Sunday, January 13, 2008

Is God cursing you for something bad you did?

In Genesis 42, Jacob’s sons have traveled to Egypt to purchase grain. They encounter Joseph who is now Pharaoh’s chief administrator, though they don’t know it’s him. Joseph sends them back with grain, but also returns their money to their sacks that they had given him as a purchase price. When the brothers discover this they’re aghast:

“What is this God has done to us?” (v. 28)

This is funny because Joseph did it, not God. But the brothers assume God is punishing them for having sold Joseph into slavery. Joseph later clarifies that God’s purpose in the whole affair was to save Egypt from starvation during the famine.

Isn’t this how we often react? Something negative happens, and we think ‘God is cursing us … probably for that bad thing we did,’ when in reality God is actually working for salvation.

It doesn’t appear that Joseph’s brothers are every punished by God for what they did to Joseph.

4 comments:

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Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Very nice observations on this story, and very true about us too. If God is righteous and if He sees everything we do, and we do something we know is wrong, then He should punish us, right? That's how the human mind thinks. That's karmic law when it gets codified. The Living God, however, says, "My thoughts are not your thoughts!" Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ!

smlwoman said...

now compare Davids life to Joseph's life. I really struggled with the two for a long time.

Kenny said...

In what way, Sml? I'm not immediately getting the comparison...