Draught brought famine to the land in Israel’s time. Word passed among neighbors and travelers that food was available in Egypt. Community leaders sent representatives to purchase grain and other supplies from the Egyptians.
Israel sent a group of his sons on such a mission. Unknowingly, they would encounter their brother, the one they’d sold into slavery when he was still an adolescent. Their arrival in Egypt was a great test of character for Joseph, as well as one of the heart.
The day came when Joseph found himself again, face to face with his brothers who had thrown him into a pit, while they ate their lunch plotting how to get rid of him. He could have done many things, felt many things, in that moment. Yet, God had been preparing him for this very encounter, his whole life.
In their first meeting, Joseph was harsh with them, accusing them of being spies sent to search for any weakness in Egypt’s security, and even placed them in prison for three days. Afterward, he released them on two conditions–one of them had remain in Egypt, and the others had to bring along their youngest brother when they returned.
Unknown to his siblings, when Joseph first saw his brothers, he recognized them and realized his dreams had just manifested into the corporeal world. He also understood the divine purpose in the actions of his brothers, selling him into slavery. None of them knew their actions were guided by God and there was great purpose in the ordeals Joseph endured to become second-only-to Pharaoh. Even in the challenges, God’s favor rested on him, helping him and educating him through each situation and finally placing him in the second-most-powerful position in the known world. Through Joseph, God ensured His promise to his great-grandfather, Abraham. Because of his struggles and rise to power, Israel would survive.
The brothers loaded the supplies they purchased in Egypt and prepared for the journey home. Simeon was to stay behind as a prisoner of the Vizier, until they returned with their youngest brother, Benjamin.
On their journey home, one of the brothers opened a sack of grain to feed the donkeys and, to his dismay, discovered the money he’d used for payment was in the bag.
He and his brothers were unaware that Joseph gave orders to hide the money there. He’d also ordered his servants to ensure they were given enough provisions to make the return trip with Benjamin.
Joseph wielded his authority with a right spirit.
In Proverbs 25:21 we are instructed to give our enemy food and drink if they’re hungry or thirsty. Joseph’s actions were a living example of that commandment.
Upon arrival in Canaan, the brothers recounted their adventure to their father, Israel. They explained how the Vizier had accused them of being spies and why Simeon had been left behind and the money found in their pack.
Yet, Israel refused to let them take Benjamin and return to Egypt.
The famine grew worse until Israel was left with no choice but to send his sons back to Egypt for further supplies, and allow them to take Benjamin with them. God ensured they had no choice but to follow through with the Vizier’s requirements.
Thankfully, Israel bowed to the conditions and in time, God’s people were greatly multiplied and fulfilled the promise to Abraham, in being as countless as the stars God placed in the heavens and loved with an everlasting love.
Behind the challenge is a victory if we are just and live by faith in Jesus. The challenges are either issued by or allowed by God. We must learn all we can and lean into our Source of survival and deliverance. He’s never failed Israel and He’ll never fail those of us who are grafted into its holy bloodline.
Thanks for the visit and hope to have you back next week.