A Scandalous Story

January 24, 2018

Genesis 46:1-47:31

Matthew 15:1-28

Psalm 19:1-14

Proverbs 4:14-19

 

So, Moses is writing Genesis

...while he is wandering the desert

...with the Israelites

...who have just been saved by the hand of God

...from slavery to the Egyptians.

 

And he is writing about how God provided for Joseph and gave his life meaning by entering into the house of Pharaoh

...advising and assisting Pharaoh

...to make him so powerful in all the land

....to the point that Pharaoh starts to collect slaves from all of Egypt. 

 

As an Israelite hearing this story, I don't know how I would take it. Did I already know this? Or did I just learn this? How broken down do I feel to hear that it was Joseph that pioneered the path for my own enslavement in Egypt? Maybe I'm wrong to interpret that...but that's what it sounds like. 

 

It's got to be so scandalous and upsetting just as it must have been so scandalous and upsetting for Jacob and Benjamin to learn that "yay Joseph is alive!" but how? Talk about unearthing deep family scandals: Joseph's brothers sold into slavery and then lied to their father and said he was dead. So much of Jacob's life was spent tortured because of what Joseph's brothers did and he had no clue. 

 

I think I've always known how scandalous Genesis is...but I was reminded of that today in all the old ways and in new ways too. This. book. is. shocking. 

 

People are so, so, so mixed up. Betrayal, power trips, jealousy, deception, anger, selfishness, greed...it's all right here in the Bible in full color for all to see. 

 

But God beams brighter, God works stronger and gentler. God's hand prevails. Through every twist and turn of the story, despite every foul decision made in the minds of mankind, God is steadfast, true, LOVE, and good. 

 

For every person who opens this book to hear the story, from the first Israelites camping with Moses to the person reading Genesis at this very moment as I type...this story is shocking, shocking, shocking...how could we be so cruel? so gross? so wrong?...I hope we see that this is a story about us...rotten, mixed up humans...but I hope we see that this is a story about God...perfect, good, good God who is for us still.

 

Psalm 19:1-4 & 14

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.

Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. 

 

May these words of my mouth and this mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Tomorrow:

Genesis 48:1-49:33

Matthew 15:29-16:12

Psalm 20:1-9

Proverbs 4:20-27

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