Thursday 21 January, 2016

Genesis 48:1-16

48 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is sick.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2 Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” So Israel became stronger and sat up in bed. 3 Jacob said to Joseph, “The Mighty God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. He blessed me there. 4 He said to me, ‘I am going to give you children. I will make your family very large. I will make you a community of nations. And I will give this land to your children after you. It will belong to them forever.’ 5 “Now then, two sons were born to you in Egypt. It happened before I came to you here. They will be counted as my own sons. Ephraim and Manasseh will belong to me, in the same way that Reuben and Simeon belong to me. 6 Any children born to you after them will belong to you. Any territory they receive will come from the land that will be given to Ephraim and Manasseh. 7 As I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died. It made me very sad. She died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way. We weren’t very far away from Ephrath. So I buried her body there beside the road to Ephrath.” Ephrath was also called Bethlehem. 8 Israel saw Joseph’s sons. He asked, “Who are they?” 9 “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father. Then Israel said, “Bring them to me. I want to give them my blessing.” 10 Israel’s eyes were weak because he was old. He couldn’t see very well. So Joseph brought his sons close to him. His father kissed them and hugged them. 11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never thought I’d see your face again. But now God has let me see your children too.” 12 Then Joseph lifted his sons off Israel’s knees. Joseph bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 He placed Ephraim on his right, toward Israel’s left hand. He placed Manasseh on his left, toward Israel’s right hand. Then he brought them close to Israel. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head. He did it even though Ephraim was the younger son. He crossed his arms and put his left hand on Manasseh’s head. He did it even though Manasseh was the older son. 15 Then Israel gave Joseph his blessing. He said, “May God bless these boys. He is the God of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac. They walked faithfully with him. He is the God who has been my shepherd all my life right up to this day. 16 He is the Angel who has saved me from all harm. May he bless these boys. May they be called by my name. May they also be called by the names of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac. And may the number of them greatly increase on the earth.”

In this passage there is such a beautiful picture of Jacob’s relationship with God and his knowledge of God’s character. Jacob speaks of God’s kindness and faithfulness, and it is clear that this knowledge comes from his personal experience of God’s goodness. Jacob says that God has allowed him to see not only his son Joseph, who he thought dead, but even Joseph’s sons. This restoration was not a happy coincidence or luck, Jacob identifies God as the one from whom all blessings flow. In blessing Joseph’s sons he describes his experience of God; the God of his father and grandfather who has remained faithful to his family; the shepherd who has looked after him all his life; and the one who has redeemed or rescued him from all harm. Wow! What a rich picture of Jacob knowing God.

I want to be like Jacob, speaking confidently of God’s character because I know my God and take time to stop and identify His workings in my life. I want to pass on to others a rich picture of God in His goodness. God, please help me to truly seek rich relationship with you day by day, and to see your goodness all around me. Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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  1. Andrew Mellor says:

    Thanks Beth, yes how clear does Israel see God’s faithfulness! The hindsight of a long life of wrestling with God left him in no doubt.

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Wednesday 20 January, 2016

Genesis 47:27-31

27 The people of Israel lived in Egypt in the area of Goshen. They received property there. They had children and so became many. 28 Jacob lived 17 years in Egypt. He lived a total of 147 years. 29 The time came near for Israel to die. So he sent for his son Joseph. He said to him, “If you are pleased with me, put your hand under my thigh. Promise me that you will be kind and faithful to me. Don’t bury me in Egypt. 30 When I join the members of my family who have already died, carry me out of Egypt. Bury me where they are buried.” “I’ll do exactly as you say,” Joseph said. 31 “Give me your word that you will do it,” Jacob said. So Joseph gave him his word. And Israel worshiped God as he leaned on the top of his walking stick.

