Monday, April 24, 2017

What happens to unresolved Sin?

Read Genesis 42.

What Joseph put behind him in chapter 41 had now resurfaced.  He was confronted with reconciling the past.  His own pain was relived because it was unresolved.  Do not miss verse 9: "And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them."  God did not change His mind about Joseph, nor His plans for Joseph's life.  He changed Joseph in order to use him.

As the one in authority, Joseph led his brothers through a process.  Though they thought him to be an Egyptian, he provided the first clue to his real identity when he told them he feared God (v.18).

After all these years the brothers were confronted with their sin and guilt against Joseph.  They felt the reality that God was holding them accountable.  "We are guilty" (v.21) and "What is this that God has done to us?" (v.28)

At the same time, God was also confronting Jacob's character.  He thought he had lost two of his sons and stood to lose a third one.  Benjamin was the other son of his beloved Rachel.  His favoritism of Joseph that he openly displayed had shifted to Benjamin.  Though Jacob had twelve sons, he said concerning Benjamin, "...he is the only one left." (v.38). This must have caused the other brothers to feel of even less value to their father.  As a result, Jacob dropped into a deep depression.  "All this has come against me." (v.36)  He could not see beyond his own loss.  He could not see God's Hand at work.  He did not want to move or make long term decisions.  Truly, at the root of depression is self-pity.  

As a leader, Joseph could have reached out to his family but he did not.
The brothers could have confessed their sin and resolved their guilt but they did not.
Jacob could have embraced all of his sons equally and cared for his family more than himself but he did not.

Spiritual and relational problems will not go away by themselves.  Someone must take the initiative to confess the sin, offer forgiveness, and bring healing.  In time the food ran out and Jacob could no longer feed the family.  So, the plot thickens and sets up the next chapter.

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