Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Shock of Recognition

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Tuesday, January 22, 2013: Genesis 44:1-45:28

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence.  Genesis 45:3 (NKJV)

There are a few times in Scripture in which the shock of recognition is so dramatic and moving.  It happened near the empty tomb when Mary Magdalene thought she was speaking to a gardener and then cried out in recognition of the risen Jesus, "Rabboni!" (John 20:16).  It happened in a different sense, when the prophet Nathan confronted guilty David with a parable.  David recoiled at the injustice of the story, not recognizing that the perpetrater of evil was himself.  Then Nathan nailed him with the words, "You are the man!" (II Sam. 12:7). 

Have you ever been shocked to see that something was different that you had thought?  The blind date doesn't always turn out to be Prince Charming.  Conversely, the bad situation sometimes turns out to be the proverbial "blessing in disquise."  There comes the moment when you are faced with reality -- with the way things really are.  In that moment, our perceptions give way to truth. 

One moment, the ten sons of Jacob were challenged by the unreasonable demands of a cruel Egyptian governor.  The next moment that cruel governor was transformed into the brother they had so badly mistreated.  They were staring into a face from their past -- the face of the little brother they had sold into slavery.  Scripture says that they were dismayed in his presence.  CONFUSION. 

Sometimes our greatest critics are really our valuable friends.  Like Joseph, they seem now to be severe and unbending.  But, in a moment they can become the key to a new future.  If we could only see from God's perspective, those enemies who seem to thwart at every turn would be the instruments in God's hand for our advancement and blessing.

I think God delights in surprising us.  It happens in those moments when He shows us His provision, and it comes in a package we thought at first was our enemy!  In the end, we will say He does all things good.

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