Abundance and Enough

Finishing out Genesis chapter 43 in our series, Joseph: A Life with Many Colors, Joseph sees his full brother Benjamin for the first time.  Overcome with emotion, Joseph abandons his duties as host and goes to weep in his private room.

Genesis 43:31 After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, “Serve the food.”

What must the steward and servers have thought?  What must his brothers have thought?  Joseph is not just a sensitive guy.  He was well-built and handsome, remember?  He’s not a child anymore, but a grown man with children.  What was it about this particular group of Hebrews that made Joseph want to honor them by inviting them to dine with him? What about them caused such emotion for him?  In the flow of the story, the brothers are left to reconcile this mystery for now.

Genesis 43:32 They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians.  33 The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment. 34 When portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as anyone else’s. So they feasted and drank freely with him.

Think about it:

  • The Egyptians did not eat with either Joseph or his brothers. The brothers were served from Joseph’s table.  How might that raise questions for the brothers or make them see Joseph differently? 
  • The brothers’ astonishment only grew as they were seated in birth order.  How did this draw attention to Benjamin being the youngest?
  • When Benjamin was given 5 times as much as anyone else, how did this amplify the test of whether the brothers were changed men?
  • They all ate and drank freely.  What does this say about the fairness of this test?
  • Read Malachi 3:10  “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”  In what way did the brothers’ bringing Benjamin act in the same way, testing Joseph’s word while he was testing them?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 8, 2019

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