A NEW LIFE… Genesis 38 and 44: 14-34

I’ve given you quite a bit to read today.  Well worth the effort.  Genesis 37 begins a long section telling of the ups-and-downs of the life of Joseph.  Joseph is one of the rare characters in the Bible who is righteous through-and-through,  obeying the Lord in the face of temptions and obstacles.

Genesis 38–the story of  Joseph’s brother, Judah, the 4th son of Jacob and Leah.  Judah’s story is in stark contrast to that of his younger brother, Joseph.  Remember, the brothers sold Joseph into slavery while hatching a scheme eating dinner to make a few bucks off of Joseph.  And who is the one who hatches this money scheme?  Yes… Judah(Genesis 37: 26-28).  Why kill Joseph?  Let’s make a few shekels!

Now comes chapter 38.  Years later.  Judah is away from his family,  far away.  Living among pagans who worship gods other than the One true God.  His friends are unbelievers.  His wife is from a people that God warned them against.  ‘Who cares.  I’ll do what I want’.   Chapter 38.  It’s in your face… sin.  No candy-coating.  No excuses.  No shading or spinning of the truth.  The truth about Judah.  Lying, scheming, vengeance, excess sexual adventures way out of God’s plan for His people.  Judah is one bad dude!  No role model.

But this is not the end of the story.  Genesis 44.  Here is Judah years later, having had lots of time to examine his life.   But, miracle of miracles, the Lord has actually gotten through to him.  He’s a changed man.  Judah?  Did I hear right?  Yes,  standing before Joseph, who is now second in command to Pharaoh in Egypt, Judah begs for the lives of his family;  and is especially concerned for the well-being of his aged father, Jacob, who cannot take yet one more shock in his life.  Judah has compassion.  Judah exhibits repentance.  Judah  is a new man.

The same God exists today to do the same for us, who have strayed and wandered away, but who want to be the person God wants us to be.  We lack the inner strength and willpower.  We come to Him, asking for His help.  Regardless of your past, God can make you…and me a new person.  I’m no Joseph.  Somewhat like Judah.  But more like Jesus…because of His being in my life.  Praise God…new chance, new life, new everything!

Prayer:  Lord, there is a new name written down in glory, and it is mine!  Thank you in the name of the One who gives us our new names, Jesus the Christ.  Amen!

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