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Genesis 42

Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt

When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”

Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him. So Israel’s sons were among those who went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaanalso.

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. 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.”

Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”

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.”

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.”

14 Joseph said to them, “It is just as I told you: You are spies! 15 And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17 And he put them all in custody for three days.

18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison,while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households.20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.

21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.

27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. 28 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”

Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”

29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30 “The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32 We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.’

33 “Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade[a] in the land.’”

35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!”

37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back.”

38 But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.”


Genesis 42

There’s a lot going on here and many different lessons. Pastor Harry said that Joseph’s life was broken into three sections.
The Promise.
The Pit.
The Palace.
All of us go through these three stages in life.

The very first verse… Their families are facing a problem and they need an answer. Jacob says stop sitting there looking at each other and get your butts to Egypt! We need food! Little did Jacob know that swirling around in the minds of the brothers their thoughts lead them to the fact that their brother is probably still a slave in Egypt and they really don’t want to run into him. Will their lies catch up to them? Little did they know. 😉

“As for Joseph, he was the land’s governor, and he was the one selling grain to all the land’s people. When Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him, their faces to the ground.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭42:6‬ ‭CEB‬‬

Yeah remember the dream back in chapter 37? Here’s the fulfillment. God‘s promise being fulfilled. The brothers put him in the pit and now he’s in the palace as Gods plans start to unravel. They plotted against him to get rid of him and his dreams and by doing that they actually provided a way for the dreams to be fulfilled. God uses good and evil actions to fulfill his promises. God‘s goodness and wisdom are greater than man’s evil ways but that does not excuse evilness.

Joseph didn’t play games with his brothers and puts them on the hot seat. He recognizes them but they do not recognize him yet. God does not want that to happen just yet. Pastor Harry said this morning “obedience takes us to the palace but just because we get to the palace doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy and beautiful. There will always be tests. “

This was a test for Joseph. God‘s plan of correction and restoration starts to happen. Joseph accused them of being spies, tells them one of you go get your youngest brother and bring him back here to prove to me that you are telling the truth. Well… He ends up throwing them all in jail for three days then says “I am a God-fearing man do this and I will let you live”. IF you’re honest! (honesty Remember this when they get back to dad) One of you guys stay here the rest of you go get the youngest brother and bring him back here to me. If you do this then I know you’re telling the truth and you will not die so the brothers of course agree.

Joseph knows that his brothers were probably dishonest with their father about what happened with him. He wants them to prove their integrity now and be honest. Tests. We talked about tests in the previous weeks sometimes we study the wrong thing right? We feel like we don’t know any of the answers on the test. Life is hard.
Max Lucado said “it isn’t the circumstance that matters; it is God in the circumstance. It isn’t the words; it is God speaking them.

We get ourselves into messes. At the end of the chapter we see the brothers finally tell the truth to Jacob about what happened. They have a lot of explaining to do. Why isn’t Simeon with them; Why do they have grain and the money that they were sent with; and why do they have to go back with Benjamin.

The truth is always easier to remember right? Thankfully these guys tell the truth to Jacob about what just happened in Egypt. It’s about time they were truthful. Joseph instilled fear in them, yet he showed grace when he had their money placed in their bags… something they didn’t deserve. In the same way Jesus gives us unexpected and undeserved blessings. Some are obvious and some are hidden to be discovered later, blessings can be given before reconciliation… like the money to Joseph’s brothers. That gift made them feel uneasy because they did not know how it got there they were uneasy thinking that they were being set up to take a fall later on. They were afraid because of their guilty consciences. The
Importance of repentance and saying you’re sorry, forgive me. Until you reconcile a relationship you’re not sure about what to do with the gifts. That’s how it’s like with Jesus.

Pastor Harry asked us this morning, “how’s the test going?”

🙌 🙏🏻 ❤️

The truth about Joseph? That is yet to come for these guys.