What an amazing man of faith is Jacob.
Regardless of what he had done early in life, at the end of his life he had become a man of faith. He was reluctant to move to Egypt but God spoke to him saying it was ok to go. But at no time was Egypt ever his home, and as he was about to die, made his son Joseph promise to never bury him in Egypt.
Even though his family had settled in Egypt, he did not consider it home.
Jacob ended his life full of faith.
How we finish the race is more important than how we start, that our faith grows, always looking forward to God fulfilling his promises regardless of our present circumstances.

Father, thank you for never giving up, for always keeping your promises. Regardless of my present circumstances, help me to always look forward and to trust you always.

Written by Andrew Martin

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Monday 18 January, 2016

Genesis 47:1-12

47 Joseph went to Pharaoh. He told him, “My father and brothers have come from the land of Canaan. They’ve brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own. They are now in Goshen.” 2 Joseph had chosen five of his brothers to meet with Pharaoh. 3 Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What do you do for a living?” “We’re shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh. “And that’s what our fathers were.” 4 They also said to him, “We’ve come to live in Egypt for a while. There isn’t enough food anywhere in Canaan. There isn’t any grass for our flocks. So please let us live in Goshen.” 5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6 The land of Egypt is open to you. Let your father and brothers live in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. Do any of them have special skills? If they do, put them in charge of my own livestock.” 7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in to meet Pharaoh. Jacob gave Pharaoh his blessing. 8 Then Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?” 9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my journey through life are 130. My years have been few and hard. They aren’t as many as the years of my father and grandfather before me.” 10 Jacob gave Pharaoh his blessing. Then he left him. 11 So Joseph helped his father and his brothers make their homes in Egypt. He gave them property in the best part of the land, just as Pharaoh had directed him to do. That part was known as the territory of Rameses. 12 Joseph also provided food for his father and brothers. He provided for them and the rest of his father’s family. He gave them enough for all their children.

This story of Joseph presenting his father (Jacob) and brothers to Pharaoh captures me on a few levels. Pharaohs were often recorded as harsh rulers, or “god kings”, but this one shows a different character. Rewinding a bit in the story, he is the Pharaoh that appointed Joseph, a prisoner, to be second in charge of the whole of Egypt. The reason, because he recognised Joseph’s wisdom (interpretation of his dreams), but more importantly, he saw that Joseph gave the credit to God. I am curious of the godly influence Joseph had on Pharaoh, for even deep into the story of the famine, Pharaoh has an obvious deep respect for Joseph and anything to do with Joseph. This is demonstrated by Pharaoh offering to the brothers the best grazing land in all of Egypt, and any special skills they might have to be used in caring for Pharaoh’s own livestock.

Secondly, we see Jacob blessing Pharaoh, not once but twice. This also shows the humility of Pharaoh to accept and receive the blessing, and from a Hebrew. Again I think this attitude may have been an influence from Joseph.

What a man of God Joseph was, one of my heroes of the faith, who had great influence on so many.

Lord, may you continue to create in me a deep integrity in You, and that You extend my territory of influence for your glory. Amen

Written by Steve Fell

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Sunday 17 January, 2016

Genesis 46:28-34

28 Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph. He sent him to get directions to Goshen. And so they arrived in the area of Goshen. 29 Then Joseph had his servants get his chariot ready. He went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as he came to his father, Joseph threw his arms around him. Then Joseph wept for a long time. 30 Israel said to Joseph, “I have seen for myself that you are still alive. Now I’m ready to die.” 31 Then Joseph spoke to his brothers and to the rest of his father’s family. He said, “I will go up and speak to Pharaoh. I’ll say to him, ‘My brothers and the rest of my father’s family have come to me. They were living in the land of Canaan. 32 The men are shepherds. They take care of livestock. They’ve brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33 Pharaoh will send for you. He’ll ask, ‘What do you do for a living?’ 34 You should answer, ‘We’ve taken care of livestock from the time we were boys. We’ve done just as our fathers did.’ It’s the practice of the people of Egypt not to mix with shepherds. So Pharaoh will let you settle in the area of Goshen.”

