August 31, 2006

50:20 Vision

Genesis 50:20


God created this world, and "it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). But sin entered this good world, bringing brokenness into all our relationships. At the close of Genesis, however, Joseph notes the saving work of God that reverses this breakdown.

How powerful is God? God can take harmful intentions and use them to accomplish his will. God can take what was meant to harm and use it to save. God can take an instrument of death--the cross--and make it an instrument of life.

How do we deal with the brokenness of life? Joseph invites us to have 50:20 vision. I wear glasses because without them I cannot see things that are more than a foot or two away. My nearsightedness makes me especially glad for corrective lenses. Genesis 50:20 teaches us to correct our perception, because if we don't, we'll get discouraged and we might conclude that the "darkness" of sin and death has won.

Riddled with guilt, Joseph's brothers wondered whether they were really forgiven. So Joseph directed them to see, understand, and believe in God's ongoing work for good.

In the end, God wins. In the end, our conversations, our work, and our lives are to be shaped by the goodness and grace of God. Nothing else is needed.

God of grace, thank you for your ongoing work of grace. Thank you for healing what is broken and for working even through brokenness to bring grace. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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