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 44:1-13.
Our Deeper Roots passage in Genesis shows us that each test is an opportunity to demonstrate our maturity. Our scripture selection begins with Joseph instructing his servant to fill his brothers’ sacks with food and return their money. He instructs the servant to place his silver cup inside Benjamin’s sack. The brothers depart unaware that they were carrying their money and Joseph’s silver cup in their bags. Soon after, the servant followed and accused them of stealing the cup. The brothers were confused and agreed to be searched in order to prove their innocence. As Joseph’s servant searched their grain sacks, he found the silver cup right where he placed it, in Benjamin’s bag. The brothers tore their clothes and began the journey back towards Eygpt.
Joseph arranged a final test for his brothers, but these were not the same men who betrayed him decades ago. By instructing his servant to place the silver cup into Benjamin’s bag, Joseph was determining whether or not his brothers would show concern for their youngest brother. Remember, they showed little to no concern for him as he was tossed into a cistern and sold into slavery. Yet, this test would show whether or not they had developed compassion or not. As they faced the accusations and discovery of the silver cup in their grain sacks, they tore their clothes in grief. The very same reaction their father had upon learning of Joseph’s “death.” It is clear that each brother had his own individual journey in coming to terms with the past. They could have let Benjamin return alone, but it says that “every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.” They went back together to face the judgment together, in solidarity. This time around they demonstrated that they had learned from their previous mistakes.
Each time we’re presented with a test is an opportunity. When we walk through tests and stumble, it is our responsibility to learn. God expects us to grow spiritually. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” In order to go from glory to glory, to be transformed into the Lord’s image, we have to mature spiritually. Each test becomes another opportunity to demonstrate how much we’ve advanced. Instead of despising each test, we should look at it as an opportunity to show how much we’ve grown and learned.