Genesis 39:1-41:16; Matthew 12:46-13:23; Psalm 17:1-15; Proverbs 3:33-35
Sometimes, I hear someone sigh and say, “Ah well… no good deed goes unpunished!” The saying is sardonic, but I sympathize with the sentiment. Life doesn’t seem to turn out the way we think it should. There’s just no justice in the world!
We see the saying demonstrated in the misadventures of Joseph. Contrast today’s chapters of Genesis with the stories we’ve been reading. Cowardly Abraham betrayed his wife, but was rewarded with treasure (in Genesis 12 and 20). Wily Jacob, after deceiving his father and tricking his brother, was rewarded with an elder’s birthright (in Genesis 25).
But here, in Genesis 39 and 40, the Bible’s first virtuous character is rewarded with imprisonment and betrayal! What kind of karma is this? If we will be Bible students, we will be forced to forego simplistic, moralistic judgments. The Scriptures will not conform to those kinds of judgments. The grace of God will not be confined to our tidy compartments. The prophet Isaiah expressed that idea in these words: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (55:8, NIV).
We’ll let the story play out, and trust in God to make it right, in the way that seems right to Him.
It’s also true for the lives we lead. We let the story play out, and trust God to make it right.
The Rev. Kevin Holsapple