-Israel and his family were not quick in returning to Egypt to get Simeon, the ransomed brother. The hesitation was the issue of taking Benjamin away and the uncertainty of his well being. But the famine got so severe in the land of Canaan that drastic measures had to be considered and acted upon. The decision to go back to buy a little food was finally made simply because their food had run out and the prospect of starvation was very real.
-There is an interesting discussion between Israel and his sons as they communicate on the return requirements laid down by “the man” (Joseph unbeknownst to them). Israel doesn’t understand why they didn’t lie about the reality of their youngest brother. *Application* Honesty is always the best policy. If the brothers would have lied about their youngest brother, Joseph would have been aware of their deception anyway. What we think is a way out usually simply is not. We need to trust God with the facts of the matter and receive His just rewards.
-The trend of dishonesty continues to run through the textual tread and storyline in this patriarchal family. It seems as if the deceptive nature never ends, which further clarifies for us the fallen nature of man and the righteous of God to be faithful to the unfaithful.
-Israel’s sons make a good case for their forthright answers to “the man,” and Judah steps forward and puts his life on the line for the surety of his younger brother, Benjamin. This is our first indication of the greatness of this all important son of Israel who would carry the Messianic line. There seems to have been a spiritual change in Judah to bring him to this point where he would be willing to lay down his life for the security and well being of another. He takes on the responsibility for his brother’s safety and will take the blame. The theological and prophetical implications of this event cannot be overstated. This is HUGE! It sets up the blessing upon his life in Genesis 49:8-12. *Application* At this point let us review an important equation. Fear of God + Trusting in Him + Obedience to Him = Blessings of the LORD. I believe Judah realized all these important elements at this point of his life and you can too!
-Israel reluctantly agrees to send them back with Benjamin when he sees no other better option. He has come to the end of himself and is bereaved. He calls upon the LORD for compassion and gives them double the money (to pay back for the sums of money put back in their original bags). He provides the best gifts available and sends them off on their trip.
-The scene shifts back down to Egypt as the brothers stand once again before Joseph without recognizing who he actually is. Joseph has a feast prepared for them and puts them at ease of their guilty consciences and fears. *Application* People with the propensity for deception live in constant fear of getting caught. Oh that we would realize the peace of mind of living in our integrity and trust in the LORD to provide in all situations. God never fails and rescues His righteous ones.
-Joseph is careful to find out about the well being of their father, and the brothers bow before him in homage (fulfillment of the prophetic dreams, Genesis 37:5-11). There is also an emotional reuniting with his biological brother Benjamin, but Joseph has to hide his face because the time has not yet come to reveal himself to them. He composes himself for the feast and dines with them to their amazement. Benjamin is given a portion five times greater than his brothers, but all ate and drank freely.
Verse to memorize: Genesis 43:30