I have always loved the story of Joseph.  Here, Joseph says he will speak with Pharaoh about his brothers and father’s household.  He states how his family are to answer Pharaoh as well, “we tend livestock and have tended livestock for generations”. As a result, they get to live in the land of Goshen – because  ‘shepherds are detestable to Egyptians’. Goshen is very fertile land – it is the delta of the River Nile; probably the best land in Egypt.

Sometimes rejection by others can be the saving of us.  Sometimes rejection can be God’s way of rescuing us from certain people and certain situations. God uses mysterious ways to bring about His plan in our lives.  Let us not think like the world but like Him.  Let’s thank Him for His plans and His purposes outworked in our lives that bring about His glory and His purpose despite what we see or experience.

Lord help me to see as you see. Let me thank you in every season, because you are with me.  Help me not to allow my circumstances to guide me – but Lord lead me in all that I do.

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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Saturday 16 January, 2016

Genesis 46:8-27

8 Here are the names of Israel’s children and grandchildren who went to Egypt. Jacob and his whole family are included. Reuben was Jacob’s oldest son. 9 The sons of Reuben were Hanok, Pallu, Hezron and Karmi. 10 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul. Shaul was the son of a woman from Canaan. 11 The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath and Merari. 12 The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah. But Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan. The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13 The sons of Issachar were Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron. 14 The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon and Jahleel. 15 These were the sons and grandsons born to Jacob and Leah in Paddan Aram. Leah also had a daughter by Jacob. Her name was Dinah. The total number of people in the family line of Jacob and Leah was 33. 16 The sons of Gad were Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli. 17 The sons of Asher were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah. Their sister was Serah. The sons of Beriah were Heber and Malkiel. 18 These were the children and grandchildren born to Jacob and Zilpah. Laban had given Zilpah to his daughter Leah. The total number of people in the family line of Jacob and Zilpah was 16. 19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. 20 In Egypt, Asenath had Manasseh and Ephraim by Joseph. Asenath was the daughter of Potiphera. Potiphera was the priest of On. 21 The sons of Benjamin were Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard. 22 These were the sons and grandsons born to Jacob and Rachel. The total number of people in the family line of Jacob and Rachel was 14. 23 The son of Dan was Hushim. 24 The sons of Naphtali were Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem. 25 These were the sons and grandsons born to Jacob and Bilhah. Laban had given Bilhah to his daughter Rachel. The total number of people in the family line of Jacob and Bilhah was seven. 26 The total number of people who went to Egypt with Jacob was 66. That number includes only his own children and grandchildren. It doesn’t include his sons’ wives or his grandsons’ wives. 27 The total number of the members of Jacob’s family who went to Egypt was 70. That includes the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt.

This is not just another genealogy.  This is the visible evidence of the promised nation to Abraham. When God first promised to make him a father of a nation, then a father of many nations, he had no children. It was more than two decades before Abraham had a son through Sarah.
The fact is, Abraham never saw the promise become a reality. And neither did his son Isaac.
But God is faithful, he always keeps his promises.
Hebrews 11:13 Abraham (They) died in faith, without receiving what God had promised them, but he (they) saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God.
Though we may not physically see the fulfilment of God’s promises today, faith sees it from a distance and welcomes it.

Father, thank you for the many promises you have made to me. While the fulfilment is on its way, I welcome them all.

