Sunday, September 7, 2014

Family Feud

Genesis 37-44

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness: but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. II Peter 3:9

Genesis 37:32
The Hatfields and the McCoy or a crazy game show. Those are the first things that come to mind when someone says family feud, but there's probably been a little feuding in all our families. We are just not willing to admit it.  Jacob's family was no different. A teenager trying to find his place in the pecking order said a little too much or maybe just in the wrong prideful way. This was not the beginning of the jealousy. It began with clothes that only the special brother had. Or maybe it began before that with Rachel, the loved wife. Or maybe it began even before that in a garden where trust was broken because Eve was deceived, thinking God was keeping something from her. Cain inherited the same jealousy.
Yes, family feuds begin because of the sin of jealousy. Sin, when it is finished brings forth death. It was suppose to bring Joseph's death, but God spared him and sent him to Egypt. Joseph was dead to the family. It wasn't the neighbors that were feuding. Though we all hate to admit it, most feuds are within the family. No one wanted to admit to their father that there was trouble. The brothers sent Joseph's coat back to dad. Maybe it was servants that brought the coat to Jacob. The brothers didn't want to face their dad and have to answer questions. They didn't see their dad's grief.

Genesis 38:26
Sin always brings grief to all involved. Like Adam and Eve the brothers wanted to hide from their sin.

Genesis 39:9
Joseph however, did his best to honor God whatever the circumstances. Notice in chapter 39 verse 9 how Joseph answers Potipher's wife. He doesn't want to do wrong and sin against God! It wasn't just about Potipher or his position, it was about sinning against God. However doing the right thing doesn't always keep us out of trouble.

Genesis 40:8
It would look like God was against Joseph. He'd been sold by his brothers, made a slave in Potipher's house and now through into prison. But he never wavered in serving God and when the opportunity arose he faithfully witnessed for God.

Genesis 41:16,38
It took years to get Joseph out of the pit but God was with him. God is not slack in any of his promises. He will never leave us or forsake us. His plan will always work out for the best. Joseph was in a position to lead a country and save not only the country but his family as well. Who would have thought?

Genesis 42 :18
Though Joseph tried to hide his identity by dressing, talking and even swearing like an Egyptian, he still had to admit that he feared God. His actions depended on God, not man. I think he might have felt a little twinge of guilt in swearing like an Egyptian and had to back up and correct himself. He was just as human as we are. And that's the point!

We are all just like the people in the Bible. God had men write about these stories so that we might see ourselves in them, our family swabbles, our temptations, our strength through God, our sin and God's forgiveness.

What things has God revealed to you through your studies of His Word this week?

Father, please help us to see our weaknesses and live as Joseph did totally dependent on you, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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