Joseph said,”I’d never do such a thing. Only the man found with the cup will be my slave. As for the rest of you, you are free to go back to your father.” (Genesis 44:17 CEB)
I don’t have a lot of tolerance for trickery or manipulation. If I get a whiff of insincerity, or of someone wanting to “play me”, it makes me want to run home and have a shower.
It bothers me that Joseph can so easily play with his family’s emotions. I get this is a test. He wants to make sure they have actually grown to love one another, certainly more than they loved him. And, I’m sure, there is some vengeance in there, too. He was powerless when his brothers ganged up on him and threw him in a well. He must have been terrified. He must have had nightmares his whole life. And now he is all powerful, has the power to feed his brothers or let them starve. It’s understandable, how he treats them, but it is not righteous.
It is not any more righteous than when we do it to one another, especially in the church. Often we skirt around the truth rather than confront someone directly, for fear they will get angry. We would rather dance around each other, then stew in our own frustration when the other person doesn’t “get the message”. So, reconciliation does not rely so much on honesty so much as the other person’s willingness to be manipulated.
I guess, in the church, judging by Joseph, and Jacob, we come by it honestly.
Day 14: Genesis 43-44
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