“Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?’” vs. 15
Quite against all odds, the brothers of Joseph, the ones who had sold him into slavery, found themselves living in Egypt under his dominion. While their father, Jacob, was alive, Joseph had treated them kindly and had made gracious provision for their families. But as the years passed they had lived with the shame and memory of what they had done, and now that Jacob had died they feared that Joseph would freely take his revenge. Some of us know what it’s like to carry the burden of unresolved guilt. For years we live with those indelible memories, painful images that linger at the edge of our conscious minds. No matter how much we try we can’t erase them…we can’t even sleep them away…the awful words and deeds show up in our dreams. Not even regular confession in worship can fully remove the burden of guilt. The memories persist! And then comes the day of reckoning and we wonder–what if we finally get what we deserve? Even the prospect of death is no relief…we know that God knows, and dread our day of judgment. The brothers made up a story to curry Joseph’s favor…but we don’t have to resort to trickery to get our forgiveness. No matter what skeletons are rattling around in our closets, we can be confident that God is merciful and our slate has been wiped clean.
Thought for the Day: What skeletons are in my closet?