Evening, January 4, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“But Joseph had recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him.” — Genesis 42:8
This morning our desires for growth in our acquaintance with the Lord Jesus were discussed and encouraged; it may be well tonight to consider a associated topic, namely, our heavenly Joseph’s knowledge of us. This was perfected and blessed long before we had the slightest knowledge of him. “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Before we had a presence in the world we had a presence in his heart. When we were enemies to him, he knew us, our misery, our madness, and our wickedness. When we wept bitterly in despairing repentance, and viewed him only as a judge and a ruler, he viewed us as his brethren well beloved, and his inward being yearned for us. He never mistook his chosen, but always beheld them as objects of his infinite affection. “The Lord knows those that are his,” is as true of the prodigals who are feeding swine as of the children who sit at the table.
But, alas! We did not know our royal Brother, and out of this ignorance grew a host of sins. We withheld our hearts from him, and allowed him no entrance to our love. We mistrusted him, and gave no credit to his words. We rebelled against him, and paid him no loving reverence. The Sun of Righteousness shone forth, and we could not see him. Heaven came down to earth, and earth did not perceive it. Let God be praised, those days are over with us; yet even now it is very little that we know of Jesus compared with what he knows of us. We have only begun to study him, but he knows us altogether. It is a blessed circumstance that the ignorance is not on his side, for then it would be a hopeless case for us. He will not say to us, “I never knew you,” but he will confess our names in the day of his appearing, and meanwhile will manifest himself to us in a way he does not to the world.