Friday, November 19, 2010
In the Bible, one of the most lovely and beautiful stories can be found in the book of Genesis in chapters 42 and 43. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers because they were jealous of him and his relationship with their father. The father and son relationship was special because Joseph had been born to Jacob in his old age. The Bible even says that Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other sons and gave to him a richly ornamented robe to wear. Favoritism is never good, but our God used the situation for His Glory and good. Ultimately, after being sold, bought, and sent to prison, Joseph ended up becoming "IN Charge" of all of Egypt. This was a time of abundance in the land, and wise Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain for the nation. But soon, the time of abundance ended and there was a great famine in the land which spread over the whole country. Famine was severe in all the world. During this time of hunger and need, Jacob sent ten of his sons to buy grain from Egypt, for he heard a wise man had stored up as much as the sand in the sea. When his brothers came before Joseph and bowed down, he recognized them but pretended not to. As the story goes, the brothers go back with grain and come back again for more grain and this time, Joseph invites them for dinner. He gave them water for washing, fodder for their animals, and each a gift. The men were seated in order of their ages and served large portions of the finest foods available. They feasted and ate freely with him according to God's Word. Still not knowing who Joseph truly was, they were astonished that they were being treated so graciously and of course used their finest table manners to express their gratitude! When he finally revealed himself to his brothers they could not believe it! They all wept and embraced! You can just imagine the scene of disbelief, forgiveness, mercy, and unconditional love. Total acceptance! God's love is like that for us.
In the time of famine when Jacob's family could not produce grain on their own, The Father had stored away, awaiting their arrival. He wanted their hands in His. Where are you hands? Are they in His? During this glorious season when we will all be with loved ones, I pray that God will allow us to love unconditionally as we place our hands in His and bring out the finest table settings and manners we possess. Those, my friend, are the best kind of manners at the table......embracing all who have gathered! Blessings to you and your family during this beautiful Thanksgiving season!!!!