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GUILTY CONSCIENCES

January 23, 2017

Monday

 

Genesis 42:21

 

Then they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.”

 

LESSON

 

The brothers saw divine retribution in what had happened to them. The brothers confessed

their guilt in dealing with Joseph as they had done in his hearing, not knowing, “however, that Joseph understood.” However, Joseph wanted to assure himself that they had also borne the fruits of genuine repentance. Therefore he did not reveal himself to them at this time. Joseph’s heart had not become hard toward his brothers because of their treatment of him. He did not hate them.

 

There is nothing more striking in the character of Joseph than the utter absence of revengeful feeling, whether it was against his brothers, or against Potiphar, or against the chief butler. Rather, Joseph’s heart remained tender, and his brothers’ confession moved him.

 

What is the conscience? It is the soul’s automatic warning system, hard-wired into every soul by God. Your conscience is switched on all the time, actively assessing the rightness or wrongness of what we are considering or experiencing. And then, having made that judgment, knows how to get our attention.

 

Someone compared the conscience to a sundial, which is able to give fairly good time by day when the sun is shining on it, but is incapacitated at night. In the same way, the conscience is designed by God to function in the light of the Word of God. But subtract that light, and the conscience is left in the dark, completely dysfunctional.

 

Memory Verse: John 8:7
A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.

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