Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 19th August 2020.
During this pandemic, one of the critical issues for the Christian is: How do we persevere in our faith through this time? How do we get to the other side? How does the church continue to encourage her people week after week?
I want to try and answer this question as we meditate on the words of Genesis 45:7:
But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.Genesis 45:7
Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Israel, was sold into slavery by his brothers. By God’s providence, Joseph would rise through the ranks to be second-in-command to Pharaoh, so that he could manage the Egyptian economy through 7 years of famine.
But God didn’t use Joseph just to manage an economy. No, God sent Joseph ahead in order to preserve a remnant of his own people. God promised Abraham his descendants would be a blessing to the nations. God used Joseph to ensure he would keep his promise to Abraham.
Joseph wasn’t the only one sent to preserve a remnant of God’s people by a great deliverance. In fact, Joseph foreshadows God’s greatest act of deliverance for his people. Yes, Joseph foreshadows our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and his great act of delivering people, not from a temporary economic crisis, not from a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, but an eternal spiritual crisis.
Let’s go back to Joseph’s brothers. To be saved from the economic crisis, the brothers needed to trust Joseph would take care of them. After Israel died, Joseph’s brothers came to him seeking his forgiveness by committing themselves to be his slaves. Joseph wouldn’t hear of it, instead he committed to provide for their families, reassured them of his good faith and spoke kindly to them (Genesis 50:21).
How do we persevere through this time of pandemic? By trusting Jesus will keep his promise to us, that is, to keep us until the end. He promised to provide for us a new home, he promised his eternal presence with us, and he promised us his peace. Do we trust he’ll keep his word? Do we trust he’ll keep us through this pandemic? Do we trust he’ll keep us until the end?
Friends, just as God sent Joseph ahead to preserve for himself a remnant in Israel, God sent Jesus to preserve us for himself for eternity. Through Jesus, we can hold fast through this pandemic and any difficulty in life. Because in Jesus, God’s demonstrated his good will, his mercy and love towards us. Hold fast to the promises of God and know he’ll carry you through.
Heavenly Father, what mercy was revealed when you sent your one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to the Cross to die for our sins! You demonstrated your amazing grace and abundant love for us by making the greatest sacrifice any father could make. How could we ever repay you?
Lord Jesus, you humbled yourself in obedience to our Father, taking upon yourself our sin. Help us in our doubt and uncertainty, help us to trust in your faithfulness and goodness towards us! May we know the comfort and peace you promise for us. Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Holy Spirit, remind us daily of the promises of God. Assure us of the unchanging grace and love of God, especially in these days. Give us faith to trust in the completed work of Jesus to keep us until the very end.
This we pray in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, amen.