Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Thirty-Six

Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis
 
Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster
Day Thirty-Six – “Where do you come from?” – Joseph (Gen. 42: 7)
When we first started our Lenten journey (on Day Two), I said there are more reasons to ask a question than just to get information that you don’t know.  On Day Two the question was from God to Adam and Eve. “Where are you?” God knew the answer to that question, but asked it anyway. Was God up to something more than fact-finding? Yes. When Joseph asks his question, was he up to something more than fact-finding? Yes. How do we know that? Well, we read, “As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them.” (Gen. 42: 7) What’s going on here?
First of all, let’s not forget the Providence of God in all this.  When I think of the Providence of God, I think about the relationship between a receiver and a quarterback in football. (Stay with me here) When everything works in synch, there is a connection of trust between the quarterback and the receiver that is a sight to behold. The football is thrown - not to where the receiver IS, but to where the receiver WILL BE. The quarterback knows where the receiver is going to end up, and when the receiver gets there, the football will be there.  He just has to reach out and…receive it. But it was thrown before he got there, you see?  Joseph being in Egypt as the governor of all the land and storing up grain for the famine…that was like God (the Quarterback) “throwing the pass” years ahead of when Joseph’s family (the receivers) would be there.  God provided (which is the root of Providence, after all).
Secondly, let’s remember the emotions Joseph must have been experiencing. It’s been years since he saw his brothers.  The last time he saw them, they had just beat him up and sold him into slavery. They had hated Joseph because he was Jacob’s favorite – and because he told them about a dream he had where they would all “bow down” to him. Oh, by the way…the first thing Joseph’s brothers did when they came into his presence was “bow down with their faces to the ground.” (Gen. 42: 6) Had the years changed their hearts?  But Joseph, what are you feeling? Anger? Love for your brothers? A desire to say, “I told you so?”  A desire for “payback?” Maybe all of the above?
Joseph was holding all the cards at this point.  He recognized his brothers, and they didn’t recognize him. Joseph’s brothers had no food and needed to buy some. Joseph was the one in charge. He would sell them food…after they “ate some crow.”
Reflection: Have you ever had to eat crow (humbly admit your mistakes)?
Action:  If you have hurt someone, tell them you are sorry!

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