February 14

Genesis 43:3-11, 15

“Then Judah said to his father Israel, ‘Send the boy with me, and let us be on our way, so that we may live and not die—you and we and also our little ones. I myself will be surety for him; you can hold me accountable for him.’” vss. 8-9a

The ancestral stories we find recounted in the last half of Genesis are entertaining, but none of them are particularly uplifting. Each of the families portrayed is dysfunctional and what heroes emerge are flawed at best. Jacob, the favored son of Isaac, is a trickster and a liar–but he’s also capable of great love. There’s no doubting his deep love for his first cousin, Rachel–he works 14 years to make her his wife. And when she died giving birth to her second son, Benjamin, he poured all of his love into her boys, so much so that his 10 other sons became jealous to the point of fratricide. As we all know from his starring role in a Broadway musical, Joseph, Rachel’s first-born, survived his brothers’ attack, and became a ruler in Egypt. From that position Joseph is able to save his family in a time of famine, but not without exacting a bit of payback from his brothers. The whole story reminds us that none of God’s people are saints! We’re all more than a bit flawed–some of us significantly. We too have dysfunctional families and are still used in downright miraculous ways to bring goodness to hurting people. That’s just how it is with the family of God!

Thought for the Day: How is my family flawed?

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