Written by Andrew Martin

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Tuesday 19 January, 2016

Genesis 47:13-26

13 But there wasn’t any food in the whole area. In fact, there wasn’t enough food anywhere. The people of Egypt and Canaan lost their strength because there wasn’t enough food to go around. 14 Joseph collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan. People paid it to him for the grain they were buying. And Joseph brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all the Egyptians came to Joseph. They said, “Give us food. What good would it do you to watch us all die? Our money is all gone.” 16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “You say your money is gone. So I’ll trade you food for your livestock.” 17 They brought their livestock to Joseph. He traded them food for their animals. They gave him their horses, sheep, goats, cattle and donkeys. He helped the people live through that year by trading them food for all their livestock. 18 When that year was over, they came to him the next year. They said, “We can’t hide the truth from you. Our money is gone. Our livestock belongs to you. We don’t have anything left to give you except our bodies and our land. 19 What good would it do you to watch us die? Why should our land be destroyed? Trade us food for ourselves and our land. Then we and our land will belong to Pharaoh. Give us some seeds so we can live and not die. We don’t want the land to become a desert.” 20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. All the people of Egypt sold their fields. They did that because there wasn’t enough food anywhere. So the land became Pharaoh’s. 21 Joseph made the people slaves from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 But Joseph didn’t buy the land that belonged to the priests. They received a regular share of food from Pharaoh. They had enough food from what Pharaoh gave them. That’s why they didn’t have to sell their land. 23 Joseph said to the people, “I’ve bought you and your land today for Pharaoh. So here are some seeds for you to plant in the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. Keep the other four-fifths for yourselves. They will be seeds for the fields. And they will be food for yourselves, your children, and the other people who live with you.” 25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “If you are pleased with us, we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 26 So Joseph made a law about land in Egypt. It’s still the law today. A fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. Only the land belonging to the priests didn’t become Pharaoh’s.

It’s funny how the tide turns. We all know how the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt but here we read it’s the Egyptians who were sold into slavery to save their lives – at the hand of a Hebrew no less – and they were grateful to him for saving them.

Why didn’t the Egyptians remember this time in history? I wonder if their treatment of the Hebrews in Exodus would have been better had they remembered they were once in the same boat. Or even if they remembered it was a Hebrew that saved their lives.

What have I failed to remember? Am I treating my Heavenly Father badly because I’ve forgotten His past provisions and miraculous answers to prayer? Am I responding to crisis situations with greater faith?  Are the facts of Gods amazing stories in my life constantly in my mind so that when things go wrong it’s hardly a blip on my radar? Do we treasure these stories and think about them often like Mary did? (See Luke 2:19) Do I use them to say without a hint of doubt “because God came through for me then He will come through for me now!”?

Oh Lord my God. Jesus, forgive me for treating you badly and forgetting what you have done for me in the past. Make me like your earthly Mother – to treasure what you’ve done for me, think about it often, and let the stories fill my heart with faith. You are awesome and I praise you.   Amen

Written by Boudy vanNoppen

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Friday 15 January, 2016

Genesis 46:1-7

46 So Israel started out with everything that belonged to him. When he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 God spoke to Israel in a vision at night. “Jacob! Jacob!” he said. “Here I am,” Jacob replied. 3 “I am God. I am the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt. There I will make you into a great nation. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you. I will surely bring you back again. And when you die, Joseph will close your eyes with his own hand.” 5 Then Jacob left Beersheba. Israel’s sons put their father Jacob and their families in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6 So Jacob and his whole family went to Egypt. They took their livestock with them. And they took everything they had acquired in Canaan. 7 Jacob brought his sons and grandsons with him to Egypt. He also brought his daughters and granddaughters. He brought his whole family with him.

Once God promised Jacob, Jacob was all in. In verse 7, you read him in response to God’s promise collecting everyone together in his whole family and taking all of them down to Egypt.

God had said. So they were going. There were no eggs in other baskets. If God said it, Jacob was doing everything to respond accordingly.

Am I all in on what God has said to me? In one and the same statement in verse 3-4 God is giving both command and promise. But in this command + promise, God speaks calm to Jacobs fears, gives direction for his life, and speaks to one of Jacobs deepest desires – to see his son Joseph again. For me, there is a beautiful truth herein – even though God requires something of me in obedience, He is abundantly generous to me in what is given and promised in obedience as well. In one sense, God makes sweet and lovely obeying him – even though I wouldn’t say He has any obligation to. But that is God in His mercy and love – He delights to make the paths he calls us into pleasant and blessed for our souls!

