Honest Men and Repentance

Genesis 42:7 As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked. “From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.”  8 Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.

Yup.  They’re from Canaan.

Genesis 42:9 Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.” 

Continuing with our series “Joseph: A Life With Many Colors,” Joseph remembered the sheaves bowing down to his from his first dream way back in the days of Valley of Hebron (Genesis 37:5-8).  It all came back to him.  The dream of the sun, moon, and stars bowing down to him.  Family that God graciously allowed him to forget came in person, and the memories came flooding back as well.  The brothers who grumbled at the bad report now groveled before him. From grumbling to groveling, just as the dream foretold.

Yes, he remembered his dreams about them and tested them saying, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.” 

Genesis 42:10 “No, my lord,” they answered. “Your servants have come to buy food.   11 We are all the sons of one man. Your servants are honest men, not spies.”

Honest men? 
Do they not remember throwing him in a cistern and selling him to Midianites? 

He pressed them again,

Genesis 42:12 “No!” he said to them. “You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”

13 But they replied, “Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.”

Youngest?  What youngest?  How young??  Twelve brothers but one is no more?  There was a lot to think about for a man who was pretending to be a stranger but knew full well who those brothers were.  And who knew that “no more” hadn’t really been his own fate.

Think about it:

  • Back in the days of the bad report, the brothers viewed Joseph as a spy who was sneaking back to the shade of daddy’s tent with reconnaissance on what the brothers were doing out in the fields.  How did accusing them of being spies probe their hearts?
  • Several times in these few verses the words spies and seeing where the land is unprotected are repeated.  What would it say about the hearts of the brothers if they were looking for the vulnerabilities and to take advantage of the situation of abundant grain?
  • When they sold Joseph into slavery, did they take advantage of his vulnerability for their gain?
  • Their insistence that they are honest men must have been an odd thing to utter (since they’d been keeping that horrible secret from their father all these years) and a hard thing for Joseph to hear.  In what ways would it be hard to hear them proclaim their honesty? 
  • How would this test Joseph’s forgiveness?
  • “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”  2 Corinthians 7:10

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on October 18, 2019

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