Archive for July 20th, 2011

Genesis 44

Genesis 44 has the 10 brothers returning to gain release of the one left behind, but also to get more grain as they had again run out.  This time Joseph has his steward fill the bags full and again put the money back in the sacks – but also says “put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest”.  The stakes are going up as Benjamin is being set up this time as the fall guy.  Is Joseph toying with his brothers?  No – that is not his motivation.  He wants restoration and his family to be united.  He wants people together.  It is an elaborate scheme – but his mission is clear – he wants to be able to have forgiveness and redemption for all.

The brothers are barely out of town when Joseph sends his guys after to see what happened to his silver cup.  When the brothers are stopped – they are sure there is a mistake this time. They had brought back the money from the first trip and paid double this time.  They say “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing”.  There was no way they were going to have the same problem again.  But again, the money is in the sacks, and “the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack”.  So they are marched back to Joseph’s place and questioned.

The plan is going as expected and Joseph now says “Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my servant”.  It couldn’t be going worse for the brothers.  They had promised nothing would happen to Benjamin but now he is the apparent thief.  Judah steps in to try and resolve things.  He begins by respectfully making sure Joseph was being revered at the level he should be: “you are like Pharaoh himself”.  Joseph may have been their brother but he held their lives in his hand.  He had total power and could do whatever he wished.

Judah recalls the story of their last journey and how they begged Jacob to let Benjamin come along.  And he shared how important Benjamin was to Jacob: “his life is bound up in the boy’s life, as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die”.  There is some real sharing happening here – and Joseph learns that Jacob still loves him and is still grieving over what has been portrayed as his death.  Judah tries to convince Joseph to let Benjamin return by offering himself in exchange.  He ends trying to appeal to his emotions: “I fear to see the evil that would find my father” if Benjamin does not return home.  Restoration is soon coming – God’s plan is in full motion!

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