Welcome to Monday, and as you can see from the Number above we have reached another milestone, 150, and that is not including some of the Sunday ones and other extra ones which don’t have a number! Really good to see many of you at our 2 services yesterday, and nice to have some returnees and visitors.
Our Bible passage today is Genesis Chapter 44, another long-ish chapter but that’s what stories sometimes give you, so sit back and enjoy.
In the first half (vs.1-17) there is more to-ing and fro-ing as Joseph gives the brothers one more test, the “planting” of his special silver cup put into Benjamin’s sack. The brothers initially protest their innocence but are willing to take any punishment corporately if they are found guilty (vs.6-9).
And when the cup is found they tore their clothes, a sign of repentance (v.13), and they all want to take the blame, and not leave it just on Benjamin (v.16),but Joseph insists it should just be Benjamin who becomes his slave, all the rest are free to go (v.17).
And then for the rest of the Chapter from v.18 onwards, we have a long speech from Judah, who though he is the 4th child seems to have assumed the leadership of the group. In quite painstaking detail Judah explains that they cannot leave Benjamin because it would kill their father, and so (vs.33-34), he offered himself as the substitute instead of Benjamin, he would take the punishment so Benjamin can go free.
Here is a little picture of the One who was to come, who indeed would be from the family line of Judah, the Lord Jesus, who would be the innocent substitute, who would take the punishment for our sins by dying on the Cross, so that we might go free. As I’ve said before, there is much in Joseph’s life which gives us a picture of Jesus, but here we see something in Judah too.
And Judah’s words and action are the proof to Joseph that his brothers have indeed changed, they have passed all their tests. But with my day off we are going to have to wait until Wednesday for the big reveal!!
Praying through our church address list, we remember today,
– Terry & Dawn
– Mary, Sharon’s Mum.