Genesis 42 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Then they said to each other, ‘It is plain that we are being punished for what we did to our brother. We saw his deep distress when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this trouble came to us.’ But Reuben replied: ‘Didn’t I tell you not to harm the boy? But you wouldn’t listen. Now we must account for his blood!’” Genesis 42:21-22
Drawing again from the “Messiah imagery” in the Joseph story, there are two statements that are hauntingly familiar in the gospels.
The first words are those of Pilate recorded by the apostle Matthew, “When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that a riot was starting instead, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood. See to it yourselves!” Matt 27:24
Reuben, as firstborn, had the birthright to spiritually lead his brothers. Just as Pilate caved-in to the pressure of the religious leaders, Reuben caved-in to the pressure of his brothers. Instead of protecting Joseph, based on what was right before the L_rd, Reuben chose to stop defending Joseph…perhaps, believing his defense would jeopardize his own life.
The second haunting image is that of the Jewish leaders responding to Pilate’s plea to set Yeshua free. “All the people answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!” In the heat of the moment, Israel’s sons’ viciously envious attitudes (towards Joseph) foretold the attitude their descendants would have towards Messiah Yeshua.
Blinded by hatred, both groups (Joseph’s and Yeshua’s “brothers”) sought to kill the one/One whom G_d had anointed to save them. Sadly, as was the case with Joseph’s brothers, so it will be for all whose sinful actions against Messiah meet their logical end…both Jew and Gentile. (In essence, all our sin has played a role in Yeshua’s suffering.) They must eventually take ownership of, and bear great shame for, their attitudes and actions against Him.
We will all face the L_rd someday and we must recognize just how much Yeshua’s suffering provided our way out. The Bible states that “every knee will bow and tongue will confess that Yeshua, Messiah is L_rd.” Like Joseph’s brothers in Egypt, we are given a choice to accept the grace and forgiveness offered by Messiah, and follow His leading. But first, we must acknowledge our sin and humble ourselves before Him.
Now that the greatness of our sin (and the certainty of our judgment) has been brought to light, who could reject so gracious a gift of salvation?
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Friday, February 21, 2014