Bible Readings for February 10th
When the first measure of grain runs out for Jacob and his sons, Jacob instructs his sons to return again to Egypt to buy more grain. Judah not only reminds Jacob that Joseph had told them not to appear before him without Jacob’s youngest son, Benjamin, but Judah also pledges Benjamin’s safety to Jacob. We will look more at Judah’s willingness to sacrifice himself to secure the safety of Benjamin in tomorrow’s meditation.
Although Jacob is not thrilled to send his beloved son Benjamin into jeopardy, he eventually relents, sending his sons with double their money and with gifts to bring to the Egyptian who was selling them the grain. Instead of needing a bribe, however, Joseph treats his brothers to a feast—a gesture of no small value during the middle of a famine.
Consider the magnitude of Joseph’s grace toward his brothers up to this point. Significantly, Joseph had not executed his brothers on the spot when he first met them. Even though Joseph now held all the power in their relationship—a reversal of the time when they stood over him in the pit—Joseph refused to seek direct revenge.
But Joseph also did not even allow himself to take indirect revenge, as would have been his right, by declining to sell grain to his brothers during the intense famine. In fact, Joseph had gone so far as to replace the money that they had paid in their bags before they had left in Genesis 42:25. When they confess that they somehow ended up with the money for the first installment of grain, Joseph dismisses their statement, insisting that he had received the money (Gen. 43:23).
That is when Joseph sets the feast before his brothers. Although Joseph was not able to eat with his brothers because of cultural norms, Joseph fed them (to their astonishment) directly from his own table, giving Benjamin five times the portion of any other brother. And despite the fact that they had no idea why they were being treated so well (and despite their ignorance of what they actually deserved), they feasted with merriness before Joseph.
Do you see in this a glimpse into the magnificent grace that Jesus extends to us? Even though we have sinned against him in such a way that contributed to his brutal execution at the cross, he nevertheless takes it upon himself to supply all of our needs according to his riches in glory, and he provides out of his own treasury to set a table before us, even in the midst of our enemies.
The next time you come to the Lord’s Table to feast with him, remember Joseph and the feast he ate with his brothers. Just like Joseph’s brothers, we are no longer estranged betrayers of our Lord but honored guests whom he invites into his presence.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.