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His Critics

View daily reading plan: Genesis 37:1-4

Adjacent verses refer to love and hate (Gen 37.3-4), and in his Gospel and his epistle John places these two emotions side by side. “Love one another”. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (Jn 15.17-18). The company of the family of God should prove to be a haven for saints who are being harassed and reviled by neighbours and colleagues. Joseph must have found refuge in his father’s love, exposed as he was to the hatred of his vindictive brethren.
The simmering hatred of these ten men was expressed in abusive language; they “could not speak peaceably to him” (v.4). They mocked and they criticised; everything they said was sarcastic. Once more we have a parallel with the experience of the Lord Jesus. Those who hated Him “without a cause” were more than the hairs of His head (Jn 15.25; Ps 69.4). That bitterness was expressed in regular verbal assaults; they constantly “tempted him” with their questions.
The Lord’s experience, and to a lesser degree Joseph’s, create a pattern for us when opponents try to intimidate us with threats or humiliate us with insults. Peter wrote of the Lord Jesus, “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Pet 2.23). That is the standard; there is no virtue in verbal retaliation. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Col 4.6).

Saturday, 27 January, 2024

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