Thursday 22nd October 2015
'If you take this one (Benjamin) from me too and harm comes to him, you will bring my grey head down to the grave in misery,' Genesis 44:29. The reason that Jacob kept Benjamin back when his other sons went to Egypt to buy grain, was because he feared that harm might come to him, (42:4). Rachel, the wife he really loved, had given him two sons and Joseph the eldest had been his father's favourite. After the brothers sold Joseph into slavery, soaked his beautiful coat in goat's blood and asked their father if he recognised it, Jacob naturally assumed, 'Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces,' (37:33). The apparent death of Joseph tore Jacob apart. Thus Benjamin, Rachel's remaining son, became particularly dear to him,(44:20).
Having seen just how deeply their wickedness had affected Jacob, the brothers knew that if they did not return with Benjamin it would kill him. No doubt the misery that the apparent death of Joseph had caused their father left them with a permanent sense of guilt. They may well have regretted what they had done, but there was nothing they could do to reverse it. Are there things in our lives we regret and wish we could reverse? The last thing they wanted was to see their now aged father suffer like that again. Verses 18 to 34 contain Judah's desperate pleas on behalf of his brother, falsely accused of stealing Joseph's cup. Judah had promised his father, guaranteed in fact, that he would bring Benjamin safely home,(v 32 & 43:9), never dreaming of the scenario that he and his brothers were to find themselves in.
Jesus descended from Judah and something of Jesus can be seen here in Judah's pleas,
He was not ashamed to own or align himself to his brother (Hebrews 2:11).
He was willing to take his brother's place, (Isaiah 53:3, Galatians 3:13, Romans 4:25)
He made intercession for his brother, (Isaiah 53:12, Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25).
One of the delights of studying the Old Testament is that of finding so many glimpses of Christ throughout its pages.
God bless you all.