Monday, August 25, 2014

Who's to Blame?

I've been thinking about some of my favorite Bible stories the last few days and on Hebrews 11 where we see so many of our heroes of the faith listed. None of them would have been heroes at all had they not faced and overcome some sort of adversity. This week, we'll be taking a look at a few of them. Today, we'll start with Joseph.

The story of Joseph is found in Genesis. His brothers were jealous of him because of their father's favoritism. They also didn't like the fact that he had so many dreams which didn't always seem to be too favorable to them. So they sold him as a slave and told Daddy he died. Talk about sibling rivalry! He spent years and years as a slave in a foreign nation and then was thrown into prison on false charges. But he maintained his faith. He continued to believe and trust in God.

Joseph didn't have a neighborhood church to attend to help him keep his morale and faith intact. Actually, he was in some pretty dark circumstances. There's so much to the story but let's just concentrate on his brothers' betrayal.

God blessed Joseph and He even blessed Pharaoh because of Joseph. After many years Joseph became Pharaoh's right hand man and was a very powerful ruler - Just like his dreams had prophesied. Finally, his brothers came to him because of a horrible famine in the region and Joseph had been given wisdom by God and had a stock pile enough to take care of everyone for the duration. His brothers bowed down before him to request food to live - just like the dreams had prophesied.

Joseph had no bitterness toward his brothers - and personally, I wouldn't have blamed him it he had! He had to have forgiven them to handle the situation as he did. Now, he did have a little fun with them and messed with their heads since they did not recognize him, but there was no animosity in his heart that we can tell.

In Genesis 50 after Jacob, their father had died, the brothers were terrified that Joseph would harm them or try to get them back for the things they did. That's called a guilty conscious, and it made them miserable. They concocted this huge story to try and protect themselves. But Joseph told his brothers that what they had meant for evil - God had used for good.(Genesis 50:20) And he vowed once again to take care of all of them and their families.

The point is that Joseph did not blame anyone, he did not whine and he did not try to get restitution - he let the past go. Sometimes there are people to blame for us being in a caregiving situation. But we must choose to forgive; we must choose not to blame. It will not change the situation and it will only lead our own hearts into bitterness. Like Joseph, we must trust God from where we have found ourselves.

Today I will trust that God has my heart no matter how difficult the walk. I will not blame anyone - but trust Him where I am. I will meditate on His goodness and not let bitterness have even a second to take root in my heart. I will be thankful for His goodness and faithfulness even in the cave. Will you join me?

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