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

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-Seven – “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t do anything to wrong the boy?’” – Reuben (Gen. 42: 22)
When we left off yesterday, Joseph had asked his brothers a question that he already knew the answer to: “Where do you come from?” They told him that they had come from the land of Canaan to buy some food. Remember, Joseph recognized them right away, but they had no idea who he was.  So… Joseph messed with them a little bit. “You are spies!” he said.  “You have come to see where our land is unprotected.” (Gen. 42: 9)
“You’ve got it all wrong!” they cried.  “We are just here to buy food!” Then they told Joseph that they were ten of twelve brothers who were from Canaan. They explained that the youngest brother was still with their father, and the twelfth brother was… “no more.” (that’s a nice way to put it) Joseph said,  “Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies! And he put them all in custody for three days.” (Gen. 42: 16-17)
Three days in jail…that’s long enough for them to think on their sins. At the end of the third day, Joseph called them in and said that one of them must remain in custody and that the others could go home with food for their starving families. Joseph told that they must bring the younger brother back so that they could prove they were not spies.  And the brothers started talking amongst themselves in their native tongue, thinking Joseph (being an Egyptian) couldn’t understand what they were saying. What do you think was going through Joseph’s mind when he heard his brothers saying, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother (Joseph). We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come upon us.” (Gen. 42: 21)
That’s when Reuben asked our question for the day: “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t do anything to wrong the boy?’”  Well… Reuben did say, “Let’s not kill him…just throw him into a cistern.” The brothers still “wronged” Joseph by beating him up and throwing him into an empty cistern. But… Reuben was planning on coming back later and rescuing him. He just got there too late.
We see one helpful thing going on here, and one unhelpful thing. The helpful part? Admitting where you messed up and feeling remorse over it is the first step toward repentance. The unhelpful thing? Reuben’s “I told you so,” didn’t help anybody!
Reflection: If admitting wrong and feeling remorse is the first step toward repentance, what’s the next step?
Action: Read Luke 18: 9-14

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