'Israel asked, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?”' Genesis 43:6
No-one likes to take the blame for anything, even if it is their fault. It often results in lies and deceit on the part of the one to whom the finger is being pointed. Blamed by their father, Israel (Jacob), for telling Joseph about the very existence of another brother, the brothers lie to their father. “The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. 'Is your father still living?' he asked us. 'Do you have another brother?' We simply answered the questions.....” v7.
That was blatantly not true! Joseph never asked them for the information they freely gave him when they tried to convince him that were not spies. (42:13). Admittedly, they shared what they shared in innocence. They could never have dreamed that Joseph would demand they bring their other brother back to Egypt. When, inadvertently and unexpectedly we find ourselves cornered and in danger, it is a temptation to do anything to extricate ourselves rather than come clean, be honest and face the consequences.
While Simeon languished in prison in Egypt, no doubt his brothers hesitated from returning to Egypt with Benjamin to free him. Maybe they thought that the famine would end soon and they would not need to return for more food. But they were wrong. There was a second year of famine (45:6), and the grain they had got from Egypt ran out. The family now desperate for food were in the horns of a dilemma. If the brothers did not go back, they and their families would starve. If they returned without Benjamin, Joseph would refuse to see them, (43:5), but should they return with Benjamin there was no certainty as to what 'the lord of the land' would do. In the end there was no choice. For Israel, his sons, (including Benjamin), and their families to survive was for the brothers to take the risk and return to Egypt with Benjamin. How often have we been forced to do something we dread, something we would avoid if we could, only for things to turn out very different to anything we could have imagined? How often have I been oblivious to the fact that, despite how much everything appears to the contrary, God's hand has been on me, guiding my feet on the path of his choosing?
God bless you all.