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Daily Devotions – Reunited, but not so good

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:  

Genesis 42:5-11 (ESV)

Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.” 10 They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.”

Many years later a famine forces a reunion. Joseph’s brothers do not recognize him, but when Joseph recognizes them the feelings that were hidden away many years ago resurface. Sometimes we think everything is ok, that the past in is in the past, but then something happens to bring back those old feelings and the joy and new life we have come to know seems to slip away. More than anything Joseph had faced up to this point, this was the greatest test of his faith. Does he really believe that God has been with him this whole time? Does he believe that God has used all the bad things to bring about a new life of joy and goodness? As Christians we have a similar dilemma. Does the pain of the past control us? Does it consume our thoughts? Or do we believe that God has begun a new thing in us and through us because of his love and grace?