Help me Lord hear you clearly and go all in on the promises + commands you call me to walk in. Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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Thursday 14 January, 2016

Genesis 44:16-28

16 The news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come. Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Here’s what I want you to tell your brothers. Say to them, ‘Load your animals. Return to the land of Canaan. 18 Bring your father and your families back to me. I’ll give you the best land in Egypt. You can enjoy all the good things in the land.’ 19 “And here’s something else I want you to tell them. Say to them, ‘Take some carts from Egypt. Your children and your wives can use them. Get your father and come back. 20 Don’t worry about the things you have back there. The best of everything in Egypt will belong to you.’ ” 21 Then the sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded. He also gave them supplies for their journey. 22 He gave new clothes to each of them. But he gave Benjamin more than seven pounds of silver. He also gave him five sets of clothes. 23 He sent his father ten male donkeys loaded with the best things from Egypt. He also sent ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other supplies for his journey. 24 Then Joseph sent his brothers away. As they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t argue on the way!” 25 So they went up out of Egypt. They came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of the whole land of Egypt.” Jacob was shocked. He didn’t believe them. 27 So they told him everything Joseph had said to them. Jacob saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back. That gave new life to their father Jacob. 28 Israel said, “I believe it now! My son Joseph is still alive. I’ll go and see him before I die.”

The news of Josephs’ brother’s gets to Pharaoh – Pharaoh then more or less plans the all expenses paid, family reunion and relocation to Egypt and not just some backwater area on the outskirts of town but to “the best of all the land of Egypt.”v20.

Two things in this passage grab me. 1. Jacobs family are told in verse 20 to “give no thought to your possessions” or “don’t worry about the things you have back there” … there are times in our lives when we are told to do this to enable us to follow God’s plan … I have had to leave possessions in the past but could I do it again in the future? Here Jacob had to choose to do this, though this choice was made a lot easier due to new hope. 2. Hope. The news that Joseph is alive has injected hope back into Jacobs’s life & given him purpose, “I must go and see him before I die” v28. In later chapters we read that Jacob lives in Egypt a further 17 years before he dies!

Joseph and Jacob’s lives have taken many twists, just like ours do, I am encouraged not to hold possessions again to tightly so that I don’t miss a better purpose that God may have for me and above all I must have something to hope in, as it gives life. Jesus.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

 

1 (reply)
  1. Andrew Mellor says:

    Thanks Suzie, yes reminds me of the warning to use the things of this world but not to become engrossed with them. Travel light!

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Wednesday 13 January, 2016

Genesis 45:1-15

45 Joseph couldn’t control himself anymore in front of all his attendants. He cried out, “Have everyone leave me!” So there wasn’t anyone with Joseph when he told his brothers who he was. 2 He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him. Everyone in Pharaoh’s house heard about it. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers weren’t able to answer him. They were too afraid of him. 4 Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” So they did. Then he said, “I am your brother Joseph. I’m the one you sold into Egypt. 5 But don’t be upset. And don’t be angry with yourselves because you sold me here. God sent me ahead of you to save many lives. 6 For two years now, there hasn’t been enough food in the land. And for the next five years, people won’t be plowing or gathering crops. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to keep some of you alive on earth. He sent me here to save your lives by an act of mighty power. 8 “So then, it wasn’t you who sent me here. It was God. He made me like a father to Pharaoh. He made me master of Pharaoh’s entire house. God made me ruler of the whole land of Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father. Say to him, ‘Your son Joseph says, “God has made me master of the whole land of Egypt. Come down to me. Don’t waste any time. 10 You will live in the area of Goshen. You, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything you have will be near me. 11 There I will provide everything you need. There are still five years to come when there won’t be enough food. If you don’t come down here, you and your family and everyone who belongs to you will lose everything.” ’ 12 “My brothers, I am Joseph. You can see for yourselves that I am the one speaking to you. My brother Benjamin can see it too. 13 Tell my father about all the honor given to me in Egypt. Tell him about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.” 14 Then Joseph threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept. Benjamin also hugged him and wept. 15 Joseph kissed all his brothers and wept over them. After that, his brothers talked with him.

