Our readings for today are Genesis 39 and Galatians 1:1-10.
One of the most difficult experiences that any of us will ever encounter, is being treated unfairly. The concept of “fairness” comes to us at a very early age. Listen to any dialogue between parent and child!
Joseph would understand, because he was treated very unfairly. In this chapter of Genesis today there are some principles which just might help us deal with the unfair things that are likely to crop up in our lives.
First, it is a good thing to maintain a clear conscience. In this chapter we see Joseph resisting Potiphar’s wife’s attempts of seducing him. When Joseph refused to go along with her, she lied and had him thrown into prison. Joseph’s conscience was clear. He knew there was no fault on his part that caused his imprisonment.
We can’t stop what others do and say about us, and treating us unfairly. We have no control over that. But, by conducting ourselves well and living wholesome lives we can ensure that what happens to us is not a consequence of our own sin.
Second, we can continue working to the highest possible standards. Prison would have been very different from the situation of Potiphar’s house, where Joseph supervised the estate. But even in prison, with the disappointment of being lied about etc., Joseph did his very best. As a result of this he was promoted and put in charge of the whole prison.
By living and performing to the highest possible standards, despite life’s unfairness we show Godly character. By performing well in “little” things, we will be given “greater” things. Our present situations are training grounds for what God might have for us in the future.
Thirdly, we can practice God’s presence. We read in today’s text, “while Joseph was there in prison, the LORD was with him” (v.21)
We need to be aware and remember that God is with us too, even when life is at it’s bleakest and seems unfair. We can not only survive, but thrive and triumph by practicing God’s presence. How do we do that? By remembering He is with us, in our praying, by consciously relying on Him, and by doing what we do well, aware that we are serving God, not men.
There is no guarantee that we will never be treated unfairly. But God does guarantee us His presence, and with his presence comes strength and comfort.
The Galatians passage today (1:1-10) is critical to our understanding of God’s Gospel.
There were a group of people intent on adding to the gospel some of the old Jewish traditions. This would have made it a gospel in which one would have to do things to be saved, the complete opposite of God’s Gospel of grace, where Jesus died on the cross as full payment for the sins of the whole world.
In verses 6-10 Paul refers to the Galatians deserting the grace of Christ and turning to a “different gospel”. In Greek “allos” means another of the same kind. “Heteros” means another of a different kind. The gospel these Judaizers had introduced to the Galatians was a “heteros” gospel. It was a gospel which was essentially different from the gospel of God. It was, as Paul said, “No gospel at all”.
Why is this? Because the Gospel is “Good News”. Any message that tells us to try harder, is not good news. No matter how hard we try, we can never be good enough. Only God’s grace, bursting into this world in the person of Jesus Christ, and doing for us what we could not do for ourselves, is truly good, gospel news.
Have a great day,