Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Friday, January 18, 2013

TAKING RISKS (Genesis 43)

I'll take full responsibility for his safety; it's my life on the line for his (Genesis 43:9, MSG)

Judah, in a powerful, beautiful way, is a "type," or picture, of Christ in today's passage. Jacob doesn't want to send his youngest son Benjamin, his only living link to his beloved Rachel, to Egypt. Judah steps in and says "my life for his, if he doesn't return safely." He later lives up to that promise, offering to remain as Joseph's slave so that Benjamin may return to their father. 

The story is a picture of Jesus's "substitutionary atonement," words to say Jesus died in my place. He paid the price for my sin. It's beautiful, it's amazing, it's the reason why I have eternal life and live in God's love.

But I don't want to talk theology exclusively. Imagine the risks.

Imagine the risks God took in creating man--knowing, even before Adam drew his first breath, that he would sin and God the Son would die on the cross for the salvation of all mankind.

Imagine the risks Jacob, Benjamin, and Judah took, in allowing Benjamin to accompany his brothers to Egypt. Judah was willing to spend his remaining years in an Egyptian jail rather than allow the same fate to happen to his baby brother.

Caring for someone else involves risk. I know that risk on a personal level: I love my children, and my daughter committed suicide. My heart has been torn in two and healed over. 

Today, in the most unexpected development from living in a nursing home, I have found love.  As heady as the feeling is, I know I run a risk. I may watch his body and/or his mind deteriorate. The same holds true for him. 

But consider the rewards. Joseph, reunited and reconciled with his family. Jesus, reconciling the world to God by the cross.

I don't know the full extent of the reward awaiting me--but I would not have missed my daughter's life for any price, nor do I wish to shut my heart to new love.

If we protect ourselves from hurt, we also shut ourselves off from joy. 

Love is worth the risk. 


  1. Thanks! I'm glad I found the "writing prompts crew." Now I know a little more about you. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. This is really beautiful. Ever since I read a fiction book of yours many years ago, I knew you were a special person. You amaze me at all you have had to adjust to and live with and how you continue to thrive.

  3. I experience nothing without God's presence and love holding me up. . .that is the foundational truth on which my ups and downs rely. He is always there. Thank you, Cathy. (The greatest risk taker of all)

  4. Thank you for sharing how God has blessed you with an unexpected gift of love! I love how God works in unexpected and mysterious ways to bless us. My newfound friendship with you and some of the others on here has been a blessing to me! Thank you and God bless you!

  5. Susan, it's been a delight to get to know you as well!