Family reunion!

So unexpected is this turn of events for Joseph’s brothers that in the 15 verses today Joseph says “I am Joseph” 3 times! Clearly they need to be convinced. Joseph’s brothers are coming to grips with this reality – Joseph is alive. Joseph has insight, he understands the bigger picture – that God has been working in and through all that has gone on – and he tells his brothers. All the way from them selling him into slavery to this moment where Joseph is in the position to save his family – God has had a plan. God was at work. His declaration is “I am Joseph” and “God is good!”

It’s so easy for me to focus on what is hard and unfair and overwhelming in my life and forget that I have a God who loves me and is working everything together for good – everything!

Lord Jesus help me trust you with everything in my life. Help me declare in faith that Your goodness is working everything together for good – no matter what it looks like or feels like.

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

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Tuesday 12 January, 2016

Genesis 44:16-34

6 “What can we say to you?” Judah replied. “What can we say? How can we prove we haven’t done anything wrong? God has shown you that we are guilty. We are now your slaves. All of us are, including the one found to have the cup.” 17 But Joseph said, “I would never do anything like that! Only the man found to have the cup will become my slave. The rest of you may go back to your father in peace.” 18 Then Judah went up to him. He said, “Please, sir. Let me speak a word to you. Don’t be angry with me, even though you are equal to Pharaoh himself. 19 You asked us, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20 We answered, ‘We have an old father. A young son was born to him when he was old. His brother is dead. He’s the only one of his mother’s sons left. And his father loves him.’ 21 “Then you said to us, ‘Bring him down to me. I want to see him for myself.’ 22 We said to you, ‘The boy can’t leave his father. If he does, his father will die.’ 23 But you told us, ‘Your youngest brother must come down here with you. If he doesn’t, you won’t see my face again.’ 24 So we went back to my father. We told him what you had said. 25 “Then our father said, ‘Go back. Buy a little more food.’ 26 But we said, ‘We can’t go down. We’ll only go if our youngest brother goes there with us. We can’t even see the man’s face unless our youngest brother goes with us.’ 27 “Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife had two sons by me. 28 One of them went away from me. And I said, “He must have been torn to pieces.” I haven’t seen him since. 29 What if you take this one from me too and he is harmed? Then you would cause me to die as a sad old man. I would go down into the grave full of pain and suffering.’ 30 “So now, what will happen if the boy isn’t with us when I go back to my father? His life depends on the boy’s life. 31 When he sees that the boy isn’t with us, he’ll die. Because of us, he’ll go down into the grave as a sad old man. 32 I promised my father I would keep the boy safe. I said, ‘Father, I’ll bring him back to you. If I don’t, you can put the blame on me for the rest of my life.’ 33 “Now then, please let me stay here. Let me be your slave in place of the boy. Let the boy return with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy isn’t with me? No! Don’t let me see the pain and suffering that would come to my father.”

What captures me in this passage is at the beginning where Judah states “God has uncovered your servant’s guilt”. The “guilt” is not to do with the cup being found in Benjamin’s sack, for Judah was unaware of this being planted, and so would not have had the guilt! This “guilt’ was a long term condition.

Judah was the fourth son to Jacob through Leah.

If we go back to Gen 37 when Joseph was 17, and was thrown into the well by his brothers, Judah was one of the main perpetrators of “removing” their brother by having him sold off.

Gen 37:26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.

The brothers, including Judah, then presented the blood stained coat to Jacob, deceiving him in thinking that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. This whole act demonstrated not only great disrespect and hate toward Joseph, but also to their father, Jacob.

I believe it was at this point in today’s reading, that Judah is again expressing his guilt and anguish from this terrible act some 13 years prior. There is a sense of remorse.

“Guilt” can be a stronghold that can block us from moving forward in our relationship with God, until it is confessed and dealt with as needed.

Father, help me to confess to You any actions that have caused guilt within me, and reveal to me any sins of the past that may cause an unrevealed guilt. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Amen

Written by Steve Fell

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