Friday, January 8, 2010

Random (In)Justice

Ten of Joseph's brothers played a role in him being sold into slavery.  Years later, they have to go to Egypt to buy grain--and even though they don't know it, they are buying grain from Joseph.  Of course, Joseph knows who they are, and he messes around with them a little bit.  When the brothers visit the first time, without Benjamin, Joseph tells them they must return with their other brother.  To make sure they come back, he keeps one brother in prison until they return.
"He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes."
Genesis 42:24
Why Simeon?  Or, from Simeon's perspective, "Why me!?"  Sure, Simeon was guilty for what they had done to Joseph, but he wasn't any more guilty than the other nine (except maybe Reuben, I suppose).  Regardless of what he had done before, this was hardly fair.  The other nine were able to return with grain to their wives and children.  Why Simeon?

The worst part is that when the brothers returned home and told what had happened to them, Jacob doesn't want them to return!  He completely gives up on Simeon, and considers him as good as dead.  Instead of having the brothers return immediately to Egypt so that they can prove their innocence and have Simeon released from prison, they wait.  They wait until they have run out of food, and the only other choice is to accept starving to death.  Only then do they return to Egypt.

Meanwhile, Simeon is rotting in prison.  I don't know what conditions Simeon may have been subjected to.  The Bible doesn't address the topic.  If I had to guess, I would think that Joseph would see to it that his brother was not mistreated in any way, but it still must have been miserable.  And Simeon must have asked why he of all ten had to be the one to be imprisoned in Egypt.

What did Simeon do to deserve this?  Well, he'd done some nasty things in his life.  He deserved prison and more.  Of course, he didn't do anything (as far as I know) that Levi didn't do. 

We all deserve everything we get and a whole lot worse.  The Bible says that Jesus bore the weight of our sins on the cross.  He died because of our sins.  Your sins.  My sins.  In short, I killed Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  You did, too.  Whatever bad happens to us, it doesn't even approach that which we deserve.  Except for the grace of God, what we all deserve is furious wrath from heaven.  Life isn't fair--and that's a good thing.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be made mature and complete, not lacking in anything."
James 1:2-4

1 comment:

  1. Nice take!!! Funny yet true to the core!!! Nice work!!!!