Monday, January 25, 2021

2021.01.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 44

Read Genesis 44 

Questions from the Scripture text: What did Joseph tell the steward to do in Genesis 44:1–2? Where, specifically, does he say to place the cup and each man’s money? When do the men leave, with what (Genesis 44:3)? What does Joseph tell the steward to do/say in Genesis 44:4-5? How do the brothers respond and with what logic (Genesis 44:6-8)? What two-pronged solution do they propose (Genesis 44:9)? How does the steward modify the proposal in Genesis 44:10? How does the search go, and with what result (Genesis 44:11-12)? How do the men respond, and how many go back, and with what (Genesis 44:13)? How are the men described in Genesis 44:14? What do they do? What does Joseph say to them (Genesis 44:15)? Who answers (Genesis 44:16)? What is his explanation for what has happened? How is his proposal different from Genesis 44:10? But upon what does Joseph insist (Genesis 44:17)? Where does Judah go in Genesis 44:18? For what does he ask? Of what does he remind Joseph in Genesis 44:19-23? What details does he fill in for Joseph in Genesis 44:24-29? What does he say will happen if Benjamin does not return (Genesis 44:30-31)? How does Judah support His request for substitution in Genesis 44:32? What substitution does he request (Genesis 44:33)? For whose sake (Genesis 44:34)? 

In this chapter, Judah’s character and leadership seem to blossom. Joseph puts them through the ultimate test to see if they will turn on Benjamin, but Judah comes out self-sacrificing and courageous. He even understands God’s sovereign providence and admits their guiltiness (Genesis 44:16). This really brings to the forefront two questions.

The first is: how? How did Judah get to be like this. So far, what we have primarily seen from him is that he thought it would be a good idea if they turned a profit off of Joseph’s demise and didn’t have to get their own hands dirty (Genesis 37:25–28), and that he was a covenant-people-abandoning, daughter-in-law abandoning philanderer (cf. chapter 38).  So how does that man from chapters 37–38 become this man of chapters 43–44, especially as we see him in this chapter?

Grace. Grace actually transforms people from the heart.

And that brings us to the second question: why? We know that this can only happen by God’s changing Judah. But Judah doesn’t deserve to be changed. Now, that’s an important point for us, dear reader, because neither do we deserve to be changed—even though that’s the only hope we have. 

God has forgiven Judah. For the sake of his coming descendant, our Lord Jesus Christ Who will receive as Judah deserves, Judah can receive what Christ deserves for him—that he would be transformed. 

For us whom He transforms, there’s another layer to this why. There’s the why of what caused it: God’s free forgiveness in Jesus Christ. And there’s the why of for what purpose we are forgiven: to bring glory to Jesus Christ, to the praise of God’s glorious grace.

In this chapter, Judah is being used to advance the deliverance of the family from famine. But he is being used to do something much bigger than that: to bring glory to Jesus Christ as the One Who wins not bare forgiveness, but also transformation in which we are renewed in our hearts and actions unto the praise of His grace!

What opportunities do you have to show Christ’s grace in/toward you? How can you be enabled to take them?

Suggested songs: ARP51B “From My Sins, O Hide Your Face” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

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