Thursday, December 11, 2008

Paybacks are ........

Scripture passage Genesis 50:15-21

I'm sure that just like me, somewhere along the road of life, someone has done something to you that hurt you greatly. Also like me, you may have thought about how you could get back at that person. Revenge.
One famous quote about this is "Revenge is a dish best served cold." It originated with some French guy back in the 1700's. It means that revenge is best when done in a mean, calculated, and totally unexpected manner. That got me thinking so I Googled revenge ideas and got over 13,000,000 hits. Some were funny, but over all, rest assured there are a lot of mean spirited people out there in the world.
If there was ever someone who had the right to desire revenge it would be Joseph. His own brothers conspired to murder him, or just leave him for dead. Finally, because they loved their brother so much (he says sarcastically) they just decided to sell him into slavery and just fake his death.
As God would have it, Joseph becomes a big shot in Egypt and through God's plan, finds himself in a position to exact revenge on his brothers. Just think of it! He could get real creative here because no punishment was off limits for him. If Joseph had Google back then, he might have been tempted to look up the most hideous punishment he could find. Instead, when his brothers throw themselves at his feet, Joseph says "Am I God, to judge and punish?"
I realized in reading this that Joseph knew something that I tend to forget. That God will handle any punishment here. He is the only one qualified to do so. He doesn't seek to "one-up" the other person out of anger. His punishment will always be one thing that we cannot guarantee. It will be fair. In fact, He may decide not to punish at all. That may not seem fair to us, but then we don't see things through God's eyes do we?
Some of us have been hurt by others in the past, and most likely will be hurt again in the future. Some of us are dealing with hurt right now. We need to practice forgiveness and understanding even when our instincts tell us to get even.

It's like Red Bull for the Soul!

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