Friday, July 01, 2011

Joseph’s Brothers Are Surprised With the Accusation - Genesis 44:6-8

So he overtook them and spoke these words to them.  And they said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these?  Far be it from your servants to do such a thing.  Behold, the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks we have brought back to you from the land of Canaan.  How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house?”

Joseph’s house steward catches up to Joseph’s brothers and tells them what his master had told him to say.  Needless to say they were stunned and I assume somewhat fearful of what might happen if the accusation of their stealing Joseph’s cup was true.  Yet, as can be seen from their response, they did not believe it possible.

The brothers basically said, “Look what we’ve already done.  We brought back the money you put in there last time.  Does that seem conducive with a desire to steal from you?”  And of course they were right.  There was no logic whatsoever to the accusation, not only because of what the brothers had already done (that is, show their honesty by returning the money that had been placed in their sacks of grain on their first trip from Egypt), but also because it just was not true.

Sometimes life is just like that.  We get falsely accused of not only something that does not make sense, but also is totally untrue.  Has that ever happened to you?  It has to me and I know both how frustrating it can be and if not checked, how angry and irate I can get about it.  Thankfully, in many cases, such accusations happen to most of us under circumstances that we can still have some control over or some access to justice.  Other times it happens with people that we feel, rightly or wrongly, really do not matter significantly in our lives.  This is not the right attitude for a Christian to take, but let’s face it sometimes it is true.  Let me give an example: An irate driver makes a very rude gesture in my direction as he passes me while I am going the speed limit in a school zone during school hours, just because he’s in a hurry.  Clearly, I have been falsely accused, but I don’t worry about it because chances are I will never see that driver again.

All our situations are not that simple to deal with.  Yet, go to the other extreme and imagine for a moment those that are falsely accused and persecuted in situations where they have no or little power whatsoever.  Think of children in abusive homes, individuals in abusive relationships, employees in slave-like working conditions, believers in Christian intolerant countries, and so on.  We need to be forever mindful of such and lift them up in prayer as well as act in their defense.

Once again, what really matters in all circumstances of false accusation is how we react. Or more importantly “Who” we let control our emotions related to that reaction.  Are we demonstrating a Godly attitude?  Are we relying fully on God’s protection even under false accusation?   For me, the basic strategic question in these situations is this, “Am I prepared to let God be my Chief Defense Attorney?”  That does not mean I will not try to present the truth and help those involved see another perspective, but it does mean that ultimately I depend on God to clear me, either now or in some cases, much later.  How are you and I doing in this area of being falsely accused?

Next time, we will see how Joseph’s brothers reacted.  (You may want to sign up to make sure you don't miss the next episode of our study in Genesis.)
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