A Scapegoat

Gen 37:31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; 32 And they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no. 33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. 34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

Instead of Joseph to die, another innocent kid of the goats is killed and his blood is shed instead. By this the life of Joseph is preserved and Joseph is released into his true destiny. Jesus Christ was our sin offering; like an innocent kid to replace us who deserved death. When He was crucified our distorted destiny was replaced and we are restored to a new destiny culminating in eternal joy. When Christ was crucified betrayed by Judas Iscariot, it was not known then that this was always the plan of God. In the same way, the brothers of Joseph did not know that Joseph was being sent to be the instrument of their salvation.

Many years later God will instruct Moses …

Lev 16:5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. 6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. 7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. … 21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

Because Christ gave His life to be crucified. Our sins and iniquities have been placed on a scapegoat … who has been released far into the wilderness never to be seen. We can rejoice and know they will never be brought up ever again or ever found again. If any brings up your sin … tell them because Christ died … our iniquities and sorrows have all been carried far away.

Song.

Upon that cross of Jesus, mine eye can sometimes see
The very dying form of One who suffered there for me;
And from my smitten heart with tears two wonders I confess –
The wonders of His glorious love and my own worthlessness.

Words: Elizabeth Clephane – 1830

Prayer: O Lord, I am so unworthy … and your love is so glorious. Thank you. May your death for me not be in vain. Amen 

The Songs of Joseph is an integration of encouragement scriptural devotions, prayers and a compendium of songs of mercy, salvation, new beginnings and victory.  We can expect as we trust and obey that our end will indeed be ultimately glorious  because God works His marvellous agenda.   Be blessed as you read and sing along, daily.   Edited by  Bolade Apampa 

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God and Leadership (Part II)

Winston-Churchill-9248164-1-402In a previous part, I wrote of the divine help that comes to the leader, and humility that makes that help feasible … adding that God prepares leaders with the necessary equipment, long before crisis pulls them into the important roles they must play. Another aspect critical to leadership is Vision. Indeed, it is the leader’s vision that ultimately divorces the many pretenders to leadership from the lonely icon.  Vision alienates the leader from the pack and annoys contemporaries … the very same attribute that must be preserved to one day bring the leader to fulfill divine destiny.  Vision is seeing what others do not see and apprehending a direction that often appears even at its best disconnected to status quo… the to-be of our todays.  While vision pushes many seeking its realization to fail many times in the right thing … lack of it creates victories that are utterly meaningless.

Luk 9:51  And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 9:52  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

Indeed, vision should be communicated and shared … but it must first exist.  The visionary is not admired because he is not seen to be solving today’s crisis, nor is he expending resources killing relevant critics … he equally respectfully discountenances indulgent fans, pertinent foes and mischievous mockers alike because he knows they are equally blind to what they will later see.

May God make us like Nehemiah … men who saw repaired walls even when there were only ruins … prophetic insights that sense mighty armies in a valley of dry bones.  Listening to a visionary can be irritating to the ardent manager who must deliver a target … but the vision must first define the paths from which targets and indicators have true meaning.

The visionary who will not be distracted may be perceived as an arrogant “know all” and so must be disdained yet only because his face is set somewhere others have yet to grasp.  Vision is unapologetic to no one … observed as cursed to isolation in nursing what others imagine to be an evil apparition.  He or she  may have limitations, always perceived, like Nehemiah, to be defending insidious plots … constantly suspected, tested, disowned and vociferously rejected, misunderstood and dismissed as a fool … but it is the visionary that has been gifted with the unique insight that draws down a salvation not even the angels amongst us can discern.

In William Manchester’s masterful account of Winston Churchill’s life he describes “ a man with limitations, especially his callousness towards others (including his supporters) and his recklessness, which could border on the foolhardy; but also a man whose vision was global and whose courage was boundless … a light in an approaching darkness..”

We have many who can tell us what we need to do, but only those who have a higher knowledge and can tell us where we ought to be – have right to lead albeit their possession of their many other flaws …

Back to Christ, our Lord and Savior.  In the text He sends messengers ahead of Him to the Samaritans, who did not welcome Him or appreciate His tactless vigor to be in Jerusalem.  The disciples, James and John observed the cold treatment and ask him …

Luk 9:54  … Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

The leader will have learnt how to move forward without injury, quietly escaping the confinement of conflict to “another village” …closer to his “Jerusalem”.

Pro_29:18  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

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