Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our Enemies in Heven Part 9

Joseph's bizarre behavior makes better sense when you remember that most attempts to get reconciled with Christians who don't want to get reconciled don't work. But with Joseph, it did. Part of the reconciliation involved re-arranging the leadership. Joseph put himself in charge of his brothers, against their wishes, both because God told him to, and because he was ruler of Egypt, where they all were. In seating them according to age, he placed Reuben above Judah. But later, Jacob removed Reuben, replacing him with Joseph, while prophesying that later (the tribe of) Judah would be the leader.Christians who successfully harm other Christians couldn't keep getting away with it if leadership were correct. In order to reconcile, God might have to demote and promote various saints.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 8

God commands us to go to a brother who has offended us and confront him. The cold truth is, it usually doesn't work. One Christian author teaches that we have to get all sin out of our lives first (an unscriptural, as well as impossible, solution) Others wisely advise "Don't get offended." Others say that the "brother" might not be saved to begin with, so the command doesn't apply. Others say that you must obey the command, have a blow-up, and the situation will still improve. The cold truth is, it usually doesn't work. But for Joseph, it did.

One reason that Joseph succeeded is that he didn't do it the way we do it, and this helps explain his bizarre behavior. A primary goal of Joseph was to protect somebody else! His brother Benjamin pictures the Church, and Joseph was more motivated for Benjamin's sake than he was for anybody else's. In seeking reconciliation, we have to remember that enmity among the saints hurts the Church. The benefit of everybody has to be our goal.