People can change

BibleStudyI have a hard time accepting that people change. I do not know why I have a hard time accepting it but I do. It is hard for me to see that someone who abused their first wife has changed and no longer is an abuser. It is hard for me to trust a thief that has proclaimed change in their life. It is hard for me to accept that someone that has had an affair on their spouse can change and be faithful. It is hard for me to ever believe a person that is known for lying. I know that I should trust that people can and do change, but lack of trusting others is something I struggle with.

Recently, while studying the second half of Genesis I was reminded that people change.

I love the story of Joseph. It is a story of love, deception, redemption and change. Usually when I read the story of Joesph I focus on him. However, for some reason my focus shifted to his older brother Judah. This time as I was reading the story of Joseph it became the story of Judah.

Judah was a mess. He married a Canaanite which broke the faith that his family had in him. His sons were so wicked in the sight of the Lord that two of them were put to death (Gen 38: 7-10). He treated his widowed daughter-in-law poorly (Gen 38-26), by not keeping his promise to have his youngest son marry her when he came age. Judah conceived the plan to have is own brother sold as a slave (Gen. 37:26-27).  Judah is not the kind of person that I would want to hang out with. He acted out in selfishness and jealously.

But years later, he appears to be a changed man. He seems truly concerned and full of compassion while he is trying to save his brother Benjamin from a life of slavery. He seems genuinely concerned for his father and what his response will be should he return home without Benjamin. He even begs to take Benjamin’s place as a slave (Gen 44:18-33).

I can not help but what wondered what happened to Judah between the time of coming up with the plan to sale Joseph until the time in which he begged to take Benjamin’s place. His words and actions show that he was a changed man.

It is so easy to remember the ugly past of people. It is easy to assume that the person who was bad news then will still be bad news today. We need to realize and know that God is powerful and lives can be changed.

After reading through these chapters I have felt challenged to be more trusting when people say that they have changed.


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