GOD BE GRACIOUS TO YOU
If I Am Bereaved
Hunger can be difficult to cope with, and when there is no food, people will go to great lengths to survive.The grain that was brought from Egypt had run out, but the famine was still severe, and so Jacob tells his sons to buy more food. Judah reminds Jacob that Benjamin would have to accompany them to Egypt for them to buy food. Israel chastises his sons for telling the man about their brother. They confess that they were only answering the questions asked of them and had they known what his intentions were, they would never have revealed that information about their family. Judah seeks to persuade Jacob with the implication that starvation would cause Benjamin to suffer. Judah declares that he will assume the risk involved and offers himself as surety. Israel reluctantly agrees and sends gifts and more money to appease the potential oversight. He consents to send Benjamin, asks God for mercy and resigns himself to the possibility that he could lose his son. The men gather the gifts, the money, and their brother leaving with the hopes of buying food.
God Be Gracious To You
The brothers arrive in Egypt supplied with all that was needed to secure food. When Joseph sees Benjamin, he orders his servant to prepare a feast at his house. The steward ushers the men to Joseph's house, and they are filled with fear. They are convinced that they will be mistreated and enslaved because of the money they found in their sacks. They confess to the steward what had happened during their previous visit. The steward tells the brothers to be at peace. There was no need for fear because he was aware of what had taken place and the God of their father had given them the money, and he had received it. Simeon joins his brothers. There seems to be no mention of how long he had been incarcerated or what condition he was in, but it must have been a joyful reunion with his brothers. The men prepare for the feast and when Joseph arrived, they bowed before him, and this time the dream was completely fulfilled as every brother bowed before Joseph. Joseph inquires about their welfare and their father. Joseph looks at Benjamin and pronounces a blessing over his brother. When Joseph blesses his brother, he is so overcome with emotion that he quickly exits and wept in his private chamber. He composes himself and returns. Dinner is served separately due to the cultural divide that existed between Egyptians and Hebrews. The brothers sit in stunned amazement as they wonder about all that is happening to them. When the meal is served, Benjamin receives five times the serving that his brothers received. They enjoy the meal together without knowing that he was their long-lost brother and they were finally all together for the first time in over two decades.
Things To Consider:
- How is God using suffering to accomplish his good purpose?
- How does Judah address the issue with his father?
- How bold was Judah's willingness to sacrifice?
- What does Jacob's willingness to send Benjamin tell us about his circumstances and his heart?
- What does Jacob's prayer indicate about his faith?
- Why is accepting generosity difficult?
- How difficult was this for Joseph emotionally?
- Why do you think Joseph delayed revealing himself to his brothers?
- How much joy do you think Joseph experienced while having a meal with his brothers?