Genesis 42

Good morning y’all. Today we in chapter 42 of Genesis. In this chapter we see the fulfilment of Josephs dream and his reaction to his brothers coming to Egypt to buy some grain.

Be blessed 🙂

So the famine has started all over and Egypt was the only country that had food. Famine affected Jacob and his sons in Canaan. Eventually he told them to go down to Egypt to buy some food. Notice that he sent all the sons except Benjamin. One can see here Jacobs love and favoritsm for Rachels boys. He had lost Joseph and wasn’t about to lose Benjamin.

The brothers got to Egypt and they bowed before the governor not knowing it was Joseph. We see here the fulfilment of Josephs dream. His brothers didn’t recognise him at all but Joseph did. I’m amazed at how Joseph composed himself and didn’t get power hungry when his brothers bowed to him. This is now his chance to take revenge plus he is in a position of authority and could impose on them. He could have decided not to give them grain or abuse his power over them. But Joseph didn’t react that way instead he tried as much as he can to find information from them without revealing his identity.

First thing he did was to test their intentions. Verse 8-9. He told them they were spies. He wanted to put fear in them and check what motives they came with. Perhaps they knew he was Joseph and we’re here to get back at him. Also, I believe he wanted to know if their story of a brother at home with their father was indeed true. Joseph must have missed his father and brother a lot so he probably wanted to be sure they were definately alive and this brothers weren’t just lying again.

He told them he would detain them and one of them will go back home to get the brother at home.  If they didn’t, he was gonna put them in prison and declare them as spies. He put them in prison for three days and on third day he changed his mind and decided to only keep one and let the rest go. In the mean time the brothers were filled with guilt for how they treated Joseph. They felt God was punishing them for how they treated him. Reuben reminded them of how he warned them and how they didn’t obey. All this they said without realising that Joseph understood and heard all that was said.

Josephs brothers were starting to realise that sin always has consequences and that those could be very painful; now one of them will be in prison and the rest has to go home to convince their father to release Benjamin. I’m sure they knew it was almost an impossible feat, seeing as they know how much their father protects Benjamin after loosing Joseph.

I am amazed at what the bible says when Joseph heard his brothers talking about their sin. Joseph was filled with emotions. He turned around and wept. This doesn’t seem to me like a man who wanted revenge rather a man who cares deeply for his brothers and longed for a reunion but at the same time he didn’t reveal himself to them cos he wanted to make sure their remorseful feeling was genuine and not an act.

Verse 25-28 we see Joseph again here in a position to abuse his authority or power over his brothers instead he ordered his men to fill each brothers bags with grain and return their money. Again actions don’t show a man who wanted revenge at all. On their way home one of the brothers had to stop to feed his donkey and in the process discovered money was returned in his sack. Now I’m impressed by the brothers reaction to this revelation. Seems like they are finally growing up. They were scared cos they felt God was punishing them for what they did to Joseph. They were also scared perhaps cos they thought, what if Joseph found out about the money and decides to punish Simeon for it or when they returned with Benjamin, he decides to punish them for the money.

One might argue Joseph returned the money back to the brothers as a test to see if they will come back and tell the truth that money was found in their sack. Probably that’s the case but I’m more inclined to think Joseph returned the money cos he didn’t want to charge his brothers for anything. He wanted to meet their need. He finally understood why God gave him that dream. He was sent to Egypt to make sure that his brothers and father will have provision during the years of famine. Im reminded of Romans 12:20 which says “If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads.” (Romans 12:20 CEVUS06)
Probably that was what Joseph was practicing 🙂

Now his brothers returned home and told their father what happened. Interesting reaction from their father about Josephs request for Benjamin. V38 tells his response .
But Jacob said, “I won’t let my son Benjamin go down to Egypt with the rest of you. His brother is already dead, and he is the only son I have left. I am an old man, and if anything happens to him on the way, I’ll die from sorrow, and all of you will be to blame.” (Genesis 42:38 CEVUS06)
Here we can see that Jacob still hadn’t learnt not to be partial or show favoritsm with his children. He was told that as long they take Benjamin back with them, Joseph promised to release Simeon and also allow them trade freely in the land. Reuben even offered his 2 sons in exchange for Benjamin, yet Jacob was still not convinced. He wasn’t ready to part with Benjamin,the remaining son from his beloved Rachel. In effect he was willing to sacrifice Simeons life rather than risking loosing his precious Benjamin. Partiality was still much part of his life. No wonder the brothers did what they did to Joseph. It was obvious that they felt threatened by their father’s love for him and Benjamin and they felt they had to get rid of him in order to get some much needed love from their father. This is similar to how Jacob treated Leah as well. He gave Rachel so much attention and ignored Leah that Leah had to bargain with Rachel for Jacobs time. Seems to me here Jacob still hasn’t learnt his lesson that favoritsm doesn’t promote healthy relationships; it leads to bitterness, jealousy and hatred.

Let’s contrast Jacobs action to Abrahams when God requested him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. Abraham was quick to obey God cos he understood that Isaac wasn’t his in the 1st place, God gave him to him as a gift and He could decide to take the gift back anytime. He also understood that nothing could and should ever take the place of God in his life; not even his love for his son. Jacob on the other hand hasn’t learnt that yet. He was willing to hold on to his son and lose everything else, when in fact God was ready to use Benjamin as the catalyst to bring salvation to his family. I am reminded of Luke 17:33 which says: “People who try to save their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives will save them”. (Luke 17:33 CEVUS06)

Funny thing is, sometimes we also act like Jacob. We are blind to what God is doing in our lives especially when we decide to do things our own way. The very thing we think we can’t live without; the thing we think will destroy us if God asks us to let go of them, could very well be the means to our salvation.

I want to conclude today by asking the question. How do you act when you are in position of power or authority? Do you abuse your power or do you use it for the progress of others and glory of God? In this chapter we see how Joseph didn’t allow his power to get into his head. In the eyes of the world he would have been justified by his actions if at all he used his power to get revenge over his brothers. But he knew better, he had the fear of God plus he knew that God was the one who had helped him and turned around everything his brothers meant for evil for his good.

Also, what is that prized possession you are holding on to for dear life and not willing to give up for God? That thing has become a god to you! and the bible clearly says we should and must not worship any other god except GOD himself. May I submit to you this morning that you need to check your love thermometer for God. Have you all of a sudden become lukewarm or cold because you have forgotten your 1st love and allowed material and earthly things take the place of God in your life. Remember the warning giving to the church in Revelations 2:4-5
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!  Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. (Revelation 2:4-5 NLT)

Prayer:
Dear Lord we thank you for today and your word sent to us. We believe your word won’t return void but will accomplish that which you have sent it to do in our lives this morning. We ask for help that we will not abuse the power we have rather we will act in humility when dealing with others. We ask for help to surrender those things we hold dear to you and that nothing or no one will ever take your place in our lives. Thank you Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen

Thanks for joining today.

Have a blessed day 🙂

***With God all things are possible***

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