Tuesday, June 28, 2016
I was only four years old at the time when my parents got a special delivery letter from the war department notifying them that my brother Ruben was reported missing in action in Germany during World War II and presumed dead. You can imagine the grief and the sorrow that ripped their hearts upon hearing those news. Not only were they dealing with the heartbreak of believing they would never see him again, they didn’t even have the assurance that they would ever be able to give him a proper burial. Well, imagine the joy they must have felt almost a year later when they got the news that my brother was alive and in an army hospital in Germany having survived a ten month nightmarish ordeal in a concentration camp and would soon be flown back to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
I remember this event in my family’s history every time I read again the 45th Chapter of Genesis. Jacob, when he was misled by his other sons into believing that his son Joseph had died from an attack by some wild animal, took this news so hard that he refused to be comforted even though his family made every effort to do so. In fact, he vowed: “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” (Gen. 37:35) Then, many years later and on the day he was given the news that Joseph was, in fact, alive, the Bible says that Jacob’s spirit was revived. (See Gen. 45:27)
The Bible says: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings.” (Isaiah 52:7 KJV) This is a special blessing from God to all bearers of good news. What a privilege and honor it is to share with others the message of life and hope in Christ. And what a special blessing it is to be able to remind the grieving that their loved ones in Christ are not dead but alive and well and are no longer just in their memories but are up ahead waiting for them. If you had forgotten that eternal truth, I trust that today your spirit too will be revived, just like Jacob when he learned that his son Joseph was alive.
Memory verse for the week: (Romans 1:20) “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”