Genesis: Providence

Genesis 43:1–34

As this chapter begins, you can sense the tension, dread, and desperation.

The famine is severe. Jacob and his sons are hungry. They’ve made one grocery trip to Egypt that was not a pleasant experience, to say the least. That trip cost them one of the brothers. Simeon had to stay in Egypt. And embarrassingly, they made it home with all of the money they were supposed to spend on the food. So, the Egyptians

There’s no food. The only place to find food is Egypt. But the leader of Egypt, for some strange reason, demands to see the youngest brother, who stays at home under the watchful eye of his overprotective father. This is the problem.

If they show their faces in Egypt again, they have to have Benjamin and a pretty convincing explanation for taking their last bag of groceries without paying.

So Jacob, who once upon a time was a shrewd business negotiator, kills all his pride, throws all the chips on the table, and goes all in…

God Almighty grant you mercy before the man,and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

For all of you cheaters who read ahead, sure that’s exactly what happens. But sitting in Jacob’s place, none of these things is to be taken for granted: mercy from Pharaoh’s spokesman (a.k.a., Joseph), Simeon and Benjamin returned home safely.

And where does the chapter end? And they drank and were merry with him.

We start with these guys scared out of their minds for their own self-preservation. We end with them having a big party. That’s a pretty big change. Perhaps God is in the midst of this after all.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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