Responding to Suffering
Bible Passage: Genesis 42, Genesis 43, Genesis 44, Genesis 45
Summary of Genesis 42, 43, 44 & 45
Genesis 42 – : The dreams of Joseph come into full fruition. Jacob began to feel the effects of a famine and heard there is food in Egypt and sent his sons to buy some. The brothers of Joseph go to Egypt and they run into Joseph. Joseph recognizes them, but they fail to recognize him. They came to Joseph bowing down. Joseph accused them of being spies and orders them to return home, and bring back their younger brother in order to prove they were not. They told Jacob what had happened
Genesis 43- Israel hesitated to send Benjamin. However, but eventually gave in. The sons of Israel go back to Egypt with double the money for food and they prayed to God for mercy before Joseph. Joseph gave them gifts and gave five times as much to Benjamin than the rest of the brothers.
Genesis 44 – Before the brothers returned to Canaan, Joseph had his silver cup placed in the bag of Benjamin to make it as if he had stole it. The steward is ordered to track them down and arrest whoever had possession. Benjamin is taken into custody and sentenced. Judah pours his soul unto Joseph to allow him to take the place of Benjamin and tells how this would certainly kill his father.
Genesis 45- Joseph told them who he was. They could not believe it. He told them that God sent him to preserve life in Egypt and that they should not feel bad about the way things turned out in life. He explained the famine was taking place and asked them to live with him. They were to bring his as well. They returned home and told their father everything. He could not believe it, nevertheless, he packed his bags to go see his son.
Remember to keep short accounts with God. Don’t let things linger and fester, but to confess quickly. Allow him to forgive us as soon as possible.
When there is division between us for any reason, recognize where that comes from (Satan). When that happens it is important to go tour brother and sister and sort it out. Start with confession. Come face to face with where the problem sits. Seek repentance, be kind to one another, return grace for anger, and return goodness for evil.
Have faith in God because God is in control. Forgiveness is something that takes a moment of your life. Revenge takes a lifetime of hatred. The hatred is constantly renewed. Revenge takes a reoccurring (repetitive) desire to “get them back”. It is God’s job to judge and implement punishment (revenge).
One Couldn’t Help But Ask…
How can we go about changing our lives to get to the goals that Joseph was seeking (kindness, forgiveness, reconciliation)?