When Israel was running out of grains, he remembered the path that God wanted them to take. That can be said about this chapter or hundreds of other passages in the Bible. In our plenty we seldom search for God but as soon as problems arise we are quick to question His plan in our lives.
So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”Genesis 43:2
Jacob was on the path that God had chosen for him. He had already delayed the plan and throughout history we see Israel constantly delaying God’s plan. Is our relationship with God an open two way channel of communication or do we treat Him like the complaint department of our lives?
Israel kept blaming others around him for the troubles in his life. The easy way is to blame others and not change our own ways. Jacob’s parenting style and his severe partiality to few of his sons was the reason for the fractures in his family which he conveniently failed to acknowledge always.
Israel asked, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?Genesis 43:6
He is quick to blame his sons, his wives, his uncle, his brother and even God when he sees fit but never sees the problem in himself. Do we have the self awareness to see our mistakes or are we being ignorant about our problems and keep blaming everyone else?
Judah’s speech was the only thing that broke both Jacob and Joseph down, the two most stubborn characters that we see in the second part of Genesis. Clearly God’s hand was upon him as he was able to put his family back on track for the plan that God had laid out for them.
And may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you.Genesis 43:14
Jacob prayed to God for the man tormenting his family to show mercy for his sons. Surely God will not force His will on anyone. Then why do we pray for mercy from our tormentors (Maybe a boss, a bully or someone who hates us)?
We want God to control everyone but will never hand over the keys of our lives to Him. We want Him to pacify the situation around and prove His worth to us but never do we want God to change our ways. Unlike Jacob, God shows no partiality and if we have free will then our enemies also have the same free will. If we want to improve our present situation, start with asking God to change us.
Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, “We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.Genesis 43:18
Paranoia had set in for the brothers and they feared the worst even when the best was being prepared for them. The guilt of our past sins prevents us from fully cherishing the blessings in our lives.
The guilt of our past actions is the biggest tool satan uses against us to deter us from the path that leads to God. When someone forgives our sins, we mend our broken relationship with them and never talk or even think about our past mistakes. Why then don’t we follow the same with God? He has forgiven all our sins and wants to move forward with us, yet we keep dwelling in our past mistakes and failures.
The accumulated guilt of all their wrongdoings was occupying the minds of the brothers and they could not see the celebratory mood of the people around them and feared the worst. Let us not be drowned in our guilt to the extent we forget God’s abundant grace on us.
Joseph is understandably emotional at the sight of his family especially his own flesh and blood Benjamin, but he still continues his charade. We never want to show our true colors to the world, especially to the people who have hurt us in the past. We don’t want to project any weakness on our part.
While in a corporate setting or in our social circles, this hard outer shell might take us far but in our spiritual lives this is one of the biggest barriers for us to realize the need for God in our lives. The outward show we put on for others prevents us from admitting our weakness and coming to God for a solution.
Imagine if Joseph had come to God with his mixed bag of emotions rather than concocting this plan. He could have saved everyone (including himself) a lot of heartache and could have spent some more years with Jacob and Benjamin.
Let us not wait for the drought in our lives to come to God with our weaknesses and short comings and save ourselves and those around unnecessary heartache and pain.