Deeper Roots – Genesis 44:1-13



October 12, 2022

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.

Then he commanded the steward of his house, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph told him.
As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his steward, “Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good?[a] Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and by this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.’”
When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words. They said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! Behold, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? Whichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be my lord’s servants.” 10 He said, “Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent.” 11 Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12 And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.

Genesis 44:1-13 ESV

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.

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