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Monday, March 26, 2012

Those Bad Boys of Canaan

For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.  2nd Corinthians 1:20 (New American Standard Bible)

This week I have again read the story of Joseph in Genesis (chapters 37-50). It is my favorite biblical account; a story of pardon and redemption as Joseph forgives his brothers for their hatred and their betrayal of selling him into slavery.

In all my studies of this story I have always focused on the goodness of Joseph and not the unrighteousness of his brothers. There were eleven of them, ten of them being half brothers of dubious intent.  As sons of Jacob all but one, Benjamin, were older than Joseph and these ten all held seething resentment against Joseph because he was the favored son of his father's old age.  The brothers were in constant rebellion against God and their father Jacob in other ways also. Levi and Simeon were the leaders of a murder raid upon their neighbors (34;25)  Reuben, Jacob’s eldest, had physical relations with his step mother (Genesis 35:22),  and all were guilty of hating their brother and selling him to Ishmaelite slave traders (37:28). 

 The thing that struck me this time was how God continued to honor His covenant with Abraham while the children of the promise were caught up in continual wickedness. These brothers were all part of that promise even to God allowing one of them, Judah, to be an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:3).  The pledge of God is sure and He will never go back on His word.  What will He do for you?  He has promised all His riches to you through His Son (Ephesians 3:8). If God were willing to keep His promises to a group of unruly men like Jacob’s sons how much more will He honor His promises to you as a believer through the grace of Christ?  Will He go back on those promises?  His promises to you are yes and even Amen, rock solid and faithful.  Concerning those bad boys of Canaan He had ten good reasons to go back on His promise but He faithfully kept it. In the many promises He has made through Christ you are the one good reason He will continue to do so.