Genesis 43* Jacob is persuaded to send Benjamin into Egypt. (1-14)Joseph's reception of his brethren, their fears. (15-25) Josephmakes a feast for his brethren. (26-34)1-14 Jacob urges his sons to go and buy a little food; now, intime of dearth, a little must suffice. Judah urges that Benjaminshould go with them. It is not against the honour and dutychildren owe their parents, humbly to advise them, and whenneedful, to reason with them. Jacob saw the necessity of thecase, and yielded. His prudence and justice appeared in threethings. 1. He sent back the money they had found in the sack.Honesty obliges us to restore not only that which comes to us byour own fault, but that which comes to us by the mistakes ofothers. Though we get it by oversight, if we keep it when theoversight is discovered, it is kept by deceit. 2. He sent asmuch again as they took the time before; the price of corn mightbe risen, or they might have to pay a ransom for Simeon. 3. Hesent a present of such things as the land afforded, and as werescarce in Egypt, balm, and honey, &c. Providence dispenses notits gifts to all alike. But honey and spice will never make upthe want of bread-corn. The famine was sore in Canaan, yet theyhad balm and myrrh, &c. We may live well enough upon plain food,without dainties; but we cannot live upon dainties without plainfood. Let us thank God that what is most needful and useful,generally is most cheap and common. Though men value very highlytheir gold and silver, and the luxuries which are counted thebest fruits of every land, yet in a time of famine theywillingly barter them for bread. And how little will earthlygood things stand us in stead in the day of wrath! How readyshould we be to renounce them all, as loss, for the excellencyof the knowledge of Jesus Christ! Our way to prevail with man isby first prevailing with the Lord in fervent prayer. But, Thywill be done, should close every petition for the mercies ofthis life, or against the afflictions of this life. 15-25 Jacob's sons went down the second time into Egypt to buycorn. If we should ever know what a famine of the word means,let us not think it much to travel as far for spiritual food, asthey did for bodily food. Joseph's steward had orders from hismaster to take them to his house. Even this frightened them.Those that are guilty make the worst of every thing. But thesteward encouraged them. It appears, from what he said, that byhis good master he was brought to the knowledge of the true God,the God of the Hebrews. Religious servants should take all fitoccasions to speak of God and his providence, with reverence andseriousness. 26-34 Observe the great respect Joseph's brethren paid to him.Thus were Joseph's dreams more and more fulfilled. Joseph showedgreat kindness to them. He treated them nobly; but see here theearly distance between Jews and gentiles. In a day of famine, itis enough to be fed; but they were feasted. Their cares andfears were now over, and they ate their bread with joy,reckoning they were upon good terms with the lord of the land.If God accept our works, our present, we have reason to becheerful. Joseph showed special regard for Benjamin, that hemight try whether his brethren would envy him. It must be ourrule, to be content with what we have, and not to grieve at whatothers have. Thus Jesus shows those whom he loves, more and moreof their need. He makes them see that he is their only refugefrom destruction. He overcomes their unwillingness, and bringsthem to himself. Then, as he sees good, he gives them some tasteof his love, and welcomes them to the provisions of his house,as an earnest of what he further intends for them.
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