Don’t Stop in the 4-0!

We read the story of two of the 12 brothers of Israel in Genesis 38-40 today.  You’ve got Judah, the leader of the brothers, who should know God best.  He ends up dishonoring his daughter in law, sending her away, and breaking the laws of caring for your family.  Then, on top of that, he sleeps with a prostitute after his wife dies, and gets her pregnant.  Of course, being the Bible, this twisted story isn’t done.  It turns out the prostitute wasn’t a prostitute, but was his daughter in law in disguise, and he gets busted.  He ends up having twins with his son’s widow.  What a mess.

Compare that to the second story of Joseph, the second to youngest.  He’s been sold off into slavery, and should be bitter for all that has happened.  In his story, a powerful woman tries over and over to seduce him, but he refuses.  He gets thrown in prison, obeys God, and is forgotten there.  He’s left to rot, even though he was innocent.

So, in this tale of two brothers, one is dishonorable, skanky, and a liar.  He pretty much gets off scott free and lives a life of wealth and freedom.  The other obeys God in the face of incredible temptation and still does what is right.  He ends up alone, in prison.

So often, when we follow God, this is what it seems like life is like.  We feel like we miss out, or we suffer, because we are doing what God tells us to.  Our friends, or our enemies, who ignore God seem to have a great life, full of fun and freedom.  It really makes us question if following God is legit or not.

But there’s the catch.  Life doesn’t end in chapter 40.  There is a chapter 41, and we will hit it tomorrow.  It’s coming, just not yet.  The story is not done for either of these two brothers.  If we quit reading now, we will never know the whole story, we will never see God’s whole plan for them.  It gets much, much better.  There are still some tough times to come in this story.  But it definitely gets better.  Better than anyone in chapter 40 can imagine.

So, maybe in your life, you’re in chapter 40.  It seems unfair what is going on right now.  You’re trying your best to follow God, and it doesn’t feel like He is taking you anywhere.  Other people around you have it alot easier, and they could not care less about God.  Ok.  Yeah, that may be true today.  We all face those chapter 40 days.  But hold on.  PLEASE keep going.  Don’t give up.  Chapter 41 is coming.  Something is going to change.  I promise.

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