In the movie While You Were Sleeping, the Frankenstein Monster and Lone Star have a touching scene over a box of doughnuts. No, wait, that was Frank Barone and President Thomas J. Whitmore. I'm not sure…and I can't find an online clip, so you'll have to pull out that old VHS. It's ok, Sandra Bullock is nice and charming through the whole film.
Ox, the father, is talking about how hard he had worked to provide for the family, how much effort went into providing that one moment when it all comes together and then you have peace. Jack, the son, says "This is not that moment." And then the plot goes on from there…
Judah and the rest of Jacob's sons are when beginning Genesis 44 (link). They have that moment that they expect there to be peace. The food's loaded up, the Egyptians have been swell, and Simeon's out of prison. Sounds great, doesn't it?
Life goes that way for us. Everything gets lined up, the universe is functioning as we think it should, and then it all falls apart. By the end of the chapter, the eleven brothers of Joseph are fearing for their lives and wondering if they'll ever leave Egypt. Of course, since the famine rages on in Canaan, that means death for Jacob, Leah, their children, their wives, and everyone else that has been counting on them.
Things can go from bad to worse, but I think it's even tougher when things go from stable to chaotic. What can you do?
Remember that even if you are at the end of the chapter, you're not at the end of the book. Hold on, because it could get either worse or better—but you cannot control that. What can you do?
You can control your response. Judah steps up and does this. Joseph offers to just keep Benjamin in prison and free the others. This would take everyone off the hook, they could go back, explain that things were beyond their power and that without sacrificing Benjamin, they would have all starved.
Not at all unlike how they handled Simeon, if you think about it. All of those excuses could have come forward.
Judah, though, steps up and takes responsibility. For himself, for his actions then and in the past, for his brothers. For everything, he stands in the gap for his family. He may hope that it will turn out alright, but it may only be that he'll go to a deeper cell than his brothers for his confession. He cannot possibly know the outcome.
He just does what is right.
What about us? Can we do that? With no guaranteed hope of the outcome? Without knowing if there will be peace from our actions? Because you work hard for that moment…but this may not be that moment.