September 28, 2014

Communion and Consolation

Genesis 45:4-13

“Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” … “You can see for yourselves … that it is really I who am speaking to you.”
—Genesis 45:4, 12


Joseph was weeping! Out of his heart flowed a pure stream of forgiveness and love. The time was ripe for grace. Confrontation had led to conviction and contrition (repentance). Next would be communion and consolation!

Though Joseph’s heart had been healed by God earlier, though he had been full of forgiveness for a long time, forgiveness could not become reconciliation with his brothers till they faced up to their guilt.

Similarly, until we are helped to face the hellishness of our own sin, we cannot savor the heaven of God’s amazing grace. This is not something we can do on our own.

Now Joseph’s waiting grace can burst forth from his heart. He opens his arms and invites his brothers to come close to him. As they do, he consoles them with a profound truth: God is greater than evil. God can work out his plans despite evil—and turn what is intended for evil to do good. Joseph explains, “It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”

When evil comes crashing into our lives, remember this: it never has the last word. “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

How glorious are your ways, O God. How beautiful your grace! How warm your embrace! How sweet your forgiveness! How perfectly you fulfill your saving purposes! In Jesus name we praise you! Amen.

About the author — Kenneth D. Koeman

Rev. Ken Koeman is a pastor at Bellevue, Washington, Christian Reformed Church. He has written Today devotions in past years and has also authored numerous articles for The Banner, the magazine of the Christian Reformed Church. Ken and his wife, Kay, live in Bellevue and have two children and five grandchildren.

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