Daily email Number 148 – from the Vicar

Our passage from the bible today is Genesis Chapter 42.  It is quite a long passage but I think we need to read the whole chapter to get the flow of the story.  Don’t forget you can always use the audio button on the link above to the biblegateway website, and sit back and listen instead!
We have seen what has happened to Joseph over these last few days, his rags to riches, or rather better put, his prison to power story.  But what is happening back in Canaan with this special family, Abraham’s descendants, that God has chosen to be the outworking of His purposes.
Well, the effects of the famine has reached them as well, so they are struggling (vs.1-2).  Jacob the father has a new favourite, now Joseph is gone presumed dead, and that is his full blood brother, Benjamin, whose mother Rachel died in childbirth.  And Jacob is particularly protective of him, keeping him at close quarters (vs.3-5).
What has happened in the past continues to affect us today.
Now as the story unfolds and the 10 brothers come face to face with Joseph, he has this great advantage that he recognises them but they don’t recognise him, presumably because he now looks like an Egyptian, different hair, different clothes, and he also speaks a different language (v.23).  Also they weren’t expecting to see him!
So he sort of plays them along, which might seem mean at first, but I think he is testing them, to see if they had changed.  And throughout this part of the story we will see an outpouring of Joseph’s emotions to show that he still really cared for his family (for eg v.24).  We shall see behind the harsh pose there was warm affection, the threats are tempered with mercy, and at the end of the ordeal we shall see overwhelming kindness.
And note too how the brothers have changed/are continuing to change, and how God might be at work in their hearts.
– When asked about their family background, they told the truth (v.13).  We were 12 brothers…  One is no more but we still consider him one of the family??
– When they come out of their 3 day stay in prison, their conscience is pricked about Joseph and the pit he was thrown into, and their ignoring of his cries for help (v.21).
– When they find one lot of silver in their bags on their overnight stop as they travel home they recognise this could be the judgment of God on the sins of their past (v.28).
– And then when they get home and they find all their silver has been returned and they are discussing taking Benjamin the next time, Reuben is willing to sacrifice his own sons if he fails to look after him and bring him back (v.37).
I love this story, with all the things it can teach us, and there is more tomorrow.
Praying through our church address list, please remember in your prayers today,
– Kim Bon & Sin Wei
– Charlene, along with Ariah and Samuel
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