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Growing Up

Words of Faith Final

Growing Up
Words of Faith 7-28-2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2022
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Genesis 43
[8] Then Judah said to Israel his father, "Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die. [9] I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. [10] As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice."

Judah spoke up with certain boldness in this situation. We have to remember where Judah had been for twenty years or so. Remember that Judah actually saved the life of Joseph. Realizing that the brothers were going to kill Joseph, Judah suggested selling him into slavery. But for Judah's intervention, Joseph might have died.
After the betrayal of Joseph, Judah left the family. Perhaps he couldn't stand to face his grieving father day after day, knowing the terrible secret the brothers were hiding. Or maybe he could bear to be with the brothers knowing what they had done together on that awful day.
So Judah married a Canaanite woman and raised a family down the road. He left the family. After a while, his wife died, and he was drawn into immorality. What is worse, he almost sentenced his own daughter-in-law, Tamar, to death for the very sin he had committed with her! But when confronted with his sin, Judah recognized that she was righteous (ch. 38).
But now, Judah had come home to Israel. You may have noticed that the scripture has begun to call Jacob by the name Israel. God was at work forming the nation of Israel. Judah was to have a critical part of that future! Judah is one of the two tribes that would remain in Israel and become the Jewish people. Judah is the tribe from which Jesus would come. Judah needed to come home.
After these years, Judah seems different. Perhaps he had grown weary of the terrible secret. He was ready to do the right thing for his father and the family, even if it meant confronting the ghosts of the past. Judah seems to be taking a leadership role that we have not seen before. Recognizing that his aging father lacked the resolve to move ahead and save the family from starvation, Judah pledges his own children in place of Benjamin. Never again will he allow such a grievous loss without a fight.
The story of Judah is encouraging for several reasons. It tells us that just because we have made some bad choices does not mean that God is finished with us. Praise God for that! It tells us that we can learn from mistakes and grow up in our faith and faithfulness. It took a while, but finally, Judah did the right thing.
Have you been struggling with the memory of a painful past? Bad decisions? Lack of courage? The story is not finished. Be strong. Have courage. Do not be afraid. Trust the Lord and obey. He is with you.

Father, give me the courage to leave the past behind and face the future You have for me. Give me the strength to stand for what is right no matter what. Grow me up in You so that I may serve You faithfully. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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