Have you, like me, ever messed something up so many times that you knew no one would ever put that duty in your hands again or ever trust you with another important task ever again, just to end up HAVING to do that task–or one similar–again and really have to beg and plead to be allowed to do what you KNOW you HAVE to do? That was one long, rambling sentence, but sufficed to say, I can relate to Joseph’s brother, Judah, when he is begging his father to allow Benjamin to go along to Egypt so that they will be allowed to buy food and not starve.
Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die. I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice.” (43:8-10, NIV)
This is a day of relating to the Word!
Day 27 Reading: Genesis, chapters 43-45
Then Israel (earlier known as Jacob) said to them, “may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your brother and Benjamin come back with you” (43:14, NIV).
Don’t I know the feeling. In these times when I’ve had to absolutely beg for one more chance to do something the right way, and am granted that opportunity, don’t I know that those who grant it are just praying that this time, please God, let it work!
Remember, Simeon was still back in Egypt, imprisoned, as ransom. No one knew what ever came of Joseph (boy, are they about to find out!). And Israel”s next favorite son is the meal ticket necessary to keep the entire family from starvation.
Israel did send them on their way, but before they left him, he felt such pain that all he could say was, “As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.” (43:14, NIV) Sometimes don’t you want to throw your hands up, when you’re in such pain that you really don’t know how you’re going to get through it. Sometimes, even if just for a moment, don’t you just want to say, ‘It is what it is.’ or, as Israel, “if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
Oh, but friends, who needs the movies when you have stories like these! This is the exciting climax I was so eager to continue reading from yesterday. After Joseph had fed his brothers and manipulated some things, still unknown to them, he finally couldn’t contain his secret any longer. I love this! The entire 45th chapter of Genesis is just so beautiful and touching; can’t you just feel the joy they felt?!
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!”
So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?”
But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. (45:1-3, NIV)
Joseph: “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not your who sent me here, but God.” (45:5 & 7-8, NIV)
Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him. (45:14-15, NIV)
So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.”
Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.
And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.” (45:25-28, NIV)
Isn’t that such a touching piece of our history? My daughter, Kelsey, told me recently that she thinks it’s sad that girls don’t generally like the subject of history (before you female history buffs out there–and I know some of you by name–start on your comments, remember, she’s a pre-teen…’nuff said ). Her solution is pretty cool, though: that she wants to write a history book that would teach the girls the history in a way that would interest them. She was specifically talking about various wars. Her class is studying the Civil War now, and the Korean War also came up in discussion, so the subject of war is fresh on her brain. I thought it was a genius plan! I have never been very interested in the study of history and it is only now that I really see how much I missed out on by only memorizing enough for the test and letting so much interesting stuff fall by the way side.
This journey through the Bible chronologically is also our history, it is our Christian history, and the part that is no longer taught in public schools. I remember when I was my daughter’s age, we prayed every day (in public school) and said the Pledge of Allegiance every day (“under God” and all!). Now, God is taboo in public, but that means that we have to be even stronger in our foundation and our convictions!
Make it a great day,
Day 28 Reading: Genesis, 46-47