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October 18, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They told him, ‘Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.’ Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. And Israel said, ‘I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.’”—Genesis 45:25–28 (NIV)
If you’ve ever watched wrestling, then you know one of the most often used tropes is the second wind. Just when it looks like the villain has the hero down for the count, suddenly the good guy gets his second wind and mounts a comeback to win. This trope became popular with Hulk Hogan in the 1980s.
In today’s passage, we see Jacob get a second wind! After Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, word reached Pharaoh and he was pleased (Genesis 45:16). I imagine he got that feeling we all get when we watch videos of soldiers coming home and surprising their families. And in his excitement for his friend and mentor, Pharaoh instructed Joseph to send his brothers home with gifts and for them to bring the rest of his family back to Egypt to live in the best land.
This is the kind of impact Joseph had on Pharaoh, the kind of impact believers should have on people where they think well of us! I’m talking Christians having an amazing reputation with people in Hollywood, the media, the government on both sides, the LGBTQ+ community, amongst Muslims and atheists, with our loved ones, neighbors, classmates, professors, and coworkers. People should look on and see Christians as examples, pillars of the community, trustworthy and wise. In every way, our lives should make the message “about God our Savior attractive” (Titus 2:10 NIV) to the watching world. And not by watering down the gospel in any way or compromising the truth; but simply by living like Jesus and devoting ourselves to doing what is good. This enables us to help others receive and experience for themselves the amazing gift of salvation and new life in Christ.
Now, Jacob’s sons tell him the good news that Joseph is still alive! And after sharing the whole story with him, “the spirit of their father Jacob revived”—Jacob’s second wind! The Hebrew word used here means that the fullness of life returned to him. Like a destroyed house is restored, Jacob’s health and spirit were restored.
Friends, this is what happens when we witness the promises and faithfulness of God. This is literally what happens to our dead souls when we receive Jesus: we’re healed, restored, revived, and brought to life. And through His Word, prayer, the fellowship of believers, service, devotion, and discipleship, we can experience daily revival in our hearts! This is what Paul alludes to in 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV) when he said, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” In Christ, you can experience a second, third, and millionth wind as the Spirit brings the revival, strength, and supernatural power of the breath (or wind) of God!
DIG: How can we live like Joseph and make the gospel attractive?
DISCOVER: Why does witnessing the faithfulness and promises of God give us a second wind and bring about revival in us?
DO: Meditate on 2 Corinthians 4:16 today in light of Jacob’s second wind. Consider habits and daily steps you can take to be “renewed day by day.”