“Reuben answered them saying, ‘Did I not tell you, do not sin against the boy; and you would not listen? Now comes the reckoning for his blood.’ ” Genesis 42:22 New American Standard Bible
Day of Reckoning: a time when the consequences of a course of mistakes or misdeeds are felt —Mirriam-Webster Online
Most of us are quite familiar with the saying, “What goes around comes around!” There are many who look to Karma as the guiding force in their lives, believing actions done will in turn be actions received. Humans tend to live our lives believing a combination of faith and superstition! While I know many will not like being told they are superstitious, it just seems to go with the times in which we live. The combination of belief has been ingrained in our way of thinking about life, even in the way we see how God deals with us in our lives.
As Joseph’s brothers are trying to come to terms with their circumstances, their minds are immediately swept into the past. Not for one moment did they hesitate in deciding what was the cause of their troubles; they were sure they were being punished for their actions against Joseph. As they discussed their fears, Joseph heard every word, and each word they spoke broke his heart. How could this situation be anything else? How could anyone know what they had done? Only God saw. Only God knew their every last action, word, and thought on that never to be forgotten day. It was a day when the world was forever changed for Joseph, his brothers, Potiphar, Pharaoh, Egypt, and countless numbers of people.
At this moment, the brothers were concerned with what was happening now, and why it was happening, They were anxious about what was still to happen, especially when they got home! They had no idea what was going on behind the scenes, what was being orchestrated by the brother they believed to be dead. And because they knew he must be dead, clearly God was punishing them. Finally their sin, what they had done so long ago, had caught up with them, causing them to suffer at the hands of this Egyptian king. The years of guilt were coming to an end; at last the payment for their actions was demanded by God.
How the enemy longs for us to believe this lie. This lie paints God as vindictive, pursuing us that He may toss us into oblivion, first making us pay for all our failures! It is a lie that has wreaked havoc on the entire world causing incredible damage, especially to how the world sees God. Even His followers have fallen into the trap of seeing God colored in the negative, seeing Him as “… an angry God,” rather than as “… the God visiting Grace and Mercy upon thousands of those who love Him.”
George MacDonald was a minister in the 19th century who saw God as a Loving Father, seeking and pursuing His children to reveal to them His grace, and forgiveness, His longing for them to know Him as He knew them. Unfortunately for George MacDonald, the words expected by his congregations were Hellfire and Brimstone, not Mercy and Grace! As a result, he could not find a church that would have him.
Fortunately for the rest of the world, since no one wanted him as a pastor, he became a writer. And the whole world owes an amazing debt to those who decided he was a less than appropriate minister. When MacDonald began his writings, countless lives were changed, including that of C. S. Lewis who looked to the writings of George MacDonald as mentoring. I also have found his books to be an inspiration in deepening my understanding of God’s grace and mercy.
While some find comfort in believing there will be a day of reckoning when all will be made to account for their myriad sins, I am not one. I have come to depend on God’s Damage Control! (See Joel 2:25) Actually, I cling to it with all that I am, knowing He holds me always.
Life in Christ is not about retribution and the coming day of reckoning, it is about restoration, making whole what was torn to shreds so long ago, so far away. God’s restoration is about bringing to us all that He longs to give us, while taking from us all that He knows is destroying us! Does this sound like One who is longing to hasten us into a day of reckoning? Jesus took our Day of Reckoning to the Cross that we would never have to face it, ever! That’s Grace, that’s Salvation, that’s Love, and all of it is ours for Eternity.
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” John 8:1 New American Standard Bible
Accountability and responsibility are inherent in God’s grace as it is active in our lives. This process is not punitive, as Joseph’s brothers believed, and so many others continue to fear and believe. The process is discipline, (think the disciplines of art, health, etc.) based in teaching, discipling, transforming, recreating, and realizing God works in our lives to restore all He had created us to be .
What would you rather have? Would you rather have what Jesus deserves or what you deserve? You have a choice. God is the only One who allows you to have that choice. The enemy, who lies about the day of reckoning, isn’t about to give you a choice of any kind! It is quite straight forward when we stop to think about it. It is just like Joseph’s brothers who didn’t receive what they deserved. They received what they in no way deserved, leaving them in a state of shock! How about you?
Has God done something for you, leaving you in a state of shock because it has totally challenged the superstitions you had believed about the Day of Reckoning?
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