33 “Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.” Genesis 44:33-34
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. Genesis 44:26-27
You know what I love about the Bible besides the fact that it’s the Word of God and it’s our own guidebook for life? I love the fact that everything is connected. When looking back at Genesis 37, we see that Judah is the one that stepped forward and talked the other brothers into selling Joseph instead of having him killed. Selling the favorite son off wasn’t as bad as killing him, but that doesn’t quite make him “brother of the year.”
But now here we are in Genesis 44 and we see that Judah is the one willing to put himself in the place of Benjamin. Joseph wanted to know if his brothers’ hearts had changed and sure enough Judah stepped forward to take Benjamin’s punishment so that Benjamin could return to their father. Judah made a promise to his father and he wasn’t about to break it. He showed great courage and responsibility by making himself the personal sacrifice. The awesome thing about this part is, Joseph needed to see this. Like most of us, he needed to know that his brothers’ hearts had changed. Even though I’m sure Joseph felt sadness still because of his betrayal, he was offered hope that people can change with God’s help.
Lord we pray that we can be more like Judah. There are days when we do things we know we shouldn’t do. Help us not to be so full of our own pride, ego, and self. Help us to surrender to You, to seek Your forgiveness, and let You cleanse us and make us who You want us to be. Amen.