Genesis 46: 1-7, 28-30
When Israel set out on his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph’s own hand shall close your eyes.”
Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They also took their livestock and the goods that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.
Israel sent Judah ahead to Joseph to lead the way before him into Goshen. When they came to the land of Goshen, Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. He presented himself to him, fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. Israel said to Joseph, “I can die now, having seen for myself that you are still alive.”
Psalm 37: 3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will abide forever;
they are not put to shame in evil times,
in the days of famine they have abundance.
Depart from evil, and do good;
so you shall abide forever.
For the Lord loves justice;
he will not forsake his faithful ones.
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and rescues them;
he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
Matthew 10: 16-23
“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Isaac believed he lost his son Joseph and it wasn’t until close to the end of his life that he discovered that he was alive and the whole family was reconciled. Joseph was sold into slavery because of his brothers' jealousy. God, in his might, used Joseph's circumstances to bring Joseph power and influence and ultimately be the one to provide aid to his family. God used the division in the family as a way to bring them to surrender and reconciliation.
At first it’s confusing to hear Jesus describe the kind of family strife that He does in the gospel. But throughout scripture we see Christ allowing suffering and dysfunction to rise to the surface so that it can be fully seen and known. Only in admitting brokenness do we stand a chance to be healed. Christ did not shy away from discussing sin, but rather He revealed the horror of sin by dying on the cross. He let death have its day so that we could understand that there was nothing glamorous or romantic about evil, but torment and destruction.
Today, consider what angst or pain you might be struggling with and ask the Lord what He is trying to say to you in the midst of it. If there is dysfunction in a relationship, ask the Lord how He is inviting you into resolution. Jesus doesn’t want sin and pain to hide in our darkness where it can begin to take over. If you are struggling with sin, bring it to the Lord for healing. Invite the help of counselors or spiritual directors as needed, and seek the Lord’s healing today.