By Jon Courson
‘Smile first thing in the morning,’ joked W.C. Fields, ‘and get it over with.’ ‘If you find anything to laugh about,’ echoed Groucho Marx, ‘it’s only because you’re not paying attention.’
People often have reasons why they’re so cynical . . . In the midst of their phone conversation, a lady said to her friend, ‘Did you wake up grouchy?’ ‘No,’ said the friend, ‘I let him sleep.’
Indeed, there can be reasons why people are grouchy, or even why they sting people with cynicism . . . Bees fly 100,000 miles from flower to flower in order to gather enough nectar for just one pound of honey — only to have someone steal it from them. No wonder they sting us!
So too, perhaps, humanly speaking, Jacob had reason to be pessimistic. When his sons came to him, saying, ‘Dad, Joseph has been killed,’ he believed their untrue report. But when the same sons came to him, saying, ‘Dad, Joseph is alive, and he’s governor of Egypt,’ he couldn’t believe their true report. He believed what wasn’t true because it was bad; and he didn’t believe what was true because it seemed too good.
That’s pessimism — the tendency to dismiss the light and embrace the dark.
‘I would have fainted had I not believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,’ declared the Psalmist (Psalm 27:1). Jacob is indeed fainting because of his failure to believe God’s goodness. Yet even though he didn’t believe his son’s words, he couldn’t deny the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him and his possessions to the land of Goshen — the best part of Egypt. And Scripture says, when he saw the wagons his soul revived. Notice it was the heart of Jacob which fainted (verse 26), but it was the mouth of Israel — the one ‘Governed by God’, which said, ‘Joseph is alive,’ (verse 28).
This passage hit me in a way that delighted my heart, for, you see, even though pessimistic Jacob was ready to believe the bad lie, and unwilling to believe the good truth — he was convinced when he saw the wagons.
This reminds me of Thomas . . . ‘I won’t believe the report you guys are sharing about Jesus being risen from the dead,’ he said to the other disciples, ‘unless I can touch the holes in His hands and put my finger in His side.’ But when Thomas came to a face to face encounter with Jesus, he became a believer (John 20:28). So too, Jacob said, ‘I’m not going to believe the word’ — but when he saw the wagons outside, his spirit revived.
Like Jacob, many times we don’t believe the Word we heard. But the good news is that Jacob’s disbelief did not derail the wagon train Joseph had sent his way to pick him up and bring him to Goshen. So too, you might be going through dry times right now in which you’re famished spiritually. But I have good news for you: The wagon has been sent your way. What wagon?
The Lunch Wagon
'Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.' Isaiah 55:1-2
You might feel like things aren’t going your way today, but that doesn’t derail the lunch wagon God has sent in your direction. Society says, ‘There’s no free lunch.’ Scripture says, ‘Yes there is.’ You can come and buy and eat even if you don’t have any money. The invitation is given you to freely delight your soul in fatness.
The lunch wagon is headed in our direction, gang. And the Marriage Feast of the Lamb is right around the bend!
The Station Wagon
'Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.' Proverbs 22:6
Not only is the lunch wagon coming — but the station wagon is headed your way as well. Your kids might have wandered away, but even if you’re pessimistic or full of doubt about them God promised that He will keep that which is committed to Him (II Timothy 1:12), and will finish the work He began (Philippians 1:6). ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and not only you, but your family will eventually be saved as well,’ declared Paul (Acts 11:14).
The promises of God are intact, gang. And even if you don’t believe it, the station wagon is headed in your direction to scoop up you and your family.
The Welcome Wagon
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. I Corinthians 2:9
Even if you doubt it, the fact is, if you’re a believer, you’re on board and you’re going to heaven. And when you get there, you’re going to see the ultimate Welcome Wagon as you take in all that Jesus has prepared for you during the past 2000 years. ‘I go to prepare a place for you,’ He said. And I’m going to say, ‘Perfect, Lord! This is amazing! It’s beyond anything I ever imagined. How did you know this is exactly what would make me happy?’ Into my new home, He will welcome me. And He will do the same for you.
Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Psalm 149:1
‘Can I be in the band? Please let me be in the band. C’mon guys, I wanna be in the band.’ It’s going to happen! The Band Wagon is coming — and I’m going to be there — singing in heavenly harmony right along with the best of ‘em!’
The Covered Wagon
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14
The wagon coming our way is a covered wagon. Our inadequacy, stupidity, and sin are all covered by the blood of the Lamb. And even if you don’t believe the word you’ve heard, the fact remains that God has everything