What Does God Want? Genesis Chapter 44

What does God wantTo read the last post on Genesis click on Starving But Afraid to Return: Genesis 43.

Read Genesis 44

In our last post we left Joseph’s brothers feasting and drinking freely with Joseph. After the end of chapter 43, one might think the brothers are out of the woods, so to speak. But look what happens next.

Before the brothers leave for home, Joseph gives the steward of his house these instructions: Fill up their sacks with all the food they can carry, and put their silver in their sacks. Also, put my silver cup in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver and grain.

So the steward does as Joseph instructed.

Morning comes and the men are sent on their way. They aren’t very far along on their journey when Joseph says to his steward, Go after them, and when you catch them, say, Why have you repaid good with evil? You have the cup my master drinks from and uses for divination. This is a wicked thing you’ve done.

So when the steward catches up with them he says what he was ordered to say. And they answer, Why are you saying these things? We would never do anything like that! We brought back the silver we had from last time. So why would we steal silver or gold from your master now? Tell you what, if you find the cup on any one of us, that person will die; and the rest of us will become your master’s slaves.

All right then, the steward says, It’ll be how you want it. Whoever has it will become my slave, the rest will be free from blame.

They all toss their sacks to the ground and open them up. Then the steward searches them, beginning with the oldest and working his way to the youngest. And there it is, the cup, in Benjamins sack. Right away they despair and tear their clothes. Then they load up their donkeys and head back to Joseph’s house in the city.

Joseph is still there when Judah and his brothers come in, and they throw themselves to the ground in front of Joseph. Joseph says, What have you done? Don’t you realize a man like me can find out what’s happened by divination?

What can we say? Judah responds. What can we say? What could we do to prove our innocence? God has exposed your servants’ guilt. We’re now your slaves — we ourselves and the one who had the cup.

But Joseph says, Far be it from me to do such a thing! Only the one who had the cup will become my slave. The rest can go back to your father in peace.

Then Judah goes up to him and says, Please excuse your servant, my lord, please allow me to have a word with my lord. Don’t be angry with your servant, even though you’re equal to Pharaoh himself. My lord asked his servants, Do you have a father or a brother? And we told you, We have an elderly father, and there’s a young boy born to him in his old age. His brother’s dead, and he’s the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.

Then you said to us, your servants, Bring him down here to me so I can see him for myself. And we said to my lord, The youngest son can’t leave his father, if he leaves, his father will die. But you told us, your servants, Unless you bring him back, you won’t see me again. When we went back to your servant, my father, we told him everything you said.

Then our father said, Go back to Egypt and buy some more food. But we told him, We can’t go unless our youngest brother goes with us. We can’t see the man’s face unless we bring Benjamin.

Your servant, my father, said, You know my wife had two sons. One of them went away and never came back, I said, He has surely been torn to pieces. And I haven’t seen him since. If you take Benjamin, and harm comes to him, I’ll die from grief.

So at this point, if the youngest isn’t with us when we go back, and my father, whose life is closely bound up with the his, sees he isn’t with us, my father will die. Your servants will bring him down to the grave in grief and sorrow. I myself guaranteed the boy’s safety to my father.

So please, let me remain here as your slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return to his brothers. How can I go back to my father if he’s not with me? No! Don’t let me see the misery that would come upon my father.

What Does He Want?

Imagine with me what Judah and his brother’s must be saying to each other at this point: What, what, what? What does Joseph want? Why is this happening? When will it stop? We gave Joseph our silver to buy food. We left Simeon as a prisoner. We went home, we came back, we brought Benjamin as requested. We brought gifts, almonds, honey, the best the land has to offer. We bowed before Joseph — four times so far! But no, none of that is what Joseph wants. So what then? What? What is it?

What does Joseph want from us?

Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever asked those questions? Maybe like Judah and his brothers, you’re asking yourself those questions now: “Why is this happening to me? When will it stop? What does God want? What does Jesus want from me?”

The answer for Judah and his brothers concerning what Joseph wanted was this: Joseph wanted the brothers themselves. He wanted the brothers to give themselves to him. At the end of our text we see Judah offer himself to Joseph. And we’ll see in chapter 45, it’s not until Judah finally offers himself to Joseph, that Joseph reveals himself to Judah, and the rest of the brothers.

The answer for you is the same. It’s the same with your greater than Joseph, Jesus. He doesn’t crave your money. He doesn’t need your worship. He doesn’t want to imprison anybody. He doesn’t need your gifts. He doesn’t need your sacrifices. What does He want?

He wants you…

…to give yourself…

…to Him.

