Monday, August 26, 2013

When All Seem Against You, Know that He is For You!

"36And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me." (Genesis 42: 36)

Jacob was more accurate than he realized when he shouted at the nine of his sons who had returned from Egypt with grain, but without Simeon.

They had deprived their father Jacob of his beloved Son Joseph, even though Jacob did not know at the time that he was now the second-in-command in Egypt, the son who would save the whole world (just like our Lord Jesus!)

Just when things seem at their lowest point, let us look to the Cross, where man did the worst thing possible -- crucify God's own Son -- and from that terrible sin came forth the greatest glory -- our redemption and promotion in Christ from dead in our trespasses to alive forever and seated in heavenly places, blessed with all spiritual blessings.

Such was the case for Joseph, as anyone can read in Genesis 37:

"And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 19And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams." (Genesis 37: 18-20)

"We shall see what will become of his dreams", the brothers conspired together, hoping to stifle their brother's somnabulous glories. While they hoped to kill Joseph and his dreams, they ended up setting Joseph up for prominence. They made his dreams come true!

Joseph would later tell his brothers:

"Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life." (Genesis 45: 5)

Yet at the time, things certainly seemed aganist Joseph, except that he knew that the LORD God was with Him (Genesis 39: 2)

As for his father Jacob, when he learned that his son was dead, his reaction was truly pitiful:

"34And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 35And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him. 36And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard." (Genesis 37: 34-36)

The Holy Spirit moved Moses to detail the two events side by side. Jacob laments that he will go down to his grave, but at the same time Joseph is already moving up in the world, sold as a slave to Potiphar, the captain of Pharoah's guard.

For me, though, in reading this passage, I focus on Jacob's reaction, and how much God loved Him in spite of his upsets,in spite of his turmoils.

Jacob is God's covenant man, people! He was blessed by Isaac, even though he took the first-born blessing by stealth. Yet he never had to, since the LORD told Rebecah that the elder (Esau) would serve the younger.

Nevertheless, Jacob met with nothing but favor in his life, even when his father-in-law Laban tried to cheat him, even with two wives warring with each other for children, plus their maids.

In the latter part of his life, he had children with his beloved Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. The same Joseph would add many blessings to his father, his family, to the nation of Israel, and ultimately the world.

When faced with the prospect that his son was dead, Jacob mourned greatly, convinced that he would never see his son again. "I will go down to the grave mourning", he declared.

Yet that was not the case at all!

Right away, this account puts aside the "Word of Faith" teachings which warn us to watch what we say. I still get frustrated when I hear preachers say things like "Don't say 'I could die for some cake' because you are speaking against yourself!" Jacob spoke such a sorrowful end for himself, yet the covenant which God had cut with Abram, later Abraham, which then blessed Isaac and Jacob is not based on our feelings, not based on our understanding, but rather is based on the blood.

We have a New Covenant in Christ because God does not remember our sins anymore, and our sins are all cleansed (and keeping being cleansed) because of Jesus' death on the Cross.

So, do not feel bad if you feel worried, if you see hardships in your life. Do not assume for one minute that God has abandoned you. If you believe in your heart and confess out your mouth that Jesus is Lord, then you are saved, and this salvation does not stop with our first confession, but we can believe and receive His righteousness and grace every day (Romans 5: 17)

Just when things seem against you, know that God is for you today, because you are Christ's. and Christ's is God's. (1 Corinthians 3: 23) Jesus your heavenly Joseph has prepared everything for you:

"28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8: 28-30)

Followed by:

"31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? " (Romans 8: 31-32)

and ending with:

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8: 37)

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