Pricked in the Conscience (Gen 42:1-25)
An unbeliever’s conscience is based on society’s standard, but a godly man’s conscience is based on God’s Word. God’s Word can awaken man’s conscience to turn him away from sins. When man chooses to rebel against God continually, his conscience will be “seared with a hot iron” (1 Tim 4:2).
In Genesis 42, God used Joseph to awaken the conscience of his brothers when they came to Egypt to buy corn. Joseph tested his brothers (Gen 42:7-20). And his brothers responded with godly sorrow (Gen 42:21). Seeing their changed attitude and approach, Joseph was willing to reconcile with them (Gen 42:24-25).
God too can use circumstances and people to prick our conscience and awaken us to our sins. When someone cares enough to admonish us of our sins, we must receive it as from the Lord, and confess and repent of our sin. We too can be used by God to lovingly admonish another to strengthen his conscience against his sin.
When our conscience is pricked by the Holy Spirit, we must not be stubborn but yield to the Holy Spirit, and turn to God for forgiveness. Today, instead of turning away from sins, many embrace sin by redefining sins, eg: homosexuality today is no longer a sin but is seen as an alternate lifestyle.
When a man chooses to be unrepentant, he will cover up his own sin, eg: Judas who hanged himself after betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. True godly sorrow will drive us to our Lord to ask for forgiveness, eg: after Peter’s denial of Christ, Peter repented and turned to the Lord for forgiveness (Matt 26:75).
When God pricks our conscience, and we truly repent, change will be seen in us. And God can mould us and make us useful again for His purpose.
Never numb our conscience or sear it with a hot iron. Turn to the Lord in confession and repentance of sin, and fellowship with Him and walk with Him again.