The Brothers Return to Egypt
The food from Egypt eventually ran out. Jacob told his sons, “Go again, buy us a little food.” (Genesis 43:2) Judah replied, “The man [Joseph] did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.” (Genesis 43:3) Jacob asked, “Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?” (Genesis 43:6) They replied, “…could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?” (Genesis 43:7)
Judah promised to bring Benjamin back to Jacob. He said, “I will be surety for him [Benjamin]; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:” (Genesis 43:9) Jacob agreed. He told them to take a gift for the governor, as well as the money that was returned to them, and money for a second purchase.
The ten brothers arrived back in Egypt. They told Joseph’s steward about the money in their sacks, and that they had brought it back, along with more money for more food. The steward said, “Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money.” (Genesis 43:23) Then he brought Simeon out to them.
Joseph arranged for his brothers to eat lunch with him. They prepared a gift they had brought for him. Joseph arrived home and met them. He asked about their well-being and about their father. Then he saw his brother Benjamin and said to him, “God be gracious unto thee, my son.” (Genesis 43:29) Joseph became emotional, “…for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.” (Genesis 43:30)
Joseph regained his composure, washed his face, and ordered the meal to be served. He also had the brothers seated, “…the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.” (Genesis 43:33) Joseph arranged them by age, oldest to youngest. No doubt they were perplexed, thinking, How did he know that?
Joseph was not playing games. Despite the wrongs his brothers had done, he loved them; just as Jesus loves us in spite of the sins we’ve committed against Him. God had also brought Joseph to this place to save lives: not just his family but the nation of Israel, of whom God had promised Abraham many years before, “And I will make of thee a great nation,” (Genesis 12:2)
Here are some lessons from this story. First, don’t be ashamed to talk about your faith in the Lord Jesus. Joseph wasn’t ashamed of his faith, even in heathen Egypt. The steward told the brothers, “…your God, and the God of your father [not “the gods”], hath given you treasure in your sacks:” (Genesis 43:23) How did the steward learn about the true God? Obviously from Joseph.
If you are a Christian, look for opportunities to talk about the Lord with people who don’t know Him. Don’t worry about being called a religious nut. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare:” Besides, you may be the person God uses to bring others to Christ.
Also, if you’re in a place of power, whether police, political, or otherwise, realize as Joseph did that you need God’s guidance. Spend time reading and memorizing God’s Word. Pray often for grace and wisdom.
Finally, as God worked in the lives of Joseph’s brothers, God works in people’s lives to bring them to Jesus. If you want to see how to receive Jesus Christ, God the Son, as your personal Saviour, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links,” then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 1/27/2023
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822