In today's reading, there were a couple points that stood out to me:
It is always easier to blame someone else. Taking responsibility is not the usual trend when we find ourselves in a sticky situation that we are not happy about. Jacob was no different towards his sons. Jacob was blaming them about telling "the man" that they had another brother. Obviously Jacob was getting older and making the 300 mile journey would not be easy, but being the dad, maybe he should have been the one going to Egypt?
Interestingly enough, a common response when being blamed is to lie……the brothers were telling their father that the man in Egypt questioned them closely about their family (vs 7), where in fact, they were only questioned about being spies. Back in chapter 42:13 they openly told Joseph (whom they did not recognize) that their youngest brother was back with their father.
While the blame game is going on, Judah now steps up and challenges his father to stop thinking of only himself, and to start thinking of what's best for the entire family. Whoa, who is this guy? Judah was the one who proposed they sell Joseph to the Midianites. He also separated himself from his family to live with the Canaanites, hung around Hirah (an ungodly man), married an unbeliever, and slept with a supposed prostitute. He is a changed person.
A good reminder that if Judah changed, anyone can change!
So after some convincing, and Jacob feeling that his back was against the wall, Jacob sends his sons back to Egypt.
There were also a couple of verses that stood out to me:
The first being chapter 43:18 -
"Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, “We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.”
The second was chapter 44:33-34 -
This is Judah's response to Joseph when the brothers are told that Benjamin is to be held back in prison for having possession of the cup. Judah wanted to fulfill the words he gave to his father in that he would protect Benjamin with his own life. He was given the opportunity to act on his words and he was prepared to do so.
Something that I believe to be important is to say what you mean and mean what you say. After that, be prepared to follow through with it just like Judah was.
Chapter 45:5 -
Wow! Joseph had a response that I wouldn't have had after revealing myself to my brothers, but Joseph could see a bigger picture. He realized that God had a plan and that everything that did take place needed to take place. "So then it was not you who sent me here but God." (chapter 45:8a)
Lastly, chapter 45:11 -
"I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute."
I liked this verse because Joseph essentially tells them what he was telling them before they sold him. Only this time, their response is different as they are now grateful.
Am I grateful? What kind of circumstance do I have to go through before I am grateful for what I have or who I work under?
Our life is like a jigsaw puzzle. We are only given a couple of pieces at a time, and we try to figure out where they fit, and what the picture will look like. As time passes, and we pick up more pieces to our puzzle, things that once troubled us now seem to fit into place. We are able to gain a new appreciation of God's wisdom because nothing is ever wasted. He never has to start over, and He doesn't have an undo button. Everything fits somehow, somewhere, someway.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 46-47