Our reading yesterday ended in tension, with Jacob preferring to leave Simeon in an Egyptian jail, rather than risk Rachel’s remaining son, Benjamin. Listen today to how Jacob berates Judah and his brothers for even speaking of Benjamin to the Egyptian officials. Watch how the dialogue again reveals each man’s character. Remember that they are father and son as you listen to their exchange, listen to where Jacob’s attention is focused, and listen to Judah’s solution.
So much happens in the next two chapters that you might need to slow down and read it again. Benjamin does go to Egypt, and, as you can expect, draws the attention of the story. There will be nothing but tension as Joseph finds inventive ways to torment them. I’ll leave it to you to decide, more than twenty years after they sold him away, whether Joseph is simply returning the favor, or testing them for some greater purpose.
The climactic scene takes place in Joseph’s house. Read it slowly, drinking in every word, as though you have no idea how it ends. Only Benjamin stands accused. His brothers are free to turn their backs on him and save their necks. What will Leah’s sons do when they can be rid of Rachel’s children – once and for all?
The futures both of this family, and of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, hang in the balance.
And then Judah steps forward. He speaks of the hand of God, of their dead brother, of the vow he had made, and of the “evil” that will find his father. As you listen to Judah speak, remember his own story: whose own sons were strikingly evil; who broke his word to Tamar; who thought they should sell Joseph, instead of killing him outright.
As we did when Joseph stood before Pharaoh, let’s pause in that terrifying breath after Judah is finished, and consider all that stands to live, or die, in the next moment.
Our verse for this week is Hebrews 11:8: By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
Genesis 43 and 44. Now let’s read it!
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.