Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Joseph - A man of Higher JusticeZeph 3:14-20
….At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord.
Many years pass and it is amazing to see the turn of events whereby the very brothers of Joseph who sold him for 20 shekels, come and bow before him asking to buy grain during the time of famine. It would have been very normal for Joseph to feel anger and bitterness at his brothers. However, Joseph feels compassion and love. His heart aches for his father, his brothers, especially his younger brother, and the family he left behind. He yearns to tell his brothers who he is but keeps his identity hidden. In Joseph, we see a man with whom the Lord abides. Given his position as the Governor of the land, Joseph could have used his position to mistreat his brothers and do unto them what they did to him. In those days, only the Governor was given authority to sell grain. Joseph could have refused to sell grain to his brothers but he did no such thing. Joseph feared the Lord and hence the Lord was merciful to him. Joseph had the servants not only fill his brothers’ sacks full of grain but also returned the money he had got from them.
There are often times we feel we are walking in Joseph's shoes. It is in those times we need to remember that the Lord walks with us. We need to learn not to hold in our hearts the bitterness that was shown to us and not to repay in kind the unkindness that was showered upon us by others. We need to focus on the good rather than the bad. As Joseph was being carried off by the Ishmaelites, he probably despaired and thought that his end was near. The Lord had shown Joseph in his dreams what was to become of him however till it came to be, Joseph did not realize how much his Lord God had planned for every single occurrence in his life. And when the time came, Joseph did not exact revenge; yet, he was kind, compassionate and full of love for his brothers. He believed in a higher purpose and higher form of justice. Joseph knew it was not his place to judge but for the Lord to avenge. Joseph knew his purpose in life was beyond what was visible to the human eye and beyond comprehension of the human mind. Accordingly, Joseph placed his trust in the Lord and continued to obey and serve the Lord whenever he was placed.
Dear Lord, help us to forgive the trespasses of those who trespass against us and help us remember not to do unto others as they have done to us. Help us to act with love, compassion and kindness in all that we do and remember that we are placed wherever we are to fulfill Your purpose through us. For all glory, honor and praise belongs to You alone. Amen.
Thought for the Day
Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11
Susan Cherian Varghese
Epiphany Mar Thoma Church, New York