Devotion 45

Eisodus and Exodus

“They said to each other, “Look, this dreamer is coming!  So, come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these water cisterns here. Then we’ll say some wild animal devoured him. We’ll see then what becomes of his dreams!” Genesis 37:19,20

Derek Lemen introduced a new word to me this morning, through his daily blog, Daily Portion – Eisodus.  If you have never heard of this word either, before today, you are not alone.  Microsoft ‘spell-check’ didn’t know it existed either.  Eisodus is the opposite of exodus.  Exodus means coming out of, a mass departure of people, particularly emigrants.  Thus, eisodus means coming into a situation, which may or may not eventually lead to an exodus.

The eisodus of Israel’s fleeing Egypt, in the 13th Century, BCE, may be seen in the jealousy exhibited by Joseph’s brothers, four or five hundred years earlier.  Here, in Genesis 37, we find the recounting of their plan to kill their ‘obnoxious’ sibling, as retribution for his dreams and the favouritism shown by their father.  Upon connecting the dots, it may be seen how this family squabble eventually led to the enslavement of a whole people and to the eventual creation of the State of Israel.

Do we really understand the impact our behaviours may have on the future?  Yahweh, God Almighty, knows His plans before the beginning of time but not us.  Our minds are unable to foresee even one second into the future but we are able to consider the consequences of our actions.  This ability, called discernment, is a gift from God to all who sincerely desire it.

Discernment, a close relative of wisdom, allows us to reflect on how our actions may impact upon others around us.  Reuben, the eldest of Joseph’s brothers, attempted to be discerning, when his brothers plotted Joseph’s death.  His discerning words may be found in verses 21 and 22: “We shouldn’t take his life.   Don’t shed blood,” Re’uven added. “Throw him into this cistern here in the wilds, but don’t lay hands on him yourselves.” He intended to rescue him from them later and restore him to his father.”  Perhaps he knew he couldn’t change his brothers’ motivation but could make a slight change in direction.  Obviously, this was part of Yahweh’s plan for the brothers.

Beloved, we mere mortals are not invited into the fullness of the mind of God; we are sometimes given revelations of His specific plans for us, which may encourage and bolster us, particularly when facing obstacles.  However, He has given us the tools of wisdom and discernment to attempt to understand how our behaviours may impact on those around us.  He gave us these gifts for them to be used and He wants us to use them, as we read in Proverbs 2:1-5 – “My son, if you will receive my words and store my commands inside you, paying attention to wisdom inclining your mind toward understanding — yes, if you will call for insight and raise your voice for discernment, if you seek it as you would silver and search for it as for hidden treasure — then you will understand the fear of Adonai and find knowledge of God.”  But first we need to seek His wisdom, which, as we are told in Proverb 1: “The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge.”

CONSIDER: Before you act, do you consciously consider the impacts of your actions or do you adhere to the saying – ‘Let the chips fall as they may’?  Have you permitted impulse and desire to rule your behaviour?

ACTION:  Step forward, in trust, and ask God to help you in your search for discernment and wisdom; they are there for you, if you but seek them.

PRAY:  Abba, Beloved Father, I do want to be discerning and wise, in both my actions and my decisions.  I humbly seek Your support in using these gifts You have made available for me.  In Your Blessed Name I pray.