Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Judah Grows Up | Genesis 43:1-10 | J. Allen Mashburn
It has been a while since we looked in on Joseph and his family. If you will remember the story, you know that Joseph’s brothers sold him in to Egyptian slavery, and they told their father that he was dead. As far as they were concerned, Joseph was dead! They went on with their lives as though they would never see their brother again, because they never expected to!
God had other plans! While they are living their lives in Canaan, God is working in Egypt! While Jacob’s heart is broken through mourning Joseph, God is working in Egypt.
Down in Egypt, Joseph is sold as a slave. He works for a man named Potiphar, who is Pharaoh’s chief executioner. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph, but he rebuffs her advances. She lies to her husband telling him that Joseph tried to rape her. Potiphar has Joseph thrown into prison. After a number of years, Joseph is brought to Pharaoh’s attention. God uses Joseph to help Pharaoh, and to make a long story short, Joseph is taken out of the prison and made the Prime Minister of Egypt.
A famine arises in the land, but Joseph has developed a plan to store us grain for the lean years ahead. When the famine comes, it affects all the countries of the countries of the earth, even the land of Canaan, where Joseph’s brothers and father dwell.
Joseph’s brothers make a trip to Egypt to but grain to eat and they meet the brother they sold as a slave some 20 years before. He recognizes them, but they do not recognize him. God uses Joseph to awaken the dead consciences of his brothers. Joseph wants them to think about what they have done, so he accuses them of being spies and throws Simeon into prison until the other brothers return home and get their youngest brother Benjamin. They told Joseph about him and Joseph uses this as a tool to get them to return with his brother.
The brothers return home with their grain, but no Simeon. Jacob again grieves and refuses to allow the boys to take Benjamin back with them into Egypt.
After a while, the grain runs out and they are forced to get more. That is where our text begins today.
In this passage, we see a discussion between Judah the fourth oldest of Jacob’s sons and Jacob himself. In this conversation, Judah is trying to convince his father that they have no choice but to return to Egypt, with Benjamin, to get grain. Otherwise, they will all starve to death. That is the gist of what is taking place here. But, as is so often true in the Bible, there is more here than meets the eye.
What we see in these verses is a rebellious man demonstrating the fact that he is beginning to grow us. What we see in these verses is how God used the events of Judah’s life to bring him to maturity. God uses these events to shape Judah into the leader he will one day become.
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