May 25, 2014
Genesis 43:1-15 Now the famine in the land was severe. When they had used up the grain they had brought back from Egypt, their father said to them, "Go back and buy us some food." But Judah said to him, "The man specifically warned us: 'You will not see me again unless your brother is with you.' If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you. But if you will not send him, we will not go, for the man said to us, 'You will not see me again unless your brother is with you.' " "Why did you cause me so much trouble? " Israel asked. "Why did you tell the man that you had another brother? " They answered, "The man kept asking about us and our family: 'Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother? ' And we answered him accordingly. How could we know that he would say, 'Bring your brother here'? " Then Judah said to his father Israel, "Send the boy with me. We will be on our way so that we may live and not die - neither we, nor you, nor our children. I will be responsible for him. You can hold me personally accountable! If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, I will be guilty before you forever. If we had not wasted time, we could have come back twice by now." Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your packs and take them down to the man as a gift - some balsam and some honey, aromatic gum and resin, pistachios and almonds. Take twice as much money with you. Return the money that was returned to you in the top of your bags. Perhaps it was a mistake. Take your brother also, and go back at once to the man. May God Almighty cause the man to be merciful to you so that he will release your other brother and Benjamin to you. As for me, if I am deprived of my sons, then I am deprived." The men took this gift, double the amount of money, and Benjamin. They made their way down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
Big Idea - God's substitutionary plan leads us toward healing
Hosea 14:4-5 I will heal their apostasy; I will freely love them, for My anger will have turned from him. I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like the lily and take root like the cedars of Lebanon. Isaiah 19:22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing. Then they will return to the Lord and He will hear their prayers and heal them.
1. Jacob's and his sons' fear and guilt distracting them from Gods healing plan.
Revelation 12:7-12 Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out - the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have now come, because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown out: the one who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the earth and the sea, for the Devil has come down to you with great fury, because he knows he has a short time.
2. Judah's substitutionary offer eased Jacob's fear and anxiety
Romans 8:1-8 Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit's law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin's domain, and as a sin offering, in order that the law's requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God's law, for it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:12-17 So then, brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. All those led by God's Spirit are God's sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, " Abba, Father! " The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children, and if children, also heirs - heirs of God and coheirs with Christ - seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
Satan will use all seasons in life to distract us from God's plan.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing; a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. What does the worker gain from his struggles?
What tactics does the enemy use to prevent you from opening your heart to God's healing?
Read all of Romans 8, and ask God to heal you of your wounds.
Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
As you continue your journey toward healing, find someone to support through his or her healing.
1 John 3:16-22 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has this world's goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need - how can God's love reside in him? Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. This is how we will know we belong to the truth and will convince our conscience in His presence, even if our conscience condemns us, that God is greater than our conscience, and He knows all things. Dear friends, if our conscience doesn't condemn us, we have confidence before God and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are irresponsible, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Don't stifle the Spirit. Don't despise prophecies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. Brothers, pray for us also. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the brothers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Note: all scripture references are in HCSB