Editorial: Drawing Near to Jesus

Genesis 45:3‑4  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
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It is not surprising that Joseph’s brethren were troubled as they stood in his royal presence. Their guilty consciences reminded them of that time years before when, in their wicked jealousy, they had contrived to kill him. Now, as the second ruler in Egypt, he no longer languished in that horrible, dry pit, devoid of any comfort, while the cruel brethren ate bread, indifferent to his sorrow. The despised “slave” was now the ruler.
The brothers realized that the sin they had so carefully tried to cover by the blood of the slain lamb, in which Joseph’s beautiful coat had been dipped, was “naked and opened” to all (Heb. 4:1313Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:13)).
In a later day, the zealous Saul of Tarsus had a similar, yet more glorious revelation from the splendor of heaven, as he heard the words, “I am Jesus.” Immediately the proud, young Pharisee fell trembling on his face in the presence of divine glory. What could Saul so wretched and undone by the guilt of his zealous persecutions of that blessed name expect but swift judgment for his deeds?
Throughout the Word, there are many like examples of undeniable guilt and undeserved grace for example, Mephibosheth, the young Egyptian servant of the Amalekite, and the guilty publican. Each came to a time when they had to confront the hopelessness of their condition. Yet, at these solemn moments, grace and love triumph over judgment.
Instead of prison chains or executioner’s sword, they hear a loving invitation: “Come near to me, I pray you.” They finally become the willing recipients of Joseph’s overflowing heart of love an earlier display of the spirit of David weeping with Jonathan, “until David exceeded.” How much more our blessed God has exceeded in His love for us!
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-98For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8‑9)).
The believer, once “dead in trespasses and sins” and having “no hope, and without God in the world,” has found in the Lord Jesus unconditional, eternal love. The depth of that divine love is seen when He weeps at Lazarus’s grave, while the delight and desire of His heart for His loved ones shines in His prayer to His Father (John 17). The Lord desires that each of His blood-bought own would “draw near... in full assurance of faith,” for He rejoices over each with joy, and “He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing” (Zeph. 3:1717The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)).
We are infinitely more blessed than Queen Esther, who in all her glory and beauty still had no personal assurance that she would be welcomed in the king’s presence. All she could say was, I will “go in unto the king... and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:1616Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. (Esther 4:16)).
Joseph’s brethren receive his tears and kisses. It is just so with the prodigal son, who received the father’s embrace and the father’s kisses. What was their part in such tender displays of love? Their guilt and their drawing “near” to the ones they had offended.
Let us, redeemed saints each one who is part of that which caused Him “the travail of His soul” eagerly rise and open the door at the sound of His tender knock and loving, beseeching voice.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:2020Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)).