Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 13

Genesis 45:3 tells us "Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph; does my father still live?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence."

Finding the Christ-like conduct he wanted, Joseph breaks down and identifies himself---and his brothers are not happy to see him. He explains that they need to come to Egypt to escape the remaining five years of famine. He weeps over Benjamin, and after that "... he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him."

The idea that you do not have to obey God's commands to get reconciled, because in Heaven God will quickly solve the problem, is not found in Scripture. Joseph successfully FORCED a reconciliation, but we'll see in the following Scriptures that there were still problems.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 12

Judah Saves the Day Part 2

Joseph announces that he will keep Benjamin as his slave, but the ten brothers are free to go. However, the ten brothers offer to join Benjamin in slavery (perhaps to help him). They're showing improvement, but Joseph rejects their offer. How could Joseph keep Benjamin, knowing the suffering that it would cause his beloved father Jacob?

Originally, Jacob's favoritism of Joseph had started this problem. Now, Jacob favors Benjamin, but has he trained his sons properly, or will they hate Benjamin as well?

Judah steps forward and becomes a picture of Christ. He tells Joseph that he is the surety for the lad (who pictures us, the Church). He swore to his father that he would bring Benjamin safely to him. He cannot bear to see his father's pain if he returns without Benjamin. And Judah, who had not stolen the cup, would take Benjamin's place.

This is what Joseph wanted: Christ-like conduct! Trying to get reconciled with a hateful Christian who rejects Christ-like conduct will probably not work.