Love over hate
On day 15 of my Bible journey, I find myself in Egypt...Goshen specifically. That's the land where Jacob and his sons settled after reuniting with Joseph, his beloved favorite who he thought was killed by wild animals. Instead of hating his brothers for banishing him to a life of enslavement, Joseph decided to forgive them...even love them.
Jacob's family had suffered greatly during a brutal seven-year famine. The Egyptian people were so desperate for food that they sold their land and all their livestock to the government in exchange for enough provisions to survive. They even sold themselves into servitude for the privilege of giving back to Pharaoh one-fifth of whatever harvest their seeds would produce.
But, Pharaoh told Joseph to settle his father and brothers "in the best of the land." They were fruitful and multiplied greatly in this land...a land which sounds very much like the one promised to their descendants many generations later. Joseph was able to arrange this milk-and-honey existence in the midst of a crippling famine for the family he never stopped loving, in spite of their abandonment. Because he chose love over hate, he and his people were richly blessed.
Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King!
On this 15th day of January, we honor a man who often referred to Scripture, not just in his speeches, but also in his actions. He often promoted love over hate, even when it was incomprehensible to do so. I imagine that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was very familiar with the life of Joseph. Being a descendant of Africans who were enslaved in this country, Dr. King no doubt empathized with Joseph being sold into slavery himself.
When Dr. King was imprisoned for peacefully protesting the injustices inflicted upon people of color, I wonder if he thought of all the time that Joseph spent in prison for a crime that he did not commit. I wonder if the grace and dignity that Joseph exhibited throughout his harrowing experiences helped to inspire the grace and dignity that Dr. King espoused.
Dr. King gave many great speeches, the most famous of which ended with him telling the audience about his "Dream" of a promised land. I'm sure he was referring to Moses on the mountaintop as he overlooked the land God promised to give his people, but that he was not allowed to enter himself. I wonder if Dr. King might have also had the "best land" of Egypt in his mind when he envisioned people of all colors being fruitful and multiplying together.
I wonder if Dr. King might have also been inspired by Joseph's gift of interpreting the dreams of others. Although Dr. King's "Dream" was more like a vision, his interpretation of it continues to inspire. And, in this day and age of anger, polarization, even hatred...his message of love in the face of hate is more powerful than ever.
Dr. King once said, "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." Unfortunately, the love he gave was not reciprocated by all, and he was cut down very early in his influential life. The irony for those who thought they had silenced him, is that his voice speaks even louder, and his legacy continues to grow stronger with each generation.
As a believer and follower of Christ in the modern era, I'm grateful for Dr. King's adherence to the faith we share in the face of hatred. And, I'm beyond grateful that the living Word of God has been preserved for centuries so that we can see that the only way to get rid of darkness and hate is with light and love.
Have you ever faced hatred or injustice in your life? How did you handle it? How would you handle it in the future after reading about Joseph?
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*Welcome to my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
(In case you were wondering, this blog is a labor of love for me.❤️ The links contained in my posts are NOT affiliate links. I include them in order to share with you the actual pages and apps I use during the course of my own personal journey. Money muddies the waters, and I like my water clear. Amen? 😉)