Skip to main content

Genesis 42:29-43:15 #eebc2018

We pick up the Joseph narrative with his brothers on their way out of Egypt. Well, all of them but Simeon are on the way out of Egypt. Simeon is imprisoned in Egypt as a hostage to ensure the rest of the family are not spies. On the way home, the brothers have discovered that the money they paid for grain has been returned to their sacks. In other words, they really only end up trading a brother for food.

Which may have been a good trade...

However, they get home and Jacob is not pleased with the results. He questions his sons about why they gave Joseph so much information, why they have brought him so much trouble. Part of this is because none of them recognized Joseph.

Had the famine been shorter, they would have had a different problem. At some point, Simeon needs to get out of prison. That might have been simpler for them, but it still would have required a return to Egypt. Joseph successfully put his brothers in a bind where they will have to revisit him, where he will have another opportunity to address their wrongs.

The famine, though, continues. And the family of Jacob runs short on food again. Obviously, they are not completely out of food options before the brothers set out for Egypt, because that would have been poor planning. Everyone left behind would have starved before they got back! It takes some effort to persuade Jacob that the only choice they have is to go and take Benjamin with them.

Jacob accepts this, but does so with a bit of fatalism: "If I am deprived of my sons, then I am deprived," is not exactly a hopeful viewpoint.

Here we see where sometimes, the faithful falter. Seen from the end of the story, Jacob should have had a greater trust that God would take care of him. After all, God had seen him through many other troubles until now. Did he expect that God would allow him and the whole family of promise to starve? Or be imprisoned in Egypt and die there?

Yet we have so much more in common with Jacob in the middle of the story than we like to admit. God has a purpose for our lives, a will to use us for His honor and His glory. Sometimes, that involves suffering and difficulty.

And we lose heart. Because in the middle of the story, the lights are dimmer than we like them to be. Sometimes, the only choice to be made seems desperate and dreadful, like Jacob's choice to send the boys back to Egypt.

God, though, has not forgotten you. And He has not abandoned you. He will work in your life. You may not like the way He does--you could be Simeon, after all, or Jacob, waiting to see what happens with no certainty of results.

But you are not alone. God is with you. And His work in your life is driven by the Cross of Jesus and carries forward into eternity.

So hold on, make the choices you have to make, and do the next thing in front of you. It may seem desperate, but obedient faithfulness will always be the right choice.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…