Genesis 42:22 (ESV) — And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.”
One of my early memories as a kid is going to see the movie Tombstone with my grandmother. I’ll never forget learning about Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. In the movie, Wyatt Earp is seeking revenge for the death of his brother. He is going after the individuals who were a part of the gang responsible for it. When one of the guys asks Doc Holliday about Wyatt’s quest for revenge, Holliday responds, “Make no mistake; it’s not revenge he’s after, it’s a reckoning.”
What did he mean? A reckoning is a settling of accounts. It is the exacting of justice. Wyatt Earp wasn’t after revenge for his murdered brother, he was after justice. His innocent brother did not deserve to die. The reckoning that Earp was bringing was settling accounts with the Red Sash gang that wreaked havoc and injustice on so many.
Our passage today reminds us of God’s justice and reckoning. Reuben responds to his brothers when he discovers that Joseph is still alive and not dead, and not only alive but in full power in Egypt. He says to them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” Reuben says that he and the brothers are receiving a reckoning for the blood of their brother Joseph. God is settling accounts with them for their injustice. He is righting the wrongs.
This is how God works. God is a God of justice. No acts of evil or injustice will go ignored. God brings a reckoning in this lifetime in many different ways. It can come in the form of calamity and disaster. The reckoning can come after we die and we stand before God. Nobody ever gets away with evil or wickedness. There is a divine reckoning for all injustices. For the Christian, we know that the reckoning for our wickedness and evil was exacted at the cross of Christ. Jesus bore our wrath for sin. But for the ungodly, their reckoning is still yet to come. Pray they turn to Jesus and not experience the reckoning of God.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does God often delay the reckoning for sin and injustices?
- How is the death of Christ at the cross a reckoning for our sins and evil acts?
- What should our response be as Christians as we see injustices in the world?
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