Whether it is family squabbles or fights, cancer, illness or loss of employment, crappy things happen in life. Joseph, being anything but innocent in family dealings, did not deserve what his brothers did to him. No one deserves to be sold into slavery. The brothers were wrong! Oh, how sin abounds in the human heart!!!
At the same time Joseph has to deal with it. It is Joseph’s responsibility to act in accordance with his faith, despite the horrendous fact of being sold as a slave. We will see how Joseph does in the coming chapters.
Typing the word ‘slavery’ above took my thoughts in a completely different direction. Through the ministry of International Justice Mission (www.IJM.org) and an anti-slavery awareness campaign called Dressember (www.dressember.org), I have learned that there are some 36 million people enslaved against their will, some in exhausting and dangerous jobs and many as sex slaves. 50% of those enslaved are children and 70% are women.
When I got angry at Joseph’s brothers for what they did to him, the facts of modern day slavery welled up within me. I don’t want my devotional time and this blog to become a soapbox, so I resist pontificating. Instead, I turn quiet, asking myself questions and going to prayer. The questions went something like this:
What is my responsibility, knowing that people are enslaved in my world?
What would God have me do that is positive and life-giving with the anger I am feeling?
As the questions flow, prayer becomes my only response.
O God, 36 million people… people You created with dignity…men, women, and children, like my family members and men,,,some like Joseph sold by family members, some kidnapped, some tricked… all held against their will… slaves, chattel, hurting…
Lord, our world can be so wonderful and so horrible at the same time. This is certainly not the only injustice our world is presently producing but it is one of which I am aware. What do you have for me to do? Is there something beyond this morning with You and this time in prayer that You want me to do?
Speak, Lord, Your son is listening…
O, God, I hope I am listening… Amen.