The Restored Orchard

Deeper Roots – Genesis 43:1-15

two bare trees

A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom to be planted. Deeper Roots is focused on analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Genesis 43:1-15.

Now the famine was severe in the land. And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. But if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’” Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?” They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” And Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. I will be a pledge of his safety. From my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10 If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”
11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12 Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man. 14 May God Almighty[a] grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”
15 So the men took this present, and they took double the money with them, and Benjamin. They arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.

Genesis 43:1-15 ESV

Our Deeper Roots passage in Genesis shows us how God uses tension and time to bring us to a place of surrender. Our scripture selection begins after all of the grain and supplies from Eygpt have run out. Their father, Israel, tells his sons to go and get more food. Judah reminds his father about the request that was made during their first trip. They were supposed to bring their younger brother, Benjamin, with them. Israel was apprehensive because he did not want to lose another son, especially not one of his favorites. So Judah pledges that he will keep Benjamin safe to ensure that they can go get grain for everyone’s survival. With Judah’s assurance of Benjamin’s safety, Israel reluctantly agrees to the plan. He sends them away with money, gifts, and a hesitant blessing for the journey ahead.

Sitting in the tension of their current circumstances had brought them to a place where they had to surrender to God’s will. The famine persisted. As their supplies waned, they risked their entire families’ lives, by not complying with the request of the Egyptian ruler. Choosing between starvation or being men of their word, they choose honesty. They decided to take gifts and double the money as compensation for the first trip’s grain. If not forced against a rock and a hard place, Israel probably would not have let Benjamin far from his sight. Yet, God’s will prevailed and they set off on a second trip to Egypt.

There are seasons when we’re uncomfortable. All we can see are the ways that a situation can go wrong. We hesitate to move because at first glance neither situation looks like a sure thing. We’re torn by feelings of doubt and our faith feels shaky. We know that God is powerful, yet our minds can’t comprehend how the situation will come out for the good. Those are the exact moments to surrender. We have to yield to God’s will. We need to acknowledge that our soul is wavering, but our divided belief does not stop God from being who He is.

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