They told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” But he was stunned, for he did not believe them.
In Genesis 45:25, Joseph’s brothers travel from Egypt back to Canaan. Now, their father Jacob is back in Canaan; he doesn’t know what has happened. The brothers couldn’t get on the phone after coming out of the governor’s house and say, “Hey, guess what, Dad? Joseph is alive!” All Jacob knew was his sons had left, taking his last remaining son, Benjamin, to go get Simeon, who was being held hostage by a governor in Egypt.
So Jacob is at home waiting when the brothers come into the house. Genesis 45:26 says, “They told him, saying, ‘Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.’ But he was stunned, for he did not believe them.”
Can you imagine the scene? The brothers walk in and say, “Dad, remember 25 years ago when you sent Joseph to check on us in the fields? And remember how we came back with his blood-soaked coat and led you to believe he had been eaten by a wild animal? Well, that’s not what really happened.” So they began to tell the story of what they had done to Joseph. About their sojourn in Egypt, their confrontation with Joseph, and his revelation that he was their brother. When they had finished the story, Jacob was stunned. The Hebrew says, “His heart grew cold.” Very possibly he had a mild heart attack when he heard the news. For 25 years Jacob had believed that his favorite son was dead, and now he is confronted with the news that Joseph is alive.
What is interesting is during these 25 years we never once find Jacob praying, offering a sacrifice, or saying anything about God. You see, for 25 years he had allowed a lie to govern his life. I think when he believed that his son had died, it was like the pilot light in his spiritual life had gone out. It’s as if Jacob said, “If this is the kind of God You are, that You take my favorite son, then I don’t have any interest in you.” And his heart grew cold toward God. For 25 years Jacob had allowed a lie to rob him of his intimacy with God.
Perhaps you are like that today. Perhaps you have allowed one of Satan’s lies to destroy your relationship with God. There are some Christians who have believed the lie that even though they are saved, as long as they live they are going to be prisoners of their old sin nature and can never experience victory over sin until they go to heaven. That is a lie. Romans 6:7 says if you are a Christian, you are “freed from sin.” Sin has no more power over your life today than you allow it to have. What lie have you bought into that is destroying your relationship with God? Choose today to believe God’s truth.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Elvis Has Not Left the Building” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.