Monday, September 17, 2012

They Despise Shepherds

Genesis 46:28-34

I am only looking at a few verses today in order to finish up Genesis 46.  But these verses bring up something interesting to me that I want to explore.  It is the difference of darkness and light.  Dark and light are completely opposite of each other.  How do you define light?  To me, light is warm and bright and is what allows us to see.  Light is what gives us color and beauty.  Dark is the absence of light.  In true dark, we cannot see a thing because there is no light at all.  There would be no light for our eyes to adjust to and see silhouettes of objects nearby.  No, true dark has no light; therefore, we would not be able to see at all.  When thinking about that, wouldn't it be safe to say that dark would hate the light because light penetrates the dark?  Dark cannot penetrate the light, but light has the power to penetrate the dark.  Dark depends on the absence of light; however, light doesn't depend on the dark.  Light just exists whether or not dark inhabits a place.  In fact, we recognize the existence of dark because of the light.  So, when light exists it makes itself known to all.  Keep that in mind as you read through Genesis 46:28-34.

We finally get to see the reunion of Jacob and Joseph, and Jacob declared that he could now die since he saw the face of his son again.  But Joseph explained the next steps for his family.  He explained that he would tell Pharaoh that they had arrived and would explain that they are shepherds.  He also instructed them to tell Pharaoh the same when they come before his court.  He said that when they do this, they would be given the right to live in the land of Goshen because the Egyptians despised shepherds.  I find that interesting because if it were not for the shepherds, they would have no meat to eat or even have some of their clothing.  But it was something that they found despicable.  Maybe it was because they didn't like the smell of the livestock or didn't like how shepherds smelled since they were around the animals.

What I do know is that Christ called Himself a shepherd.  In John 10:11 (NLT) Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep."  But, just as the ancient Egyptians despised shepherds, there are those who despise Jesus.  Jesus also called Himself light and all those who belonged to Him were also light in this world.  People do not like Jesus because they don't understand Him; they are living in the dark.  2 Corinthians 6:14b says, "How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?"  Dark cannot understand the light.  But, we are still called to be in this world and live as a light.  We are not lights in order to antagonize others; we live as lights in order to show God's love to a hurting world.  So, we may be despised but we can still love because we have the light living in us.

Do you experience those who despise you because of God?  Do you understand that it is the darkness in them that despises the light in you?  Continue to love.

This post is linked with Monday Musings and Sharing His Beauty.

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