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Genesis 43




SCRIPTURE: Genesis 43

As the narrative continues, the story is about to take an important turn.  It is interesting to me that although Simeon had been left in Egypt, no one seemed to be to concerned about him or about going back to get him.  They just ate up all the food they brought from Egypt.  And when the decision to go back to Egypt for more food, the issue of Simeon being held there and Benjamin having to be taken there suddenly came to forefront. 

I would love to just jump all of those guys for that.  But reality has a way of calming us down.  There is something about the way that most of us humans are wired that causes to put off the big, tough, difficult decisions until we are in a place that a decision just has to be made. 

There is almost always wisdom in thinking through important decisions.  But procrastination is seldom a virtue.  If a decision is inevitable, the best approach is almost always to decide. And, honestly, it is often better to decide now than later.

There is another very common but not good thing that happens in this chapter.  It begins in verse 11.  Jacob/Israel finally developed his plan for the boys to follow when they got back to Egypt.  But it is not until he communicates the plan that he invokes God. 

I won’t say I haven’t done the very same thing.  In fact, I have done that.  Many times.  Too many times.  But it really is backwards isn’t it?  In the face of a significant decision, we should approach God for wisdom and direction.  He is much more prone to bless His plans than He is to bless our plans.  Just saying…

One last thing for you to think about today. At the end of verse 14 Jacob/Israel says, “If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”

As Christ followers we need to have faith in God.  We need to trust God.  We need to be pliable to move in the direction that God wants us to go.  But we shouldn’t be fatalistic.  Fatalism almost always extinguishes our faith.  Although Jacob/Israel had a long history of God doing some pretty amazing stuff in his life, he sounds ready to give up and give in.

As Christ followers we should move forward, trusting a Sovereign God to do what only He can do, what He knows needs to be done.  But in almost every instance, He chooses to work through folks like us.  So, even in the darkest, most difficult times we can be assured that God is at work, that He hasn’t forsaken us, and that we have a place in His plan.  Let us live in faith that pleases God.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Genesis 42




SCRIPTURE: Genesis 42

As this chapter opens, the predicted seven years of plenty followed by a severe famine is happening.  We discover this famine was not just limited to Egypt but to the surrounding area.  In fact, Jacob’s sons would have travelled perhaps more than 250 miles to Egypt and the round trip could have required maybe six weeks.  

Nevertheless, Jacob sent ten of his sons to Egypt with money to buy grain.  He made the decision to keep Benjamin at home.  There are perhaps a couple of reasons for this.  One, Benjamin was the youngest son.  Two, Benjamin was, as far as Jacob knew, the last living son of his beloved Rachel.  Three, after the episode with Joseph 30 years later, Jacob may not have trusted his other sons to do the right thing.

As Joseph deals with his brothers, they begin to think that they are being punished for their treatment of Joseph.  In verse 22, Rueben makes two important statements.  One, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy?”  Two, “So now there comes a reckoning for his blood?”

It had been 30 years since the boys sold Joseph to the traders.  But it seems the guilt of their actions was still eating away at them.  It as though they fully expected to be punished for their grievous action at any moment.  Rueben reinforces that when he talks about giving an answer for his (Joseph’s) blood.

One of the take aways from this is God has given us a conscience not to be a nuisance but to be a necessary check in our behavior.  A good, healthy conscience brings to mind the things we have messed up so that we can clean them up.  We need to be thankful for our conscience and its important but often painful.  Another take away from this is our sin always requires a response.  There is always a cost associated with our sin.  Always.  We either by grace through faith accept Jesus’ payment for our sin or we will pay eternally for our sin.  In case you are wondering, it is a million times better to accept by grace through faith Jesus’ payment.

It is at this point in the story that we read in verse 24 about Joseph crying.  While it is true that he walked away from the group to cry, at least we see him expressing emotion for his brothers and perhaps even for himself.  It has often been said that it takes a big man to cry.

There are five other times that we will Joseph cry.  One will be when he sees his brother Benjamin.  The second will be when he reveals his identity to his brothers.  The third will be when he sees his father, Jacob.  The fourth will be when his father dies.  And the fifth will be when he assured his brothers that they were truly forgiven.

What a person chooses to weep over is a good indication of that person’s character.  So, what is it that causes you to cry?  And what does that say about who you are?

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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