything that I could ever imagine.  

We are indeed called to make judgment calls, also known as evaluating, when it comes to the actions of others.  If we didn't then indeed we would be casting the pearls of Scripture before swine. As Scripture warns us about doing.  Seeking an understanding of whom you are dealing with isn't judging.  You standing there hating someone rather than behaving as Christ would is judging.  You are condemning someone rather than showing the love of God.  Many a fortress of a man's heart has come crashing down when faced with genuine forgiveness of God. 

So before you go out today this about who is in your head.  Is it just Jesus or have you others living rent free in there that need to go?  Forgive and move on.  Let God deal with those who hurt you.  Who knows if your forgiveness brings them to Christ?

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