The Persistence of Guilt
Holy Lord God, I open myself now to the power of the Holy Spirit. I want to glorify You in all things.
Read GENESIS 42:25-38
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Guilt may be real but it is also corrosive. Take a few moments now to confess to God those failings for which you feel guilty. Then, continue on to ponder his Word.
In the light of their earlier eagerness to sell Joseph for money, we might expect that the brothers would rejoice at finding the bundles of money in their sacks. On the contrary, they are filled with fear (27,28). Sensing the hand of God in this, they are perturbed by what they cannot explain. A sense of foreboding falls upon them. Does their guilt about what they had done to Joseph color their view of things? Do they feel that in the end their immoral actions will be punished? Our guilt for past actions cannot be easily assuaged. Only those who truly know the forgiveness of God can be completely guiltless.
Once more Reuben speaks up. His words give a clear insight into his heart. In the light of Jacob’s concern for Benjamin, Reuben’s offer (37) lacks both reassurance and sensitivity. A caring father would not readily put the lives of his own children in danger. Who would trust someone who was so willing to have his own sons put to death? Jacob was not impressed.
Reuben’s willingness to pledge the lives of his two sons stands in sharp contrast to Jacob’s stubborn refusal to let Benjamin go down to Egypt. Jacob knows all too well the grief and pain of having lost Joseph, and he rightly fears for Benjamin. Paternal love makes it exceptionally difficult for Jacob to contemplate sending away his youngest son. No father worthy of the name would uncaringly sacrifice the life of one of his sons. In the light of this, we can be certain that it was with great anguish that God the Father sent his Son to redeem us from death (Rom. 8:32). Had there been another way to restore the whole of creation, Christ would not have died on the cross.
Reflect on what it cost the Father to send his Son to be our Savior. Thank him for his generous, unmerited love.
Lord, I thank You for my salvation. I bow in awe before the cross. I agree with You about my sins and release them to Your gracious, forgiving grace.
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