“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: May 26, 2022 – Genesis 044

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Genesis+044

 

Genesis 44 (ESV)

14 When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there. They fell before him to the ground. 15 Joseph said to them, “What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me can indeed practice divination?”16 And Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found.” 17 But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my servant. But as for you, go up in peace to your father.”

18 Then Judah went up to him and said, “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23 Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.’

24 “When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And when our father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food,’ 26 we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 One left me, and I said, “Surely he has been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29 If you take this one also from me, and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.’

30 “Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, 31 as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol.32 For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.”

 

REFLECTION

  • Read the whole chapter if possible.
  • Joseph next tested his brother’s loyalty to Benjamin by framing Benjamin and charging him with stealing Joseph’s cup. These events prompted the brothers to acknowledge that God was punishing them for their treatment of Joseph many years earlier. Judah’s plea for Benjamin revealed the brothers’ loyalty to Benjamin. It contrasts with their former disloyalty to Joseph.
  • As in this broken family, God is present in the hidden contours of human relationships. God’s presence is reflected in Judah’s speech as he confessed his fault and his willingness to sacrifice himself in order to protect his brother.  It is their honest confession and demonstration of love that finally led to reconciliation.
  • With whom do you still hold out hope for reconciliation and restored relationship? What encouragement does this story give?
  • Restoring a relationship fractured by injustice and injury requires repentance, confession and acceptance of responsibility for the consequences. In what way have you, like Joseph’s brothers, been involved in such a process?
  • Talk to God about this. Wait and see how God will work in you as well as in others.

 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, in my life, like Joseph’s brothers, there are all kinds of broken relationships. You have taught me through the story of Joseph and his brothers that repairing a broken relationship requires genuine repentance, thorough confession, and taking responsibility courageously. Please work in my heart and give me the sincerity and courage of Joseph’s brothers to repair my broken relationships. I also ask You to work in the heart of the other person, no matter whether he (or she) is a believer or not, and no matter who made a bigger mistake and damaged the relationship between us, so that he can also take a step forward and accept my apology and confession, and let him see your glory through me, the quality of life of a true Christian, and lead him to You. Heavenly Father, please make my heart more meek and humble so that I can take the responsibilities bravely no matter how difficult it may be. I am so weak, but I firmly believe that as long as I trust in You and am with You, the hardest things can be done. Amen!

 

HYMN

I Want To Be More Like Jesus – youtu.be/j9YCvwthi7o

 

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