Speaker: Jerry Cisar
We read Bible stories from a perspective. Our human nature often causes us to identify with the hero in the story. For example, David and Goliath becomes a story about how you can slay the giants in your life. Similarly, the story of Joseph becomes a story about how we are misunderstood and mistreated, but God will give us so much wisdom that everyone else will have to bow down to us.
There is merit in recognizing that we are called to emulate David and be courageous (not the rest of Israel, hiding like cowards from Goliath). We are called to be like Joseph and trust God in order to bring redemption to others (even the rascals that mistreated us). This is good and it is one of the goals of the story of Joseph, our current study in Genesis.
However, in order to become like David (or Jesus), we must first recognize that we are too often more like the Israelites who are fearfully hiding in the foxhole and that we needed Jesus to rescue us. To become like Joseph (or, again, Jesus), we must first recognize that we are far too often like Joseph’s brothers—in need redemption and conversion. Yes, conversion leads to being more like Joseph… or Jesus, but it begins with a clear recognition of who we are before God in our guilt and sin.
This Sunday we begin in Genesis 42. Over the next few chapters we will see the conversion of Joseph’s brothers. In each section, we will see aspects of this process of turning, of conversion, taking place in real time. The end goal of conversion is reconciliation with God and one another.