Wednesday, March 15, 2023
When I was a young dad, one of the ways I taught responsibility to my children and instilled confidence in them was to send them on errands. They were simple errands at first, like bringing me the remote for the television, yet each errand showed them that I trusted them and believed in their ability. It had nothing to do with me being lazy. Really.
But seriously, sending someone on an errand is a statement of trust and an affirmation of ability.
Genesis 37:14 “So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word.”
When Jacob sent Joseph on an errand to find his brothers and bring back word of their location and condition, he made a statement of his trust in Joseph and affirmed his ability to accomplish the task. Yet this errand didn’t turn out well. It ended in what Jacob thought was his son’s death as Joseph’s brothers conspired to eliminate him from the family line once and for all so they could protect their lifestyle choices and futures.
The grief and guilt Jacob must have felt was intense. He mourned for his son many days and refused to be comforted, stating that he would go to his grave in grief. He had no way of knowing what would happen to his son when he sent him on the errand, but that did not reduce his grief. If only he had known the real story and had been able to see the end result, it might have helped. But that raises the most important question of all – if he had known what would happen, would he have chosen to send his son anyway?
What if Jacob knew in advance everything that would happen to his most beloved son?
- His own brothers would not believe his words. He had revealed to them the secrets of their futures and they rejected it.
- They conspired to eliminate the threat to their own plans and purposes.
- They stripped him of his coat and exposed him to public shame and humiliation.
- They threw him into a pit and left him for dead.
- They hypocritically tried to erase all guilt from their hands by turning him over to someone else who would be responsible for his future.
- They covered his precious coat in blood to convince their father that Joseph was truly dead.
What if Jacob had known all of this? Would he have chosen to send Joseph on that errand? Maybe, just maybe, if he would have known the future results that would eventually save them all from certain death. But even then, for any human father, that would have been unimaginably hard no matter how much we trusted their ability to accomplish the ultimate goal.
Yet that’s what God the Father did when He sent His Son on an errand to find His brothers. The Father knew His Son would not be believed; that He would be rejected; that the very people to whom He came to show the Father’s love would conspire to eliminate Him; that they would strip Him of His robe and expose Him to public shame and humiliation; that they would attempt to remove themselves from any responsibility for His death by having Him killed by another group of people – the Romans; and that they would put him in a pit and leave Him for dead, and then conspire to make everyone believe that He is still dead.
Yet God sent His Son on that errand knowing all of those things. His love for each and every sinner is so great and eternal that He was willing to watch His Son suffer more than we can imagine because He knew it meant ultimate salvation from certain death.
God sent His Son for me.