Monday, February 14, 2011

Genesis: Chapter 44

The testing of the brothers continued; Joseph was certainly not hasty.  I can not help but wonder what his Egyptian servants must have been thinking.  How many of them may have come to know the God of 'their father' as this entire process unfolded.  The unity of the brother's response to the unfair accusation is striking.  There are no crumbling accusations, simply a united front of innocence.  Again, the clear communication--the reiteration of known facts--strikes me as an important part of conflict resolution.  The accused brothers do not respond with understandable fear, resentment or indignation.  Righteous living has a tremendous reward of a heart at peace.

When the cup is exposed, there are still no accusations; there is grief and concern for the well-being of their father--and because of his affection for Benjamin, the welfare of Benjamin.  Finally Joseph can be assured that jealousy is not a motivating factor for his brothers anymore.  He had heaped blessings upon Benjamin prior to the departure, he learned of their father's dependence on Benjamin and was able to see his brother's willingness to assume responsibility!  This would have been the first time Joseph heard in detail what his father assumed had happened to him all those years ago.  Perhaps it was the first time, too, the brothers had clearly stated the deception that had plagued them all their lives.  You may remember, too, that Judah, who is now rising up to bear Benjamin's burden,  is the one who initiated Joseph's captivity.  All that Joseph had desired to learn has now been unveiled -- and into a beautiful picture. 

As we will explore in tomorrow's chapter, the overwhelming emotions--and no doubt, joy in Joseph's heart is about to boil over!  Might we all be as open and willing to bear a burden as Judah--as the savior who would one day descend from him bears our burdens.

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