Before you read: Joseph kept the brothers in jail for three days, then released all but Simeon and sent them home with grain and – secretly – with their money returned to their bags. He also told them that to release Simeon and buy more grain, they must bring their youngest brother next time they come, as proof that their story is true and they are not spies.
Read Genesis 42:35-43:14
The spotlight is back on Jacob. Let’s remember him with a few words: tricky, Esau, Laban, Rachel and Leah, wrestling with God, limp – is it all coming back?
I thought he’d grown strong in his relationship with God and his trust of Him but now I’m not sure.
Frankly, he makes me mad. He loved Rachel more than Leah and now, with Rachel gone, He shows blatant favoritism to her sons Joseph and Benjamin. Look back to when he learned of Joseph’s ‘death’ (37:35), “All his sons and all his daughters sought to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted.”
Grieving is important, but it seems as if he’d rather have Joseph alive than all his other children.
But God knows how to handle Jacob. Last time He made him limp. This time He makes him hungry. Eventually the food simply runs out and Jacob is forced to see that keeping Benjamin means death by starvation. Bypassing Reuben, he entrusts Benjamin to Judah, finally giving up with a weary, “If I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
Even feisty Jacob can’t fight God forever.
If only he knew!
If only he knew who is asking for Benjamin.
If only he knew the crazy, over-the-top grace God is giving him and the way He is bringing everything together – all for Jacob’s joy. It’s grace that I – in my great wisdom – don’t think he deserves at all but then, that’s exactly what grace is: undeserved.
Jacob doesn’t know what God is doing. He doesn’t trust what God is doing and he doesn’t deserve what God is doing. But he does give up.
He does surrender Benjamin and that’s all God needs.
God was asking Jacob to give Him Benjamin because He wanted to give back to Jacob both Benjamin and Joseph.
We wish He’d explain these things to us, but He often doesn’t.
He just asks us to give Him what we love.