Israel, Joseph, and the brothers continue their difficult story. Of course the food and supplies from the first trip to Egypt did not last and it was time to make a second trip to Egypt or perish. Israel directs his sons to return to Egypt for more supplies, but Judah reminds him that they cannot return unless they have the youngest son Benjamin with them. Joseph finally relents and with the promise to return Benjamin safely, the brothers set off for Egypt a second time. On their return to Egypt, Joseph still does not fill them in that he is the brother they sold into slavery. He invites them for a meal, gives them supplies while returning the silver they brought for payment, and they begin their trip home. But, unbeknown to the brothers, Joseph has a silver cup placed in Benjamin’s sack. The missing cup is discovered and now the brothers must bargain to save Benjamin from slavery and Israel from a broken heart due to the expected loss of his favored son, Benjamin.
Since I happened to have read ahead, I know there is a beautiful ending to this story. But Israel, Joseph, and all the brothers did not know this at the time – or did they? Just imagine the physical and mental hardships that these men endured throughout the years, from losing children, being a slave, famine, treacherous travel, to imagined and real deceit. Things happen. Things happen for a reason. We will find out in the next chapter as Joseph explains it all. In the meantime, through all of our struggles, we believe in the Lord and our purpose here on earth.
To everything – turn, turn, turn,
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven (Turn! Turn! Turn!)
Dear Lord, help us to remember each day as we live our busy lives, that we have a purpose here on earth. Help us to live each day fully and understand that we are not alone. Remind us that we not only have You for our guide, but our brothers and sisters in Christ to help us stay the course. Amen.