Making MiraclesApril 13, 2012 - 5:00 am
“The sea looked and fled,
the Jordan turned back.” — Psalm 114:3
As the Passover meal progresses, we go from recounting the Passover story to expressing our gratitude for the great miracles that God did on behalf of the Nation of Israel. What better text to read from than Psalms of thanksgiving written by King David? In Psalm 114 we read about the Exodus from Egypt. The Psalmist reveals that when the Israelites approached the Red Sea, it “looked and fled.” But what exactly did the sea look at that made it split?
Jewish tradition teaches us that the sea saw the bones of Joseph, the son of Jacob, who had requested that the Israelites take his remains with them when they left Egypt. Something about the bones of Joseph caused the sea to react. What? For the answer, we turn to Joseph’s greatest moment.
Joseph’s greatest achievement was not becoming the second-in-command of Egypt. It wasn’t even his willingness to help out his brothers even though they hadn’t exactly treated him with the same kindness that he would later bestow upon them.
Joseph’s greatest moment came when he refused the advances of the wife of his master. After being sold into slavery in Egypt, Joseph found himself working in the home of Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife took a liking to him and tried daily to ensnare Joseph in sin.
Against his grain and natural desires, Joseph was able to refuse her offers: “. . . ‘How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her” (Genesis 39: 9–10). Tradition teaches that when the sea saw the remains of Joseph it said, “If Joseph can go against his nature, I too can go against my own.” And it split.
Friends, are you looking for miracles in your life? Look no further than yourself. Every day is a chance to bring the miraculous into the world. Are you drawn to gossip? Hold your tongue. Do you worry incessantly? Trust in God. Find the areas in which you come up short – and go beyond them. Like Joseph, go against your nature, change yourself, and you may just find that your world changes, too.