Saturday, January 16, 2021

2021.01.16 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 43:15–34

Read Genesis 43:15–34

Questions from the Scripture text: What three things do the men take where (Genesis 43:15)? Before whom do they stand? Whom does Joseph see (Genesis 43:16)? What does he say to do? To where do the servants bring the men (Genesis 43:17)? How do the men feel (Genesis 43:18)? Why? To what do they think the Egyptians are responding? What two things do they think the Egyptians are trying to obtain? To whom do they draw near (Genesis 43:19)? What do they explain to him (Genesis 43:20-23)? How does the steward answer in Genesis 43:23? Where does he bring them? What does he do to them? What does he do to their donkeys? What do they make ready for Joseph (Genesis 43:25)? In what manner do they present it to him (Genesis 43:26)? About what and whom does he ask in Genesis 43:27? What do they call their father in Genesis 43:28? What do they again do? Whom does he now see in Genesis 43:29? What does he ask? What blessing does he pronounce? Why did Joseph have to hurry (Genesis 43:30)? To do what? Where? After weeping, what did he do and say (Genesis 43:31)? Where did he sit (Genesis 43:32)? Where did they sit? Why? In what order did he seat them (Genesis 43:33)? How do they respond to that? Who takes servings to them? Whose servings are different from the others in what way (Genesis 43:34)? What do they all do? 

Joseph has been a good witness in his house, perhaps. Look at his steward’s response to the brothers, as compared to their own response. “Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks.” This isn’t just comfort and assurance but thoroughly theological, even covenantally theological, comfort and assurance. 

God has made promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their children after them. God rules and overrules in all things, and all belongs to Him. He is the good Giver of all things, and He is always ultimately doing good to the people of promise.

The sons have all of the truth to know this, but emphasis upon these things just doesn’t seem to have been there in Jacob’s house. But Joseph’s Egyptian steward has this perspective. And he learned it from the man who in Genesis 43:29 says to Benjamin, “God be gracious to you, my son” and proceeds to pile five times as much as any of the other brothers’ onto Benjamin’s plate (Genesis 43:34).

This allows those in high position to serve and be generous to those in low position: all good comes from God’s grace! Egyptians aren’t even supposed to sit at the same table as a Hebrew (Genesis 43:32), but as soon as everyone’s seated, the vizier of Egypt leaves his seat to wait upon the abominable Hebrews. Much like our own Master says that He (!) will do for His servants (!) when He returns (cf. Luke 12:37).

Perhaps it is the humility of the vizier that helps them not to be jealous of Benjamin. Or perhaps they are just glad that they didn’t end up donkey-less slaves like their Jacob-mindedness had led them to dread (Genesis 43:18). But they are actually liberated from jealousy to eat, drink, and be merry with him (end of Genesis 43:34)!

Our covenant God is abundantly generous and good. The right interpretation of every situation for a believer always includes, “God is being good to me.” And His generosity to us ought to liberate us from jealousy so we can enjoy His being good not only to others but also to ourselves. And this is most extremely so in Christ’s own humbling Himself to do us good and even to serve us (!!) in the kingdom!

Of whom are you tempted to be jealous? How does focusing upon God’s goodness to you in Christ help with that? To whom could you be showing great generosity?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH145B “I Will Exalt You, God, My King”

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