All of you. Everything. Everything you are.

He wants your life.

The moment you make that commitment, the moment you flip that switch in your head and your heart, to give all of yourself to Him — as Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, Jesus will begin to reveal Himself to you.

So do it! What reason is there not to? You only have blessings awaiting you on the other side of that commitment. So what are you waiting for? Flip that switch. Pray to Him right now. Give yourself, all of yourself, to Him

Do it, and like Judah and his brothers — your life will never be the same.

[Image via Fenway71 – Creative Commons]

References:

Bible Gateway

Blue Letter Bible

Jon Courson

Notes:

Joseph’s brothers bowed down to him, fulfilling Joseph’s prophetic dream, a total of five times:

  1. Genesis 42:6: Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground
  2. Genesis 43:26: When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground.
  3. Genesis 43:28: They replied, “Your servant our father is still alive and well.” And they bowed down, prostrating themselves before him.
  4. Genesis 44:14: Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him.
  5. Genesis 50:18: His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
 

Shocked by God — Seriously!

Photo by sea turtle, creative commons

Hi, I’m on vacation, hiking in the North Cascades National Park with family. So you’ll see a guest post today (with a short comment from me at the bottom) and a few posts with links to people who write better than I do, until Saturday, July 28. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

The following is a guest post by Kassidy Lane. Kassidy is the manager of Oregon Painting and Repair. He is a disciplined follower of the paleo diet and I’m pretty sure his body fat content is less than what you find in a carton of 1% milk. He lives in Springfield, Oregon with his wife, two kids, two dogs, and an undisclosed number of chickens. He is my favorite nephew (in a tie with all my other nephews, but don’t tell him that). Most importantly, he is a lover of Jesus Christ.

So I was in church last Sunday and I’m not proud to say that It was one of those services where I could not wait for it to be over so I could get on with my day. I had a long list of things I planned on doing and felt I did not have enough time for it all.  My pastor said something to the effect of how some people think they don’t need God, how they have it all figured out, and how those people need to be shocked and completely surprised by God to see and feel his awesome power. One thing I know for sure and I’ll never forget, he used the word “shocked” when he shared this with us.

As the service ended I rushed out without talking to anyone so as to have more time to get my many tasks done.

Later that day I was up on a ladder, painting my neighbors house, and was electrocuted by around 220 volts/amps (don’t really know which), when my arm came in contact with a power line. I was lit up for about two seconds, then I fell 12 feet to the ground. It was by far the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. The electricity went in my right wrist and out my left wrist leaving a burn about the size of a quarter. The 220 volts passed directly through my heart and, from what I have read, could have killed me.

I just hugged my family and I cried like I have not cried in years!

God really got my attention and I hope to remember Him and His awesome power and His Grace in my future days!

-Kas

Kas’s story is so timely. As I’m posting this for Kas, I’m trying to find my Kindle. I’ve been trying to find it all day and it’s really bothering me. At the same time the wounding of the 59 and the killing of the 12 by the gunman at Dark Night Rises in Aurora, Colorado is all over the news, which really puts things in perspective. What’s a lost Kindle compared to losing a loved one? I’m betting there were more than a few families and friends of those who suffered, who let the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word — before the shooting. (Matthew 13:22) After the shooting, I’m betting most of these people have turned their hearts toward God. I’m betting the little worries of this life, and the pursuit of wealth don’t seem very important right now.

Turn your heart toward God. Don’t wait for the shock to come, or the tragedy.

You’ll be glad you did.

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

-Jesus Christ, Matthew 13:22-23

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you — 1 Peter 5:6-7

90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper

I’m reading about Don Piper who was crushed in a head on collision with an 18 wheeler, was dead at the accident scene for 90 minutes, and then revived when a pastor, who happened to be passing by, felt lead to pray for him. He gives an amazing account of what those 90 minutes were like. He says he went to heaven. (90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper)

The good and the bad for Don.

Good: He was permitted to experience heaven for 90 minutes.

Bad: He was permitted to experience heaven for 90 minutes.

Now that he’s alive he finds himself physically devastated and in constant excruciating pain. Pain all the morphine in the world won’t touch. Having had a taste of heaven, he longs to go there, and he struggles with the difficulties of remaining in this life on earth.

Then he does something that changes everything. He gives his whole life over to God. And the great thing about giving your whole life over to God is He gets all of it — even the heartbreaks and pain.

The great thing about giving your whole life over to God is He gets all of it — even the heartbreaks and pain.

From that point, his whole life turned around.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

References:

Bible Gateway

90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper