Saturday 14 November 2020

Bible Book:
Genesis

Then Judah said to his brothers, ‘What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.’ And his brothers agreed. (vs 26-27)

Genesis 37:3-28 Saturday 14 November 2020

Psalm 24

Background

Today we move on to the next generation and it seems that the lessons of the past have not been learnt. Once again we have a family drama where sibling rivalry is tearing a family apart. In this instance the rivalry is so intense that one brother gets sold as a slave.

This group of brothers, competing for their father’s attention, are united in a common goal of removing Joseph. They may argue about the best approach, but ultimately they work together to get rid of their brother at a profit to themselves. How disheartening that their common cause was one of hatred and greed.

This act of betrayal sparks a series of events that will see Joseph become a powerful ruler in Egypt who will save his brothers. Later the move to Egypt will result in their descendants being slaves themselves and finding their freedom as God takes them through the Red Sea.

And the evil of slavery continues to this day. About 40 million people are estimated to be in slavery today, of which a quarter are children and nearly three-quarters are female. People are bought and sold as slaves for others to make a profit and it is happening all around the world.

But even in the midst of such evil we can see hope as different people work together to end it. In selling a slave Joseph’s brothers were united by hatred, but in ending slavery we are united by love and that is even more powerful. We have seen people challenge corporations to remove slavery from their supply chains, download apps to monitor local businesses, and support charities that work with the victims of trafficking. Working to end slavery is a cause that brings together people of different faiths and cultures in a shared belief in the sacredness of God-given life. When we put aside our differences and work together in love we are enabling God’s kingdom to be realised here on earth.

To Ponder:

  • When have you seen people put aside their differences to work together?
  • What can you do to help tackle modern slavery?

 

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