By Faith; Jacob and Joseph-Hebrews 11 is talking about trust in a promise that Joseph’s sons would inherit a legacy within the covenant God made with Abraham. Jacob’s family is so closely related to the patriarch of this family that they are so committed to carrying out God’s plan. Think of how far removed we are from this time and place. How easy it is to feel so far removed and not fully understand (there is no possible way we can) what God is doing to fulfill that covenant promise today.
But. What we have on our side that they don’t…watching the fulfillment of prophecy over history. Time confirms what God is doing. Confirms it to the natural world (Romans 8:19), and confirms it in our hearts. This, therefore, strengthens our resolve and faith to stand firm and take up our place in history. Take up our place on the “wall”, and fight back darkness until the Son of Man returns.
Let’s wrap up today talking a bit about family trauma. Can you possibly imagine the trauma of the experiences of this family? They are two-fold: the system of the time and ways life was lived then, and the way their behavior affected one another. Joseph was some seriously damaged goods after the experience with his brothers. And the next part of his story becomes prison? What the hell? I know we all wrap this story up with a bow and talk about how he ended up ruling and saving Egypt from the famine, but what about the in-between?
Those bows we wrap up these stories with can be wonderful and encourage our faith walk. But ignoring the human experience of these family members of ours does us no good! Do you know why it is helpful and traditional in AA to say your name and identify yourself as an alcoholic? Because it tells everyone in the room they are not alone in their struggle! You then share stories of struggle, poor decisions, relational consequences of your behavior, and shame you’ve felt. Can you imagine if pastors through history taught about epigenetics and how the struggle of those who’ve come before us affects us? Can you wrap your head around the compassion we would have for those suffering and struggling?