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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: March 21, 2023

In yesterday’s devotion, I talked about how Jacob’s grief has made him irrational and despondent. His sorrow over the seeming death of Joseph has caused him to bring his family to the point of starvation because he won’t let his other sons take Benjamin down to Egypt. So what causes Jacob to change his mind? What gives him the hope to make him relent? It’s when Judah pledges his own life as a guarantee of Benjamin’s safety. Judah promises to give up everything in order to bring Benjamin home.

Why does this change Jacob’s heart? Well, compare it to what we heard Reuben offer in our reading yesterday. So in a desperate attempt to win back his father’s love after lying with his father’s concubine, Reuben says to Jacob, “Kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you.” Reuben tries to appease his father with the blood of his own children. But Judah offers up his own blood. In other words, Reuben is thinking like the child-sacrificing Canaanites, like the unbelievers, the idolaters. But Judah is thinking like a Christian. He believes in the God who has sworn to give you peace, not through the blood of your children, but through His own blood, through the blood of His only begotten Son. In the end, Judah breathes hope into his father’s heart by reminding him of who they are, sons of the promise. And Jacob realizes it’s time to start trusting God like a son of the promise again.

Remember that you are also children of that promise. Then let your fears and worries wither and die. Don’t despair when this world of grief and sorrow overwhelms you. Don’t huddle up in your corner waiting to die. Cling to hope. Because you don’t belong to a god who needs to see your blood in order to have peace with you. You don’t belong to a god who requires the blood of your children in order to love you. Rather, you belong to the God who required His own blood, the blood of His own Son. You belong to the God who gave that blood for you upon the cross, the God who Himself provided the sacrifice. You belong to the God whose Son was born of the tribe of Judah, born of the line of David, born to the house of Joseph, born of the virgin Mary. You belong to that virgin born King who destroyed your sins at the cross, who conquered the world with His resurrection, and who will rescue you from all sorrows, all sins, all heartbreak and tears on the glorious day of His return. Be at peace. Through the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Benjamin has come home.

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