2024_05_08 Insight Post- Rusty Coram


This week’s reading- Genesis 37-45Genesis 50

As I write this there are people up in arms about injustice and mistreatment all over the world. Here in the US, there are protests on college campuses against the Gaza conflict and Israel. Some of the protests have become destructive as they communicate hate toward Jewish students who have had nothing to do with the military decisions. At the same time, those who lost loved ones when Hamas attacked Israeli civilians on October 7 are grieving, and those with family still being held hostage carry the heavy weight of anxiety and fear.

In situations like this, we want justice – or at least something that feels like it to us. In our reading this week Joseph’s brothers are angry because they see their father showing favoritism to their younger brother. Instead of addressing it with the father, they come up with their own plan, which ironically is horribly unjust to Joseph.

The thing that stands out here is that injustice cannot be corrected by more injustice. When something is unhealthy, it requires something healthy to replace it and make things better. We see this in Joseph’s response to Potiphar’s wife when she tries to seduce him. “Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded.

But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”     Genesis 39:6–9 (NLT)

Joseph simply stands on the ground of his faith in God – speaking what is true, standing for what he knew to be right. He refused to let his unjust circumstances become an excuse to do what he knew would dishonor his boss or his God. Her reaction to his rejection was to falsely accuse him of rape. In this and other situations, Joseph constantly goes back to trusting and honoring God. While his circumstances didn’t improve, He maintains a genuinely clear conscience and, as a result, experiences God’s presence, strength, and care. We are out of line whenever we justify wrong behavior by blame-shifting to others. Martin Luther King’s legacy of non-violent protest is a shining example of this. Standing up against injustice without resorting to methods God disapproves of takes courage. Resisting ungodly methods takes faith in the One who is never limited by other’s injustice.

“Declare me innocent, O Lord,
for I have acted with integrity;
I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.”
Psalm 26:1 (NLT)

Rusty Coram
Senior Pastor