“43 Now the famine was still severe in the land. 2 So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”
3 But Judah said to him, “The man warned us solemnly, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5 But if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”6 Israel asked, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?”7 They replied, “The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. ‘Is your father still living?’ he asked us. ‘Do you have another brother?’ We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?” NIV
“Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?” (6).
So Jacob continued in his ‘me-oriented’ frame of mind. He didn’t show any compassion for his sons’ ordeal in Egypt, or much concern for what they would possibly have to face again.
I am struck by the thought how readily we point the finger at others. It’s so much easier to play the blame game than to look honestly in the mirror. True enough, his sons were not innocent. But neither was he. What about his many sins and flaws; his own contribution to raising this dysfunctional family? I would venture to suggest that, in his parenting, Jacob had sown some of the bad seeds which were now producing a bitter harvest.
May God give us the grace to first deal with the ‘planks’ in our own eyes…(see Matthew 7:1-5)
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