Scripture Reading: Genesis 42:26-35

“And as one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place, he saw his money in the mouth of his sack. He said to his brothers, ‘My money has been put back; here it is in the mouth of my sack!’ At this their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, ‘What is this that God has done to us?'” (Genesis 42:27,28)

Joseph gave orders to fill his brothers sacks with grain, to replace the money they had paid for the grain, and to give them provisions for their journey (v. 26). The brothers did not know that the money had been returned to them until one of the brothers opened his sack to feed his donkey. He saw the money and was filled with fear. The other brothers trembled as well. They turned to one another and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”

This is the first time in the entire story of the lives of Joseph’s brothers that they mentioned God’s name. Joseph spoke of God often, but not his brothers. Now, however, as God tightened His hand around them, they cried out in anguish — “What is this that God has done to us?”

For the first time the brothers were acknowledging that God is controlling a specific circumstance of their lives. I believe they were saying,”God has done this! He does not forget our sin. He saw it and now God is intervening powerfully and directly in our lives.” The brothers were coming to grips with the true God at last. They were encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

This verse in Romans comes to my mind as I consider these things — “Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). All of God’s interventions into the lives of Joseph’s brothers were intended to bring them to repentance. These brothers were totally unworthy, but God chose them to be the foundation blocks of His Church. They would become the twelve tribes of Israel. The promised Messiah would come from the line of one of these brothers, Judah. Through God’s kindness and patience, these men came to grips with the true God and became conscious of their sin and were troubled by it. The kindness of God eventually led to their repentance. The brothers experienced the amazing grace of God at work in their lives.

This is how God works. He pours out His kindness and is patient with us until we come to repentance. Be sensitive to God’s work in your life. He loves you and is kind to you. He wants us to come to repentance.

Lord God, You are a gracious, patient, and kind God. You do not deal with me according to my sins. You have poured out Your grace upon me and shown me Your kindness and love. Thank You for Your work in my life that leads me to repent of my sins and embrace my Savior Jesus.


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