Tag: Matthew 5:9
Scripture reading for January 16th: Genesis 45-47
Families and churches are sometimes prone to conflict! I know because I live in a family, have attended churches for many years, and have pastored for twenty years in three different churches. I have experienced conflict in family and church settings and sometimes been responsible for it myself. Sometimes conflict comes from misunderstanding and poor communication. Other times it comes from jealousy or envy. Sometimes it comes from sin and wrong-doing. Everybody wants to blame somebody else and arguments ensue about who is at fault! Have you experienced that to?
In our reading today, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers after a series of encounters with them. The brothers still had guilt from what they did and when Joseph revealed himself to them, they were astonished, speechless, and terrified! (Genesis 45:1-7) Joseph had to reassure them that it was truly him. He understood their feelings. He had probably had to work through these same kinds of feelings himself over the years. God gave him understanding of the greater purpose that was being worked out. Joseph shares this with his brothers to encourage them. “It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”
As Joseph sent them away to bring Israel and the rest of the family down to Egypt to save them during the next 5 years of famine, he warned them not to quarrel on the way! It doesn’t appear that repentance had yet taken place. Feelings of guilt and shame are no longer able to control us when we truly repent. He forgives and forgets our sins. (Psalm 103:11-12) Blaming others never helps either. We can only take responsibility for our own sins and forgive others of theirs. When we do that, quarreling is greatly reduced and peace in the family results. God is working out his purposes in our families and homes even amidst the conflict and sin so prevalent in our lives. Often it’s hard to see the big picture.
Jesus Christ was sent before us to save us! He saw God’s big picture and died for our sins. If we confess our sins and repent of them, he will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all guilt and shame. He came to bring peace in our own hearts and he says that peacemakers are blessed! (Matthew 5:9) May we be able to heed the ancient warning of Joseph and receive the blessing of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. “Don’t quarrel on the way!” (Genesis 45:24)