Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jul 31 2011 - E100.14c – Gen 44:1-34, Joseph tests his brothers

Joseph commanded his steward to send the brothers away with their sacks full of grain, placing their money in each of the sacks. He was also to place one of Joseph's silver cups in Benjamin's sack.

The men had not gone far before the steward comes racing after them accusing them of stealing a silver cup from Joseph. They all protest their innocence saying that if the cup is found with any of them, that person should die and the rest of them will become servants to the Egyptian lord. The steward replies that only the one who took the cup will suffer; he will become a servant while the rest may return to their father.

A search soon discovers the cup in Benjamin's sack. The brothers are distraught and tear their clothes. All now return to plead with the Egyptian official.

Judah took it upon himself to be their spokesman. He was the one who had sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites and he is now convinced that all that is now happening is punishment from God because of what he and his brothers did to Joseph (see 44:19). He knows how the loss of Joseph affected father Jacob; the loss also of Benjamin would be more than he could bear. So Judah, who had failed to listen to the pleas of Joseph when he sold him into slavery, pleads that Benjamin should be spared from becoming a slave in Egypt. Judah offers himself in Benjamin's place.

There are times when circumstances remind us of things we have done in the past of which we are ashamed. Such reminders are helpful if they humble us and bring us to fresh repentance before God. They need to drive us afresh to Christ, the descendant from the tribe of Judah who gave himself in our place that we might be freed from slavery to sin and death.

Gracious Father, thank you that when you remind me of the guilt of my sins, you also show me afresh the wonder of your salvation. Thank you that the Lion of the tribe of Judah is also the Lamb who was slain for us that all our guilt and shame might be washed away and that we might be brought rejoicing to our Father's house.

Peter Misselbrook