Summary: Because the three G’s, grief, guilt, and grudge, will happen in our lives, are we clinging to the Big G, God, for answers?
Are you grieving because you lost a loved one?
Do you have guilt because you did something wrong?
Do you have a grudge because someone hurt you?
Maybe you are struggling with all three; you are grieving, you have guilt, and you have a grudge!
The message this morning provides an answer to all these situations through 3 people; Jacob, Joseph’s Brothers, and Joseph himself. The answer to Grief, Guilt, and Grudge is another word which starts with a G! Any guesses??
Of course, God is always the answer!
Let us learn directly from the Word of God. Open your Bibles to Genesis Chapter 42 and read along with me…..
What can we learn from Jacob? The last time we read about Jacob was way back in Genesis 37:34-35, Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. "No," he said, "in mourning will I go down to the grave to my son." So his father wept for him. Jacob was mourning about the lost of his son Joseph.
Joseph’s brothers lied about Joseph being killed by a wild animal. How many years have lapsed between Genesis 37 and 42? For over 20 years Jacob was grieving about the supposed death of his favorite son Joseph!
He was demanding and short tempered!
And what can we note about Jacob in v4? Jacob was still playing favorites with his sons!
In verse 36, Jacob ignores his other children and focused only on Joseph, Simeon, and Benjamin. And in verse 38, Jacob was hanging on to Benjamin. It is understandable for Jacob to grieve about the loss of his son Joseph. But isn’t there something wrong about grieving for 20 years, being demanding, short tempered, and continuing to play favorites with his grown children? Jacob became a big grouch with his grieving! How many of you have run into old people who are just so grouchy that they complain about everything?? You know, they are probably grieving about something! What is the answer to all this grieving and grouchiness? What didn’t Jacob do? We don’t read Jacob seeking God for help! And of course, because every person in this world is created by God, there has to be a time in every person’s life to completely trust God.
Maybe today is that day for you!
What about the brothers of Joseph?
All this time, for over 20 years, the brothers never confessed to their father Jacob about what they did to Joseph, did they? They sinned against their brother! They sinned against their father! They sinned against God!
And what does sin bring? Sin brings guilt and shame. Did you sense what the brothers were like when their father said in verse 1, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” Sin brings guilt and shame. Guilt and shame brings depression! These were grown men who were lost! Maybe you’re feeling lost. Did God give up on these men?
God works in mysterious ways and created a situation which led the brothers to see Joseph in Egypt!
God may do this to you and me. God may send you somewhere or someone to confront you of your sin!
How did the brothers handle it? First of all, they took action and all went to Egypt!
And when they were confronted by Joseph, what was their attitude like? Did they lie or connived? They said in verse 11, “Your servants are honest men!” Why were they so truthful all of a sudden? Look again at v21……….
Joseph’s brothers were confronted of their sins and sensed their guilt! Look again at verses 27-28….…
Their guilt brought fear! But here’s something interesting: the brothers did something that Jacob didn’t do! The brothers thought about God! The end of v28 states……..
And because they thought about God, conviction and action followed! In verse 37 we can note the sacrifice Reuben was willing to give! And in Genesis 43:8-9, we can read about Judah taking action and making a sacrifice as well!
How do you deal with guilt? Confess your sins to God and take action as God leads you. Humble yourself before God!
What about Joseph? Did you notice that the brothers didn’t recognize Joseph? But Joseph remembered his brothers and what they did to him!! What the brothers did to Joseph was cruel! The word of God doesn’t tell us directly, but can you blame Joseph if he had a grudge against his brothers? What Joseph did gives us a hint that he did still have a grudge. Joseph pretended he didn’t know his brothers! Joseph was checking their hearts!!