Genesis 43

Fears Give Way to Faith

 If I am bereaved, I am bereaved. Genesis 43:14b NKJV

To Jacob the circumstances of life had forced him into a corner and there was nothing he could do. These are the words of surrender.

Twenty years earlier his sons brought him the coat he had made for his son Joseph. It was torn and covered with blood and Jacob concluded Joseph had been killed. For twenty years he had been grieving the loss of his son. His constant grieving was taking a toll on the family and the other sons were making poor decisions, but not because of Jacob's grief. The truth was they had actually sold Joseph as a slave because they saw Jacob favored Joseph above them. This secret like an infection had been festering for 20 years. Jacob's grief kept the wound open.

During that time Joseph went from a slave, to a forgotten prisoner, to second in command in Egypt in charge of gathering and selling grain during seven years of abundant harvest and the famine that had followed. During the famine Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy grain but he kept Joseph’s younger brother Benjamin home.

Joseph and Benjamin were the only sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel. When the other brothers arrived in Egypt Joseph recognized them but because he was older and dressed as an Egyptian they did not recognize Joseph. Joseph had also noticed Benjamin was not with them. In order to find out if they had harmed Benjamin Joseph accused them of being spies and put one of the brothers in jail and told them not to return to Egypt without Benjamin. With that, he sent them back with the grain and hid the money they brought to  purchase the grain in the sacks to test their honesty.

When they returned with the grain but short one brother Jacob was all the more grieved and resolved that Benjamin would not leave his sight. However the famine continued and Jacob wanted to send the brothers back to Egypt for more grain. They told Jacob there was no way they could go without taking Benjamin. Jacob did his best to keep control of the situation and keep Benjamin home but the problem was beyond his ability to control and he finally relented and allowed Benjamin to go saying "If I am bereaved I am bereaved." He is in the corner. He sees no way out and hope is hidden by his fear and Jacob concludes he may only end up grieving more.

Like Jacob, I like to be in control. I don't see that changing anytime soon. The problem with that is we controllers can sometimes make poor decisions based on fear. We also have a tendency to accept and live with uncomfortable situations. We can become quite tolerant of misery which other people may see as strength. They encourage us to keep being tough which only feeds the problem and then our controlling can get out of control.

When this happens God takes control and backs us into a corner. It begins with the crisis that brings us to salvation. He backs us into a corner again when we lose our First Love (Rev. 2:4) or when we think we have "need of nothing". (Rev. 3:17) It happens when we compromise our faith; we corrupt our faith, or put our faith to death and rely on something else like fear. (See Rev. 2:12-3:6) When God backs us into a corner the only way out is through Him. To take that exit we must face the fact that He is in charge and we are not. This is surrender. God has something better in store. He wants us to live in the truth. Truth is freedom and His truth is hope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Hebrews 11:1 NKJV God wants to bring us to His truth so we can live by faith in Him.

How about you? Are you at the crisis that leads to salvation? Is your life a mess? Have you done things you regret but cannot change? This is called sin and there is nothing we can do about it. Do you feel your sins have backed you in a corner? Jesus did for us what we cannot do. He paid for our sin and He offers forgiveness for our sin. He offers us life and life abundant. To receive Jesus as Lord and Savior is to receive His payment for your sin. Through faith and trust in Him is the only way out of the corner. The way out is to confess to Him your sin and receive His offer of forgiveness and new life. If you have done that because of this post or want to receive His forgiveness and need help send me a message.

 Grace and Peace 

Pastor Dave