Now the famine was severe in the land.
And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.”
But Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’
[Genesis 43:1-3 NKJV]
Have you ever been in a group of people; maybe at work, in church, on an outing, or at a party; anywhere that people gather, and have thought “There is someone missing?” Where is young Whatsisname?” There is a sense of incompleteness, a feeling that we cannot move on until young Whosit or Thingummy turns up.
The verses today are from Joseph’s story in Genesis. Joseph’s brothers have come before Joseph, who had become Pharaoh’s trusted High Steward, and yet they did not know who he was. They thought him dead. But Joseph knew them and realised that Benjamin, the youngest, was missing. Joseph refused to grant their request until his brothers were all present saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’
Reading this story again recently, I was struck by these words. The story can be seen on several levels, but never before had I seen that this expression is how The Lord views us His people. It is not His purpose to have one here and one there as He builds His church.
Our God has planned out exactly and to the letter, every name that will be a brother or sister in His fellowship, and He will not compromise. He will wait until ALL His chosen are gathered. It is His commitment to us; His promise that none shall be missing - not one sheep is going astray - His Church is not complete “unless your brother is with you”, and He Is endlessly patient. He is waiting for that brother. He could be waiting for you or me.
There is another aspect to God’s waiting. In Genesis, it was Benjamin who was awaited in the gathering. His name is translated as ‘son of the right hand’. Jesus Christ, the Son, now sits at the right hand of God. “unless your brother is with you” also expresses “unless Christ be in you”. He too, is your brother.
And the heading on the wall-hanging in the photo illustration above? It read “... with patience ... wait for The Lord”. He will deliver.
“The Gathering” — Casey J
OSWALD CHAMBERS - RUN TODAY’S RACE
Saturday 4th July 2020
Don’t let the sense of failure corrupt your new action.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART