SEPTEMBER 20, 2020
GENESIS 42: 6-25
There is nothing worst than having a guilty conscious. That is, for those of us who actually have a conscious. Guilt will wear on you, weighs heavy on the soul. We often attribute failures as reciprocation of a wrong we may have done. Guilt can vex the mind. Guilt can cause one to come to grips with our own short comings. The brothers of Joseph are dealing with guilt. The wrongs that we think we have gotten away with will sooner or later, rear it’s ugly head. As some would say, “up jumps the devil”. Remember, Joseph’s brothers had sold him to a band of traveling Ishmaelites. They got rid of him in that he was the father’s favorite. Doing this time in our lesson, Joseph has been favored a life of prominence, becoming the second most powerful man in the world. He marries into a leading family of Egypt. It is doing this time, famine plagues Cannan. Jacob sends 10 sons to Egypt to purchase food, these same brothers who had sold their brother into slavery.
1 CONFRONTING SHAME ( Genesis 42: 6-8)
It is now 20 years since theses brothers have seen their brother Joseph. They have come to Egypt to buy grain. As of yet, they have not recognized their brother Joseph. Joseph’s first inclination is to punish his brothers, to get revenge, “the big pay back”, however, God’s grace moves on his heart in a loving, better and more excellent way as he confronts their shame.
2 CONFRONTING OPPORTUNITY (vv. 9-17)
Joseph remembers the dream of his brothers bowing to him. He accuses them of being spies. They begin to explain their plight, they have traveled from Canaan to by grain, there’s a famine in Canaan. The youngest brother did not make the trip and our other brother is deceased. Joseph sends one brother to jail as collateral. He sends one brother back to Canaan for the youngest brother, the rest he puts in jail. He takes the opportunity simply because he has the authority and it had been seen in a dream that these brothers would bow.
3 CONFRONTING PAIN (vv. 18-22)
After three days, Joseph releases his brothers from prison. He sends them home with grain, if they return with the younger brother, he will release these brothers. Joseph does this to test the validity and honesty of his brothers. The brothers have yet to absolve the guilt that they have lived with for 20 years.
4 CONFRONTING WITH MERCY (vv. 23-25)
The brothers still have yet to recognize Joseph, thinking he is an Egyptian, Joseph has an interpreter, yet he understands every word the brothers talk amongst themselves. Joseph sees his brothers pain of guilt, sees their remorse, it prompts him to give them what they did not give him, a chance to survive.
If the truth would be known, we all have some guilt that we live with. The good news is , God is a merciful God. As Joseph forgives his brothers, God forgives us.
“LOVE VERSES GUILT”
Rev. Johnny H. Eskridge
St. Paul Shively Heights