Week 12 Monday

Just a Trick?

Today’s scripture selection: Genesis 44-47

Key verse: Genesis 45:55

“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”


     It was just a trick.  Joseph, long ago sold into slavery by his own jealous brothers, now is himself in power in the country to which he was sold.  And so, when it seems fate brings those very brothers before him in need, he plays a trick on them.  He sets it up so it looks as if they have robbed him.  At first, it is a very tense situation indeed.

     And then – suddenly – the tables are turned.  Joseph can’t contain himself any longer.  He reveals his true identity to the very siblings who had treated him so harshly years ago.

     You can imagine the brother’s reaction.  Terror probably wouldn’t begin to describe it.  How would they be repaid by this now powerful Egyptian ruler?

     That’s when the story takes another startling turn.

     Joseph not only forgives them their cruelty – he reveals something to them – that he believes God’s hand was in the events all along.  Why?  Because now he is the position to help his own family during a time of terrible famine in his former homeland.

     Would we have been able to respond to those brothers with such amazing grace?  Would we have been able to see God’s miraculous hand at work in something as terrible as being sold into slavery by one’s own siblings?

     I doubt that I would have been able to pull that off.

     But, who knows?  When your faith is strong – and you keep your eyes on the everlasting, ever loving God, who knows what spiritual wisdom and discernment, comes from that?

Whatever is happening in your life right now – and whatever has happened in the past – good or bad – look for God at work.

You might surprise yourself – and find divine grace – in the most unexpected of places.


Prayer: Lord, give me eyes to see you at work, in everything.  AMEN.










By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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