Monday, January 18, 2021

2021.01.18 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 verse 23? Where does he bring them (Genesis 43:24)? 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?

The brothers are pathetic. Starving, needy, desperate. Their “present” (bribe, Genesis 43:15Genesis 43:25Genesis 43:26) is pathetic. All the wealth of the world is flowing into Egypt, and they hope to buy off the vizier with some pistachios and honey. They think that they are worth something as slaves (Genesis 43:18), although in the years of famine slaves are more mouths to feed, and there isn’t enough labor to keep them busy. They think that their donkeys are some kind of prize (verse 18). 

Joseph’s generosity is powerful. How great, by comparison, is the expenditure of the generosity in just a couple words from Joseph, “slaughter a slaughter and make ready, for these men will dine with me” (Genesis 43:16). It’s so great that it doesn’t even occur to the brothers as a possibility (Genesis 43:18), and they hurry to explain themselves (Genesis 43:19-22). But he gives them not only food, but refreshment for themselves and even their pathetic donkeys (Genesis 43:24). He sympathizes with them in kind inquiry about their father (Genesis 43:27-28) and blessing their little brother (Genesis 43:29). And the “bread” of Genesis 43:25Genesis 43:31 turns out to be the feast commanded in Genesis 43:16 and portioned out by Joseph himself (Genesis 43:34), with a quintuple portion for Benjamin!

Because any generosity is really God’s providence. We use the word “providence” to remember that God has all goodness in Himself, and every good thing comes ultimately from Him. This is something that the steward has apparently learned from Joseph (Genesis 43:23). God is acting according to His Person (character), power, and promises. “Your God and the God of your father has given…” (verse 23) finds the source for the money in the same place as Joseph’s stated source for grace (Genesis 43:29). And of course it is God’s grace that could work such love and humility in Joseph unto the family that had previously treated Him so badly (Genesis 43:27-34).

In being part of God’s generosity to his brothers, Joseph becomes a picture of God’s greatest generosity. Except that when Jesus finally brings us joyously to table with Himself (cf. Genesis 43:34), it will be at the cost of His own sacrificing Himself for us sinners!

What has God done for you? What does that mean God is always doing for you?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH341 “Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed”

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