“We will not wait on God if we don’t love him supremely.”- Wayne Stiles
Dr. Wayne Stiles begins Chapter 2 (“When Dreams Turn into Nightmares”) of Waiting on God by noting Joseph’s brothers learned from their parents that “when life gets tough, you take matters into your own hands.” In contrast, when Jacob dispatched Joseph to report on how his brothers were doing, Joseph readily agreed. We notice Joseph’s godly character emerging.
Furthermore, Joseph gave maximum effort. When his brothers had moved on from Shechem, Joseph kept looking. He didn’t hustle back to the safety of daddy. Unfortunately for Joseph, his brothers wasted little time carrying out their evil scheme. They quickly transitioned into beast mode:
“So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat.”- Genesis 37:23-25
Interestingly, Dr. Stiles notes, the same Hebrew root word connects the verbs devoured (v. 20) and eat. In other words, the Genesis account questions who really is the evil beast here. Who’s really devouring Joseph?
Although the brothers thought they’d gotten rid of Joseph, that occurred only in a physical sense. Joseph remained inside their heads. As Wayne adds, “he was a pebble wedged in the sandals of their consciences.” Rather than ridding themselves of the painful reality that Jacob loved Joseph most, their impulsive actions only intensified that fact.
Jacob fared no better. He rejected any effort at consolation. Circumstantial evidence trumped consolation. Neither Jacob nor his sons loved God supremely.
As Dr. Stiles points out, “There are no easy solutions. Only godly ones.”
Today’s question: During your desert, transition time, what idols block you from being able to love him supremely? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: Stabbing disappointment”