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January 15, 2023 - Genesis 44-46

Jacob’s heartbreak seems just to get worse and worse. Now commanded to return to Canaan without Benjamin, the brothers say to Joseph, “as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol” (44:31). A father’s sorrow. Not sure anything is greater than that. Judah continued, “For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father” (44:34). The old man’s heart just will not be able to take the news. This is bad.

Joseph recognized God’s providential workings in all this and, revealing himself to his brothers, he encouraged them, “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life” (45:5). The brothers returned to Jacob and “when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. And Israel said, ‘It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die’” (45:27-28). What relief! What joy! This is the experience of one who trusts the Lord and waits on him.

My days, swiftly passing, have brought from above

So many bright tokens of mercy and love;

“More grace” He has given, and burdens removed,

Yes, over and over His goodness I’ve proved.

And shall I turn back into the world?

Oh, no! not I! not I!

And shall I turn back into the world?

Oh, no! not I! not I! -- Eliza E. Hewitt (1894)

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