Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 16, 2022

“Do not quarrel on the journey.”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 45:21-28.

“Then the sons of Israel did so;  and Joseph gave them wagons according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey.  To each of them he gave changes of garments, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments.  To his father he sent as follows:  ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and sustenance for his father on the journey.

So he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the journey.”  Then they went up from Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob.  They told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.”  But he was stunned, for he did not believe them.  When they told him all the words of Joseph that he had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.  Then Israel said, “It is enough;  my son Joseph is still alive.  I will go and see him before I die.”  Genesis 45:21-28.

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At first, it may seem puzzling and unnecessary for Joseph to tell his brothers:   “Do not quarrel on the journey.”  After all, his brothers escaped slavery, famine, and death.  And, even more, his brothers received such favor and gifts from Pharaoh. Rather than having lost two brothers, Joseph and Benjamin, they regained them.  They were like in a victory parade going back to their father to bring him such stunningly great news. In summary, Joseph’s brothers should not need to be told by Joseph to not quarrel on the journey back to their father.    

But, we do see Joseph telling them:  “Do not quarrel on the journey.”  And, we too need to be so instructed to not quarrel with each other as we journey through life even though we too have received such blessings and have no good reason to quarrel.

Consider that after counting the blessings of the church in Corinth, Paul instructs them to not quarrel.  

“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.  For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.”  1 Corinthians 1:4-11.

In conclusion, we should guard against our propensity to quarrel.  We should put off the “old self” and put on the new self”.  Instead of quarreling, consider this summary as to how we should be.

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;  bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone;  just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.  Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body;  and be thankful.”  Colossians 3:12-15. 


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