Read Genesis 43 – Family reunions are strange. But this one must be the strangest. It is like murder mystery theater as the son’s of Jacob try to figure out what to do.
The food has run out and they must return to Egypt. Jacob is still reluctant to release Benjamin. Simeon is still being held in Egypt. Jacob packed them up with gifts of balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin and more, as well as double the money. He said a short prayer and concluded with, “But if I must lose my children, so be it.” :14, Isn’t that warm and fuzzy? (I’m sorry, sometimes I think sarcasm is my love language.)
When they arrive in front of Joseph, he summons his people to prepare a midday feast. Verse :18 tells us the brothers were terrified. They spoke to the house manager, and explained the mystery of the money. The manager’s response in :23 is just beautiful.
The brothers presented the gifts when Joseph arrived. Joseph examines Benjamin, pronounces a blessing over him, then excuses himself to a private room as he is so overcome by emotion, :30.
The meal is served in a rather strange fashion. Joseph has his own table, the brothers have their own table, and the Egyptians have their own table because they despise Hebrews and will not eat with them.
Joseph arranged the brothers according to their age – which surprised them – and he served Benjamin five times as much. They feasted and drank freely, and that is the cliffhanger our chapter ends on.
Beloved, we are looking behind the scenes at God’s providence. As you go about your day, will you be on the look-out for his providence over your circumstances, and express gratitude at every glimpse?