Joseph’s brothers were shaken when they attempted to buy grain in Egypt. First, this foreign leader (Joseph) accuses them of spying and puts them in prison for three days. Then, he keeps brother Simeon and sends the others home to bring back the youngest brother.
To complicate things further, one brother has a surprise the first night on the road. He reaches in his sack of grain to feed his donkey, only to find the silver in his sack that he used to buy the grain.
“My silver has been returned,”he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.” Their hearts sank and they turned to each other and said, “What is this that God has done to us?” Genesis 42:28
They are further frightened when they arrive home and find that all of the brothers have silver in their bags. What will happen to them now?
All the way home, they have been dreading the task of giving the report to father Jacob. They suspect how he will respond. Jacob never got over the loss of Joseph, his favored son and now they will have to ask for the only other son of Jacob’s beloved (favored) wife, Rachael.
As predicted, Jacob is one unhappy camper!
“You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin.” Everything is against me!” Genesis 42:36
After Jacob’s pity party, here comes dear honorable Reuben to the rescue again.
Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back.” Genesis 42:37
But favoritism reigns supreme in Jacob’s heart. This character trait has not changed; it has only transferred to Benjamin.
Favoritism was also a problem for Jacob’s parents. You may remember how father Isaac favored Esau and mother Rebekah favored Jacob. So Jacob declares:
My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. (Ouch! What about the other ten sons?) If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray hair to the grave in sorrow.” Genesis 42:38
Jacob will go to his grave with this spirit of blatant favoritism, disregarding the feelings of his other sons.
Is there a character trait you’re working to improve? It requires honest introspection. Is your challenge favoritism? Maybe you have poor listening skills or you always have to be in control of all situations. Do you struggle with impatience or a critical spirit? What would someone close to you say is lacking in your character? Ouch again!
I’m afraid I know mine. We can’t work on our challenges unless we admit them to ourselves. Food for thought in your quiet time today.
~ Joyce ~