Joseph Socializes; the Steward Obeys
“…they [Joseph’s brothers] drank, and were merry with him [Joseph].” (Genesis 43:34)
Joseph took time to socialize with his brothers, who still didn’t know who he was. He may have asked casual questions about their families, which they answered. Then he may have asked, “By the way, what happened to the other brother you mentioned?” and watched their reaction.
Joseph’s brothers had sold him about twenty years before, but no doubt he still remembered their heartlessness. They had no apparent conscience about what they did. After they threw him into a pit, “…they sat down to eat bread;” (Genesis 37:25) The Midianites came by, and Judah suggested they sell him, “…and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh.” (Genesis 37:27)
If Joseph had asked about their other brother and they seemed unbothered, he would know they had had no change of heart. But if they became uneasy, he could see their discomfort as a sign of repentance. Joseph had his steward fill their sacks with food, including their money, and put his silver cup into Benjamin’s sack. The next morning, not long after they left, Joseph told the steward to catch them and accuse them of stealing the cup.
The steward may have wondered, Why is he doing this? He accuses the men of being spies and takes one prisoner. He gives them food and even food for their journey back home, returns their money, and tells them to bring their brother back. The next time they come, he invites them to lunch, socializes with them, and gives them food and their money again, but has me put the silver cup into the youngest brother’s sack, then go after them and accuse them of stealing it.
Now it was the steward’s job to obey orders, not ask questions. Yet even if he did not know Joseph’s mind, he knew Joseph’s character. He knew his lord was God-fearing, wise, and kind. Likewise, we cannot understand God’s ways. Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
We know God knows everything: “…his understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5) Yet we also know God is loving and kind. No greater love exists than to lay down your life for someone else. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) God the Son, Jesus Christ, did that when He died on the cross for our sins: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:” (1 John 3:16)
We can always trust God to do what’s right and have our best interests at heart. As one hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey.” (“Trust and Obey”, John H. Sammis, Daniel B. Towner) If you want to see how to be forgiven for all your sins and have a home in heaven by receiving Jesus as your personal Saviour, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.com, click “Helpful Links,” then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 2/1/2023
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822