Heidi McChesney - Olympia II, Washington Convention - 2018

Genesis 42:14, “And Joseph said unto them, 'That is it that I spake unto you, saying, "Ye are spies; hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh , ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you or else by the life of Pharaoh, surely ye are spies."'”

We’ve just been singing about God searching and proving us, to see whether we are His children. I find it searching to my heart to read the proving of God to Joseph’s brothers! Are we proving we are indeed God’s own children? Experiences we pass through prove what is in our heart - tests of jealousy and envy, tests of being preferred, tests of being falsely accused, tests of our flesh, tests of our honesty. God never gave up! We’re so thankful! Jesus was tested in all points yet without sin – that gives us so much hope!

Genesis 37:31, “And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; and they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, 'This have we found. Know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.' And he knew it, and said, 'It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hast devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.'”

Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

When they came with Joseph’s coat, they never said a lie in words, but they let their father believe a lie for many years! If we let others believe a lie, there is deceitfulness in that! We think, “I would never do that” – that’s how deceitful our hearts are! Sometimes it surprises us what comes out of our human heart. We think, “I would never do something like that!” God wants to keep working with us. When Joseph recognized his brothers, he could have been as cruel to them as they’d been to him, but Joseph was willing to treat them with tears of welcome. When their father learned what his sons had done, he could have been angry that they’d let him believe a lie for so long, but we don’t read of that – only rejoicing that Joseph was alive.

John 12:35, “Then Jesus said unto them, 'Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.' These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide Himself from them.”

In thinking about the year that lies ahead, we have learned to love the light. There is no arguing when the light shines, and yet we still have to choose honesty! Then God can reassure us that we are His own.