One of the overarching themes of the Bible (or perhaps the overarching theme) is God’s deep intention to bring blessing to the nations. The promise to Abraham was that he would do that through his descendents, who would be many. In the event, most of Abraham’s descendents were a dismal failure at representing God and being a blessing to the nations. There was one notable exception: Jesus. He brought God’s blessings to the people around him through his words and actions. Finally he opened up the way for all people to be blessed by dying in our place to take away our sins and to bring us back where we belong – in a loving relationship with God.
God has given his people now (the true spiritual descendents of Abraham) the task of declaring and proclaiming the blessings of this precious gospel message to all people. That’s you and me, if we’ve received the blessings of the good news and are followers of Jesus. In that way his great plan to bless the nations is on track.
The question is, how are we going with that? Are we a blessing to those around us, especially those who don’t know Jesus? I must confess that my life often falls short on that score – that the message I bring when I do share it, is marred or clouded by my sinful shortcomings. It’s a high-stakes game – if someone is turned off the good news because my life is bad news, that has eternal consequences. That’s why it’s so important for us to deal with the things that hold us back from godliness – past hurts, current grudges, unresolved relationships, unforgiveness, jealousies, secret sins, whatever it is. We need to own up to them and turn them over to God to deal with and clean up.
From what we see of Joseph, he had gone a long way down that path, and was able to begin to help his brothers to move forward to where God wanted them to be – a blessing to the nations.
Let’s keep praying for and helping one another so that God might pour out his blessings on all people more and more through us, his people at CrossCulture.