Joseph had the brothers where he wanted them. He could do anything to them now. He was the ruler, and they were men in need. Still, during that, Joseph’s heart for God still showed. He released his brothers to go and get Benjamin. He gave them the food they needed and even gave them their money back. The brothers returned home afraid, confused, and full of regret. There telling of Joseph’s loss reminded them of their great sin.
In Canaan, Jacob was distraught. He lost Joseph, Now Simeon, and this ruler wanted to see his youngest, Benjamin. He had tried so hard to build on his father’s legacy and now all seemed lost. Little did Jacob know that soon all would be put right, and the true adventure would begin. Jacob would have to release his last and prized son to have his entire family returned.
In our time, trials seem to have the same impact. We often face circumstances that look like the worst and end of all hope; only later to find that God had all in control, and used those trials to bless and build us into our Lord’s image. We must continue to trust God, even when we seemed to have lost our faith and ability to do so. It is those times that we can truly see God’s hand at work.As Jacob watched his son’s depart for their return to Egypt, he did so expecting the worst. The great news was that God had a much better plan.
God Bless You
On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households. 20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.
21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”
22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.
24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.
25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.
27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. 28 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”
Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30 “The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32 We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.’
33 “Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade[a] in the land.’”
35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!”