Self-Confidence Abolished

Joseph said to his steward, "Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, 'Why have you repaid evil for good?' "
GENESIS 44:4
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Self-Confidence Abolished
The brothers, who had been treated in such a kindly manner and had been filled with joy, flattered themselves with wonderful rhetoric and congratulated themselves on the success of their plans. . .. They undoubtedly intended to relate at home that they had been affectionately invited by the ruler of the land and had been treated very sumptuously, not at an inn but at the court of the ruler, but that Benjamin above all had been treated with the greatest honor, since his portion was increased fivefold in comparison with the share of the others. . . . But this glorying in their righteousness and wisdom disappears in a brief moment. Therefore whether the days are good or evil, we should learn to fear God in a spirit of such steadfastness and equability that we sing psalms to the Lord in our hearts not only in peaceful and pleasant times but also in times of misery. If fortune is favorable, enjoy it, and be grateful; but if it is adverse, call upon God to remove or mitigate your troubles, yes, to be your one and highest Refuge. For this confidence and glory in the merits of wisdom and righteousness—the confidence with which these brothers boasted of having reached such great honor on the strength of their own virtues—must be mortified and abolished.
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