But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?’ Genesis 50:19 NIV
As 4 of the older girls were exiting the bus, I spoke to them about their treatment of a younger student. She pokes other kids sometimes, curses a little and tries to defend herself by lashing out. She is friendly, yet other children are constantly pointing out everything she does wrong.
I asked the girls how they would feel if someone was constantly judging them and telling them everything wrong about them. I asked the girls to show kindness instead of criticism. They looked at me like I was from another planet. That observation was correct.
After Joseph’s father, Jacob, had passed, his brothers were fearful that Joseph would seek his revenge in retaliation for the abuse he had received from them. They had a good cause to be afraid. Joseph had risen to the second highest place in authority in Egypt. Any judgment he wished to levy against his brothers would not be challenged. He chose to veer away from the path of revenge.
- Joseph understood that God is the ultimate judge to whom we must all give an account for our actions.
- No one escapes His watchful eye of our evil deeds and thoughts which we are held accountable for.
- Joseph did not need to “help God out” a little in carrying out judgment upon His brothers. In wrath remember mercy.
Exercise Authority Under God
- You are not God, you are operating under delegated authority from Him. So don’t try to take His place in another person’s life.
- Children in rebellion to your authority, are in reality rebelling against God. Always try to lead them to acknowledge the sovereignty of God in their life. I.e. We honor mom and dad because God commanded it to be this way. The true weight of disobedience leads to the grace of the cross in which Jesus took our punishment for us.
- Ask God for wisdom like Solomon did to help rule in your area of authority. Joseph’s brothers needed the truth and the consistency of his love and forgiveness in order to not be fearful.
Fear not unrighteous authority
- Jesus told Pilate that he had no authority over Him that was not granted by God, His father. This is also true for God’s children.
- It is true that we may be tortured, mocked, ridiculed and killed as God’s children. All of those things hurt the body, but our spirit will be eternally with Him.
- When the children of God bring authentic repentance and cries for mercy, God deals with the unrighteous authority. Give Him room to work.
On this Fear Not Friday, may God give you fresh eyes to see the appropriateness of the fear of God in regards to judgment. May you help others learn to bless authority and to not be afraid of retaliation. Look again at 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.
May you experience the love of God over your heart, your emotions and over your thoughts today.
Blessings Love y’all