“Fear thou not: for I am with thee.”

Genesis 43:1-14

Joseph’s brethren returned to their father with abundant provisions, but these were before long exhausted, and the same distress filled Jacob’s household. Bread that perisheth does not endure like the bread of heaven.

Genesis 43:1-5

Israel had said positively “My son shall not go down,” and yet it was needful that he should do so. We had better not be too positive in our determinations, or we may have to eat our words.

Genesis 43:6

Poor Jacob, out of fear for his darling son, thinks his sons unkind. We should not do injustice to others because of our partiality to one, but we are very apt to do so.

Genesis 43:7-10

Judah in becoming surety for Benjamin is a delightful type of our Lord Jesus, who is the surety of the New Covenant. He will assuredly fulfil his obligations and say at the last, “Of all those whom thou hast given me I have lost none.”

Genesis 43:11

This was prudence. Faith in God is not above using the means. It was well to conciliate those upon whom they were so dependent.

Genesis 43:12

The money had been put into their sacks by Joseph’s order, but they were not aware of that fact; therefore they were to restore it. This was scrupulous honesty, but not too scrupulous. We are not permitted to take advantage of the oversights of others. Every honest man will rectify mistakes by which another is the loser, even though he had no share in the error. Note what a good calculator Jacob was, and how he knew that the corn would rise in price, “Take double money” says he. Men of faith are not simpletons.

Genesis 43:13-14

Jacob’s faith now came to the front. He left the issues of his case with the all-sufficient God, and in holy resignation accepted the trial, if the Lord willed to lay it upon him. When we resign our mercies cheerfully, we are most likely to have them back again. Abraham was allowed to keep Isaac because he was willing to part with him at the divine bidding, and so Israel received Benjamin again because, after some struggling, he at last acquiesced in the Lord’s will. When we are at the end of our selfwill we are not far off the close of our trials.

 

Our times are in thy hand,

Why should we doubt or fear?

A Father’s hand will never cause

His child a needless tear.

 

Our times are in thy hand,

Jesus, the Crucified!

The hand our many sins had pierced

Is now our guard and guide.

 

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