Tuesday 6 August, 2019

Genesis 37:29-36

29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?” 31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.” 33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him. 36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

The brothers of Joseph have got themselves into a big mess here by attacking Joseph out of jealousy and spite, resulting in disastrous consequences for Joseph.

Now to make matters even worse, here comes the cover up. Instead of confessing to their father that they had done something awful to Joseph by selling him into slavery, the brothers add to the problem by concocting this dreadful fabricated story of Joseph’s death by mauling.

It’s easy to point the finger of blame at Joseph’s brothers here, but I need to recognise in myself this deeply ingrained human tendency to want to cover up my mistakes and failings. This is a problem as old as the Garden of Eden, so we are fooling ourselves if we think that we are immune from the urge to hide our faults.

Each and every day I need to be reminded that I have a Father God who accepts and loves me, in spite of my failings. He is always ready to forgive whenever I bring my stuff-ups out into the light instead of trying to hide them.

Written by Shelley Witt

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