Our Brother’s Distress…Our Distress
Then they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.” – Genesis 42: 21
The above scripture refers to the story of Joseph being placed inside the pit by his jealous older brothers and later sold into captivity. As a result, Joseph would spend the next thirty years in prison before becoming second in command under Pharaoh of Egypt.
It was only after Joseph had been retrieved from his prison life by the Pharaoh and made overseer of Egypt’s land that his brothers traveled to Egypt in search of food due to the intense famine that covered Israel’s land. Three decades after their shameful scheme, they surely thought Joseph was long dead. They never suspected for one minute that his life had been divinely protected and divinely orchestrated by Elohim God. But, they were about to find out in a most startling way. As the story goes, God had protected Joseph’s life while in captivity in order to save and protect the lives of his brothers and his father, Jacob.
As the above scripture explains, the brothers admitted among themselves that they had “saw the distress of his (Joseph’s) soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.” Using this particular confession, I want to pose a question to those of us living in America today…”Are we ignoring the pleas of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in distress in the Middle East because of their Faith in Christ Jesus?”
Tonight, I watched a FOX newscast report on the ongoing deaths and tortures happening to Christians all around the world where radical Islam terrorist groups are taking over. I sadly listened to a young lady “beg” for the help of our nation to come to the aid of Christians being killed and persecuted in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries. At the end of her interview she held up a sign that read, “Help to Stop the Christian Holocaust.” To say the least, the report greatly disturbed me.
See, I am not only a Christian living in America, but I am also a retired Language Arts and Social Studies teacher who taught the story of Anne Frank to my middle grades students for several years. Tonight, as I was surrounded by the comforts and safety of my home I was witnessing on TV a young dark-haired girl begging for her life to be protected and spared from “distress,” persecution, and death at the hands of radical Islamists. This easily could have been a telecast from the early 1940’s of a young Anne Frank begging for the same protection and aid.
My USA friends, what are we going to do? Are we going to one day lower our heads in shame and say, “We saw the distress of their souls when they pleaded with us, yet we would not listen?” Are we going to listen to their pleas and send help? Or, will we not listen until the same “distress” and persecutions are knocking at our front doors? God forbid.
I feel as if I want to rush outside and sound the alarms saying, “Wake up!” “Wake up!” “The enemy is upon us and we must wake up!” How close is this enemy to our own door steps? Five days? Five months? Five years? Yes; it is what it is…While we are living in the USA seemingly with our “heads in the sand” our brothers and sisters in Christ living within the Middle East are filled with fears and begging for their lives.
I was shocked to see dozens and dozens of “Christians” lined up, face down, in the streets with their hands tied behind their backs awaiting torture for not denying their faith in Christ Jesus. This was not a scene from seventy years ago, but a scene from yesterday’s current news headlines. How does one go to sleep after seeing something like this? For me; I didn’t. That’s why I am up and writing this blog after midnight.
My friend, I feel we must seriously, seriously seek our GOD in prayer on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being tortured and killed right now for their Faith. We also must pray for the continual safety of Israel against her enemies. We in America have lived somewhat “charmed” lives compared to the majority of the world. I’m not saying that we are without challenges, problems, burdens, trials, sicknesses, concerns, and setbacks. But, for the majority of Americans we live in some type of “blessed” environment each and every day with resources, liberties, and freedoms that many in this world never experience.
Right now, my heart is heavy for those who are suffering for their Faith in Jesus Christ. Today, it is happening across a wide ocean and vast lands away from us…But, tomorrow, it could be occurring upon and within our own shore lines and streets.
The forces of darkness are upon us and without GREAT Faith, GREAT Strength, GREAT Wisdom, and GREAT Courage; we too may come to know what Great Distress is all about. God, have mercy upon me and my family; and our land of America.
My prayer is that we, as Christians, will be protected each and every day and that our lives will be divinely orchestrated much the same way as Joseph’s. Though we are sold into suffering captivity, that our GOD will provide a way of escape that we may bring Honor, Hope, Praise, and Glory unto the Name of our LORD, Jesus. In HIS Name I pray, Amen.
Remember, God Loves You! (In Jesus’ Name).
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed. Author