Scripture: Genesis 43-45. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
Jacob and his sons had no relief from the famine. Judah accepted full responsibility for Benjamin if Jacob would allow him to go with his brothers back to Egypt, like Joseph had told them to do. Joseph’s brothers had arrived home from Egypt the first time only to find in their grain sacks the money they had used to pay for the grain (Genesis 42). Jacob had them take extra money to buy more grain and told his sons to return the silver that was found in their grain sacks. Joseph’s brothers, including the youngest, Benjamin, still did not recognize Joseph. As his brothers planned to return back home, Joseph gave the steward of his house the instructions to fill his brother’s sacks with as much food as they could carry and to include each man’s silver. He also told his steward to place his silver cup into one of his brother’s sacks (Benjamin), and whoever was found with it would be Joseph’s slave. Judah pleaded with Joseph, and Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. Joseph told his brothers to go back and get their father and let him know that Joseph was alive and the ruler in Egypt. Pharaoh was pleased that Joseph’s brothers were there, and he also told them to go get Jacob and bring him back to Egypt, where they would live close to one another and be taken care of.
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
When Jacob and his sons had no relief from the famine of the land, they had no idea about God’s greater plan to bring them to Egypt in order to reunite them with Joseph. When praying for relief from pain and suffering or pressure, and God isn’t bringing it about as quickly as we would like, we need to remember that God just may be leading us to better treasures and opportunities in life. Judah had accepted full responsibility for Benjamin. Sometimes accepting responsibility is difficult. When we have been given an assignment to complete or a responsibility to fulfill, remember that we must commit to it and do the task to our fullest ability. Jacob was a man of integrity, as he told his sons to take back the silver that was supposed to buy the grain the first time. We should all follow Jacob’s example, guarding our integrity. A reputation for honesty is worth more than money we might save by compromising it. Judah had changed for the better over the course of time. Remember he was the one who sold Joseph into slavery, but was now willing to risk his life for his father and his younger brother Benjamin. This gives us a reminder that when we are just about ready to give up hope on either ourselves or someone else in our lives, we need to remember that God can change anyone. Also, when we are faced with a situation that needs a strong voice to be heard and an action to be taken, remember how Judah spoke up to Joseph, defending himself and his brothers. Stick up for what is right, even if it requires some extra courage. Joseph had forgiven his brothers and held no grudges or hard feelings toward them. We, too, should ask for God’s help with forgiveness. We can hold on to the hope that God has a wonderful future in store for all of us.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, help us not to panic when it seems like our prayers to You are not being answered in our timing, but instead to remember that You just may be leading us to something bigger and better in life. You know the correct timing for everything that happens in our lives. When we accept responsibility for something or someone, help us to complete our assignments and fulfill our responsibilities to the best of our ability. Please help us be people of our integrity and to make honesty a priority in our lives. Help us not to give up on ourselves or others in our lives, for we know that You can make a change in anyone. Please help us to always stick up for what is right, knowing that You are there with us, protecting us and supplying our courage. Please forgive us for all of our sins. We know that You have a wonderful future in store for each and every one of us. We love You and thank You for all that You are and all that You do. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.