Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jul 29 2011 - E100.14a – Gen 43:1-15, Jacob sends Benjamin to Egypt

Before long, Jacob and his family need more grain. This appears to have led to an argument that went on for some time between Jacob and his sons: they want to return to Egypt to buy more grain, but know that they can only do so if Benjamin goes with them; Jacob does not want to lose sight of his youngest son, fearing that he may never see him again. In the end, the threat of hunger and death, along with the solemn pledge of Judah, persuades Jacob to let Benjamin go to Egypt with his brothers.

Jacob does all that he can to ensure the success of their trip and that both Benjamin and the hostage Simeon will return with the other brothers. They are to take double money with them both to repay the money that had mysteriously been returned to them in their previous sacks of grain, and to pay for further supplies. They are also to take some luxury goods from the land; the "balm and honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds" must have cost Jacob dearly in a time of famine.

There is no more that Jacob can do. He entrusts Benjamin not only to Judah, but to the safekeeping of God Almighty. Jacob pleads that the God of his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac, the God who had become his God and had watched over him during his years of exile in Haran, may now watch over his family and grant them mercy with the Egyptian official. But Jacob does not seem to be confident that his plea will be answered for he concludes, "If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved" (43:14).

God's determination to prosper this family is more unshakable that Jacob's confidence. God has ensured that the very official from whom the brothers will seek mercy is none other than their own brother Joseph, Jacob's long lost son.

Almighty God, my confidence in your promises sometimes falters. Thank you that your determination to bless never fails and that you are at work through all the twists and turns of our lives to ensure that all things work together for our good. Help me to trust you in all things.

Peter Misselbrook