The famine in full force, Jacob instructed his sons, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die” (42:2). Oh my, things are about to get really interesting, aren’t they? Jacob held back from the trip his youngest son, Benjamin, because of fear that something might happen to him. Though recognizing his brothers when he met with them, Joseph did not identify himself and, four times, he accused them of being spies. I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, they are getting just about what they deserve.”
The return to Canaan, their money in the grain sacks, back to Egypt with Benjamin, dining with Joseph, back to Canaan but with their money and Joseph’s silver cup in their sacks, forced back to Egypt and Benjamin detained; what a story!. Have I mentioned that I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, they are getting just about what they deserve?” Here’s the thing, though, and we knew it was coming (because we know the story), Joseph reveals himself and declares, “God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God” (45:7-8). Knowing the outcome, though, doesn’t lessen the impact on us. We love to read this story over and over. Again and again, we delight in seeing God’s faithfulness.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
You fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head. --William Cowper (1774)