Genesis 45:21-24: The discerning word.
“21 So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22 To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels[a] of silver and five sets of clothes. 23 And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, ‘Don’t quarrel on the way!’” NIV
Reading about Joseph, my mind turns again to Jesus. John records this about Him in his gospel: ‘’But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man’’ (John 2:24,25).
Joseph knew what was (potentially) still in his brothers, so he said to them, ‘’Don’t quarrel on the way!’’ (24b). It sort of makes me smile in its humanity, and knowingness. He knew them well -knew what they’d been, and what they might still be capable of.
I wonder, was it another test that he gave Benjamin more? (22). Possibly. Or was history repeating itself to some degree? Was this a blind spot for Joseph? Was it a family trait with potentially damaging consequences?
In the light of Joseph’s words in (24b) I’m left thinking it was probably another test. But I’m not sure.
However, here’s the thought that challenges me today: if I see a characteristic in someone that could potentially sabotage them, will I have the courage to call that out? Do I love them enough to endure their anger, or misunderstanding, when I tell them? Such warnings need to be well-timed, and delivered in wise and sensitive ways, but they do need to be delivered.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to be honest when I need to be. May I not let anyone just fall into a pit because I’m too afraid of their anger when I warn them.