• William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 14, 2021

Daily Reading: Genesis 41-42

Genesis 42:21

And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

Sin casts a long shadow. Some say that it was over twenty years since Joseph's brothers conspired against him. Now, so many years later his brothers suffer the guilt and anguish of their jealous hatred that moved them to such a dastardly deed. Today's verse proves their inward struggle in dealing with that which they committed years earlier. Reuben stated their inward fear concisely in the next verse; And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.

The only source in all the world that can completely eradicate the guilt and stain of sin is the Lord Jesus Christ. Through confession and repentance (and restitution if needed) anyone can become free from the awful shadow of their own wrongdoing. Dealing with our own wrongness is why verses like I John 1:9 is in the Bible. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In fact, let's take this a little further. We have a clear promise today that Joseph's brothers did not have. While many condemn believers in Jesus Christ for past sin, and while many condemn themselves also, God, through the Holy Ghost, inspired the Apostle Paul to write this to the Gentile believers in Rome: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1) If God through Jesus Christ no longer condemns, we shouldn't either.

Yet, the old flesh, and the great ugly archenemy of God always want to dredge up that which the Lord has forgiven. Don't give in.

Yes, sin casts a long shadow, but that is all it is, a shadow. A shadow is made by an object coming in between the sun and the earth. It is not tangible, it performs no work, it is not living, it is just a shadow. It's there, but it has no power to do anything but follow us around. Don't concern yourself with the shadow, focus on the Son.

Joseph's brothers came face to face with their wrongdoings, but they could only see one side of the issue. Later they would see the other side and rejoice.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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