Today’s passage: Genesis 42:1-38
- After 20 years, Joseph’s prophetic dream was fulfilled in verse 6. His brothers (unbeknown to them) have bowed down to Joseph.
- Verse 9 ensures we remember that, just as Joseph did at that moment.
- In order to prove just how “honest” they were to this powerful “stranger” from Egypt, the brothers shared far more information than they would have needed to. Joseph uses it to test them.
- The brothers saw the whole ordeal as a judgment from God for their sin against Joseph. In their attempts to show just how honest they were, they were confronted with their sin and lies. Their consciences were troubled.
- Reuben’s attempt to earn his father’s trust probably accomplished the opposite. Reuben had been impetuous and foolish before (Genesis 35:22). His offer to slay his own sons just further proved his carelessness. He could not be trusted.
Questions to consider:
- What is the irony of the brothers’ claim to be honest men? How could their attempt to prove they were honest have been a sign they were still up to their old scheming tricks?
- Why did Joseph weep when he heard his brothers’ assumption concerning the judgment of God? What did he learn when he heard them talking with each other in the prison?
- Is this passage descriptive or prescriptive? Meaning, are there any commands for us in this passage? How do we differentiate the ways we see God providentially moving Israel to Egypt and the kinds of things we should be doing in obedience to him?