But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?” – Genesis 50:19
Have you ever wished you could take God’s place? Even for a moment?
After Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers feared for their lives. With dad out of the way, they figured he would finally take revenge for the evil acts they had committed against him. Their fear was misplaced, however, because Joseph followed God and was submitted to His authority. There was no place in his heart for vengeance.
Sometimes it seems like justice is not served; a criminal goes free … a wrong is not righted … or maybe life just isn’t fair. In moments like these, we would like to be the judge (and jury) and maybe even God Himself … at least for a moment. We may even wonder, “Where is God in this?!”
While the entire book of Job deals with this subject, basically the answer to this dilemma is found in our understanding (or lack of understanding) of the transcendent nature of the Almighty. Joseph (rhetorically) asked, “Am I in the place of God?” Of course, he was not and neither are we. We do not know the end from the beginning. Only God does. Vengeance (and justice) belong to Him and His timing, because He alone is righteous … which may not always seem necessarily “fair.”
Of course, if God was truly fair, then man would die in his sins, so I will take righteous over fair any day.
I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. – Abraham Lincoln
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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