OT19 | Eden to Exile

NT Connect: Matthew 26:14-16, 27:3-10

Weekly Reading: Genesis 36-40

Sold for Our Deliverance

It is amazing how wretched sin is.

This week we read chapter 37 of Genesis about Joseph’s dreams and how his brothers were jealous of the affection and attention he got from their father. This jealousy consumed them and led them to plot Joseph’s death. How much did they hate Joseph to betray him and plan his death? As the brothers saw some travelers go by, their plans for Joseph changed. Praise God for the travelers! Judah, one of the brothers, said that they needed to sell Joseph to a trader for twenty shekels of silver. After they sold Joseph into slavery, they lied to their father about what happened to Joseph and said that a “fierce animal had devoured him.” Jacob was distraught and thought that Joseph was gone. Can you imagine the feeling Jacob had when he was told his son had died? As some of us may know, this isn’t the end of Joseph’s story, and actually, it is just the beginning of a long road. This road leads to redemption.

Later in Genesis, we will read how there was a great famine for seven years. Joseph’s family was desperately in need of food and went to Egypt for help. Joseph had a rough few years, but in the midst of it all, he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and was promoted to second in command. Had Jospeh not been sold into slavery, jailed for years, remained faithful to the Lord, and finally promoted to 2nd in command, he wouldn’t have been able to be there for his family in their greatest time of need. Joseph now had the authority to offer his family food to eat and a new home. God, the God of Jacob, was watching over his people.

After reading Genesis 37 this week, I can’t help but be reminded of Matthew 26:14-16 where Judas betrays Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. In Matthew 26:14-16 we see Judas’s betrayal of Jesus for silver as an attempt to thwart the ministry of Christ. Those who paid Judas to betray Jesus thought that they were able to get rid of their problem. Joseph’s brothers probably believed that they had gotten rid of their problem, too. For both of them, their “problem” ended up being their savior. But, as we see from the Gospel of Matthew this betrayal led to the cross. This treachery would be used by God to redeem sinners. The sinful act of betrayal was used to lead the lamb to the slaughter, to offer atonement for OUR sins. This betrayal led to a greater deliverance that encompassed more than one family or nation, but was the “propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Through Christ, God’s isn’t just watching out for us and saving us from starvation, but he is redeeming us from sin, giving us life through the finished work of Christ on the cross!

Isn’t it amazing how wretched sin is? Isn’t it more amazing how great our God is?

Mark Thomas