This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

God's Promise: Genesis Part Two |  the galaxy with stars and  purple, orange, and blue clouds. God's Promise: Genesis Part Two |  the galaxy with stars and  purple, orange, and blue clouds.

Daily Devotional | Guilty Conscience

As a seminary teacher, over the years I have had a handful of students confess to me that they cheated in a course. By the time they come to me, I can tell that they had been living with the guilt and it ate away at them. There is almost nothing worse than a guilty conscience.

After the famine, predicted by Pharaoh’s dream, hit the land of Canaan, Jacob sent his sons down to Egypt to purchase food for the family (v. 2). We get a glimpse into the family life of Joseph’s brothers. Jacob was protective of Joseph’s full-brother, Benjamin, and did not send him on the journey (v. 4). Their father was still playing favorites.

In Egypt, Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him (v. 7). We can only imagine the thoughts and emotions that ran through Joseph’s mind and heart. After questioning his brothers closely, he discovered that Benjamin was not sent with the rest. Joseph decided to put his brothers to the test. Would they betray Benjamin like they had betrayed him (v. 15)?

After three days in custody, the brothers confessed to each other what was on their minds: “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us” (v. 21). All these years, they had been living with guilt over what they had done to Joseph.

David vividly described the experience of living with guilt in Psalm 32: “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Ps. 32:3–4).

Go Deeper

Are there things in your life that you need to make right with God and others? There is joy and freedom in repentance and forgiveness.

Pray with Us: Today’s reading reminds us of the heavy burden of unrepentant guilt. Lord, is there a word or action we need to repent of? Is there someone we need to forgive? Whom do we need to ask for forgiveness? Thank You for Your divine guidance!

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

Find Daily Devotionals by Month