Reflections: Monday the Sixteenth Week of Pentecost

September 18, 2023

Today’s Reading: Genesis 50:15-21

Daily Lectionary: 1 Kings 16:29-17:24, 2 Corinthians 9:1-15

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Do you remember the account of Joseph? I think Joseph’s life is one that most of us remember pretty well. His father’s favorite son (out of twelve!); his colorful robe; the brothers’ conspiracy to kill him or to leave him in a pit…but ultimately they sell him into slavery; the incident with Potiphar’s wife by which he wound up in prison; the dreams of the cupholder and the baker; the dreams of Pharaoh; and Joseph’s exaltation to the place at Pharaoh’s right hand, where his brothers showed up, bowing down to him and begging to buy grain. I think his life is so memorable because it’s such a rollercoaster. He experiences highs and lows that may be hard for us to even imagine. But our text today comes near the end of the account of Joseph’s life, and having endured being brought low and having enjoyed abounding, he speaks as a man who has perspective. He looks back on the evils that his brothers perpetrated against him, the years that he languished in a jail cell, and he sees how God used the terrible evils of mankind to ultimately bring about his good purposes. 

When we endure difficult times, it can be hard to find the good purposes of God at work. But Joseph is a “type” of Jesus (a type is like prophecy, but instead of a message, a type is a person, place, event, etc.) When we see Joseph arrayed in the splendor of his father’s affection, it is reminiscent of Jesus’ Transfiguration, when Jesus is adorned in heavenly bright robes and the Father’s voice proclaims Jesus His beloved Son. When Joseph is  forsaken and sold by his brothers, we do well to remember the 30 pieces of silver Judas exchanged for his brother and Lord, Jesus. When Joseph languishes in prison, even though he was innocent, our hearts are drawn to Jesus’ time in the custody of the soldiers who beat, mocked, and scourged Him. But Jesus, in similar fashion to Joseph, is also exalted. When God is at work, crosses give way to empty tombs! When the Son of God’s life slips away on a Friday afternoon, He’ll have all authority in heaven and on earth by Sunday morning! We don’t always see things with the perspective of God’s good purposes (sometimes hiding behind the wicked intentions of men), but we see Christ with the eyes of faith. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

The will of God is always best and shall be done forever; and they who trust in Him are blest; He will forsake them never. He helps in deed in time of need; He chastens with forbearing. They who depend on God, their friend, shall not be left despairing. (LSB 758:1)

-Pastor Dustin Beck is pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.