In Genesis 42, ten brothers stood before a man they had conspired to kill. A man born of the same father, and raised in the same home. A man they threw into a pit. A man they sold for twenty pieces of silver.
They had covered his robe in animal’s blood and told their father that he was dead. They carried that sin within them, in the quiet of their minds, hidden. Then they were convinced it was thatsin that was coming back to punish them.
We can hear it in their statement: “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” Genesis 42:21
Unrepentant sin breeds shame. Shame makes the world look different; it makes God look different. When faced with difficult times, we search to understand why, and our shame shouts our list of unrepentant trespasses. It tells us we deserve this.
In a time of devastation and desperation, when I needed and longed for the Lord’s comfort the most, I ran from it because of lies my own shame told me.
Shame kept the brothers from rejoicing at the revelation of their long-lost brother. They stood before Joseph in dismay, even though he begged them to “draw near.” Our shame does the same thing: it keeps us from the Forgiver. Instead of drawing near to God in our times of pain and uncertainty, we stand in dismay at His presence.
What Joseph’s brothers didn’t know yet, and what shame kept my heart from seeing, is Jesus. God allowed us to nail His son to a cross so that our own lives would be preserved. This sacrifice provides us the ability to enter into the Holy of Holies and commune directly with God despite our sinfulness.
Shame keeps us from seeing what God is doing in and through our lives, even through our sin. Shame keeps us from the communion God desires to have with us.
Today, search your heart and confess any unconfessed sin. Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to confidently approach Christ and receive His forgiveness. Opening up about our sin leaves no foothold for shame. When Jesus says, “Come near, please…” we can respond with rejoicing, resting in His mercy and grace.
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