Friday, July 15, 2011
...The LORD was with Joseph...His master saw that the LORD was with Joseph...the LORD caused all Joseph did to succeed...the LORD blessed ... for Joseph's sake....In prison, the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor...because the LORD was with him.
Previously, one of Joseph's big brothers, Judah had been the one to convince the brothers of the idea of selling Joseph into slavery rather than killing him. Then, Judah leaves the family and begins his own family with a Canaanite wife. The LORD puts to death Judah's two wicked sons. Next his wife dies. Judah has certain obligations to Tamar, the widow of his son; which he neglects to perform.
It appears that Judah's story unfolds in tandem with Joseph's new arrangements. Judah had the LORD with him; as we see the LORD puts to death the his boys. We also see the prompt gift of the twins to Tamar (after all the stories of barrenness in the heritage of this family). Despite all the wrongness of Judah's personal choices, he still had success in the familial fashion. Judah even experienced God's favor with the one he wronged as she was granted favor with children, his children and in the divine lineage, too. Some pretty promising circumstance and some really lousy choices.
Joseph had the LORD with him, despite the wrongness of his circumstances - Joseph walked in that divine favor and maintained his integrity. Some horribly unfair circumstances and some incredible virtue.
The response of the two men to their situations brings to mind again the question ... no, the demand of the response to God. The LORD is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving, all-righteous and holy - with or without my belief or assent to that fact. As I do believe those qualities are just some of His, how am I going to respond to God as I experience unfair circumstances? Great opportunities? Temptations? Questionable scenarios and unsure outcomes?
I am confronted with the fact that it's not the circumstances which I must address. It is God who requires my response. My Lord God claims and deserves my reply to Him through my life, my scenes, my outtakes. I pray that through my life, I will constantly and (prayerfully) consistently choose to receive that which He has for me and walk in integrity, honor and loving obedience to Him. Despite the circumstances. Lord God of All, keep my eyes and heart on You. I am desperate for this, everyday.