Judah’s heartfelt plea for Benjamin’s life sealed the deal. Joseph could hide his identity no longer. Jacob’s family would be restored, and saved. Judah’s love for his father resulted in his voluntary sacrifice of himself to pay for the sins of his much-loved brother.
Sound like anyone you know?
There are so many parallels between Judah and Jesus. Although it’s not a perfect comparison, it reminds me that Jesus willingly gave His life to pay for my sins. His life revealed the Father, His death marks my debt paid. And it’s because of Jesus that my relationship with God, once separated by sin, is restored. I am saved.
Footnote: Jesus’ earthly lineage includes Judah. That’s why I love reading the Bible. It’s not just a series of nice stories. God’s Word is the complete picture. And it all points to Jesus!
Matthew 26; Mark 14
Peter wanted to do it right. He loved Jesus. He believed Jesus. He was a follower, a disciple of Jesus. And if you’d asked Peter, he’d have told you in no uncertain terms that nothing would ever change his devotion to Jesus.
But as determined as Peter was to stay true to the Lord, he failed miserably. Three times.
Sometimes I feel like Peter must have felt when he told Jesus he’d never betray Him. Especially after a Sunday morning sermon that challenges and blesses me, or time in God’s Word when He strengthens me or gives me that spiritual hug. I am as determined as Peter was to stay close to my Savior and never, ever betray Him.
But then I fail miserably like Peter, too.
When Peter realized what he’d done, he didn’t make excuses, or rationalize his behavior. He recognized his sin, and he wept. Bitterly. He was a broken man.
I want to be like Peter in that way, too. When faced with my sin – every sin no matter how small I may want to convince myself – I want to be broken before Jesus. I want to repent, to receive His forgiveness, to be able to fellowship with Him with nothing in between.
So, Lord, point out those sins in my life. Break me. Drive me to my knees so that I will repent and let You cleanse me. Thank You for wanting to.
Psalm 50, 53, 60, 75
I am once again in awe of how relevant God’s Word is today, thousands of years after it was written. God still has no use for sacrifices or service from people who say they follow Him, but whose hearts are still unyielding. How dare you even speak God’s Word, He asks them. I think God must hold a special contempt for those who use His Words to rationalize their evil.
The psalmist says it’s a fool who denies the existence of God. I read some blogs where so-called atheists spout their intellectual sounding opinions, and realize how true God’s Word is. They don’t even know how foolish they sound. God is real whether we want to believe it or not. And he is no fool. Don’t you be.
I look at our world with its terrible unrest, our own country with two arrogant, ungodly presidential candidates, our churches where blatant sin is tolerated and even proclaimed, and recognize what the psalmist says in 60:1.
O God, you have rejected us. You have broken us. You have been angry. O restore us.
Is restoration even possible at this late date? Scripture gives us one example after another of restoration. When God’s people humble themselves, when they call on God and repent of sin, He heals every time.
Get on your knees, Christian. We are the only hope for this world.