Friday, 1/24/14 - [The God Of The Second Chance]
Following in my bible reading two days ago in Genesis 44, I read once again the account of a seemingly cruel and deceptive deed masterminded by Joseph, who was governor of Egypt at the time. His plan succeeded and made it appear that his brother, Benjamin, had stolen his choice silver cup. Keep in mind that his brothers did not yet know that this was Joseph, the brother they had sold as a slave many years before. Better still, when you have a chance, see the complete story in Genesis Chapter 42-45. In the past, I had not concerned myself with Joseph’s motive in this act. This time, however, I was struck with the idea that his actions here were not consistent with his character. Many who read this story may be inclined to think that this was, in fact, a cruel and vindictive ploy on Joseph’s part, and leave it at that. I did not think that, but I was intrigued enough to dig more deeply into this story to see if I could identify his motive. Reading the account more carefully and seeing what some well known Bible Commentators said about it, I agreed with their conclusion by consensus.
Joseph, with God’s leading, was testing his brothers to see if they had learned from their previous sins and errors, and were different now. That is what God does too. That is why David wrote: Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end ; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. (Ps. 7:9 KJV) The story later shows quite clearly that these men had indeed learned from their mistakes and were not like before.
I’m glad that the Lord tests us all from time to time. He does it for our benefit. He equips us with any needed courage, strength, or grace, then gives us many opportunities to redeem ourselves. After all, He is the God of the Second Chance. If you have faltered a bit or if you have failed Him and others, take courage because your chance to make a strong comeback may be right around the corner. And if you ask God to help you, He will.
Memory verse for the week:
Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (Romans 13:7 KJV)