+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Opening – (Northumbria Community)
One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.
Reading: Genesis 44-47 (NLT)
Joseph’s Silver Cup
Genesis 44 (NLT)
+ Entrapment – When his brothers were ready to leave, Joseph gave these instructions to his palace manager: “Fill each of their sacks with as much grain as they can carry, and put each man’s money back into his sack. Then put my personal silver cup at the top of the youngest brother’s sack, along with the money for his grain.” So the manager did as Joseph instructed him.
The brothers were up at dawn and were sent on their journey with their loaded donkeys. But when they had gone only a short distance and were barely out of the city, Joseph said to his palace manager, “Chase after them and stop them. When you catch up with them, ask them, ‘Why have you repaid my kindness with such evil? Why have you stolen my master’s silver cup, which he uses to predict the future? What a wicked thing you have done!’”
+ Search – When the palace manager caught up with the men, he spoke to them as he had been instructed.
“What are you talking about?” the brothers responded. “We are your servants and would never do such a thing! Didn’t we return the money we found in our sacks? We brought it back all the way from the land of Canaan. Why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? If you find his cup with any one of us, let that man die. And all the rest of us, my lord, will be your slaves.”
“That’s fair,” the man replied. “But only the one who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go free.”
+ Arrest – They all quickly took their sacks from the backs of their donkeys and opened them. The palace manager searched the brothers’ sacks, from the oldest to the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack! When the brothers saw this, they tore their clothing in despair. Then they loaded their donkeys again and returned to the city.
+ Arraignment – Joseph was still in his palace when Judah and his brothers arrived, and they fell to the ground before him. “What have you done?” Joseph demanded. “Don’t you know that a man like me can predict the future?”
Judah answered, “Oh, my lord, what can we say to you? How can we explain this? How can we prove our innocence? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slaves—all of us, not just our brother who had your cup in his sack.”
+ Charge – “No,” Joseph said. “I would never do such a thing! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back to your father in peace.”
Judah Speaks for His Brothers
Then Judah stepped forward and said, “Please, my lord, let your servant say just one word to you. Please, do not be angry with me, even though you are as powerful as Pharaoh himself.
+ Inquest – “My lord, previously you asked us, your servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ And we responded, ‘Yes, my lord, we have a father who is an old man, and his youngest son is a child of his old age. His full brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him very much.’
“And you said to us, ‘Bring him here so I can see him with my own eyes.’ But we said to you, ‘My lord, the boy cannot leave his father, for his father would die.’ But you told us, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you will never see my face again.’
+ Return – “So we returned to your servant, our father, and told him what you had said. Later, when he said, ‘Go back again and buy us more food,’ we replied, ‘We can’t go unless you let our youngest brother go with us. We’ll never get to see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
+ Grief – “Then my father said to us, ‘As you know, my wife had two sons, and one of them went away and never returned. Doubtless he was torn to pieces by some wild animal. I have never seen him since. Now if you take his brother away from me, and any harm comes to him, you will send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.’
+ Shock – “And now, my lord, I cannot go back to my father without the boy. Our father’s life is bound up in the boy’s life. If he sees that the boy is not with us, our father will die. We, your servants, will indeed be responsible for sending that grieving, white-haired man to his grave. My lord, I guaranteed to my father that I would take care of the boy. I told him, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, I will bear the blame forever.’
+ Take me – “So please, my lord, let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. For how can I return to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see the anguish this would cause my father!”
Joseph Reveals His Identity
Genesis 45 (NLT)
Joseph could stand it no longer. There were many people in the room, and he said to his attendants, “Out, all of you!” So he was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. Then he broke down and wept. He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh’s palace.
+ Reveal – “I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them. “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.
+ Return – “Now hurry back to my father and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me master over all the land of Egypt. So come down to me immediately! You can live in the region of Goshen, where you can be near me with all your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything you own. I will take care of you there, for there are still five years of famine ahead of us. Otherwise you, your household, and all your animals will starve.’”
+ Rejoice – Then Joseph added, “Look! You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that I really am Joseph! Go tell my father of my honored position here in Egypt. Describe for him everything you have seen, and then bring my father here quickly.” Weeping with joy, he embraced Benjamin, and Benjamin did the same. Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them, and after that they began talking freely with him.
Pharaoh Invites Jacob to Egypt
The news soon reached Pharaoh’s palace: “Joseph’s brothers have arrived!” Pharaoh and his officials were all delighted to hear this.
+ Pharaoh’s land grant – Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘This is what you must do: Load your pack animals, and hurry back to the land of Canaan. Then get your father and all of your families, and return here to me. I will give you the very best land in Egypt, and you will eat from the best that the land produces.’”
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Take wagons from the land of Egypt to carry your little children and your wives, and bring your father here. Don’t worry about your personal belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”
+ Treasure caravan – So the sons of Jacob did as they were told. Joseph provided them with wagons, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he gave them supplies for the journey. And he gave each of them new clothes—but to Benjamin he gave five changes of clothes and 300 pieces of silver. He also sent his father ten male donkeys loaded with the finest products of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other supplies he would need on his journey.
So Joseph sent his brothers off, and as they left, he called after them, “Don’t quarrel about all this along the way!” And they left Egypt and returned to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan.
+ Jacob’s joy – “Joseph is still alive!” they told him. “And he is governor of all the land of Egypt!” Jacob was stunned at the news—he couldn’t believe it. But when they repeated to Jacob everything Joseph had told them, and when he saw the wagons Joseph had sent to carry him, their father’s spirits revived.
Then Jacob exclaimed, “It must be true! My son Joseph is alive! I must go and see him before I die.”
Jacob’s Journey to Egypt
Genesis 46 (NLT)
So Jacob set out for Egypt with all his possessions. And when he came to Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac. During the night God spoke to him in a vision. “Jacob! Jacob!” he called.
“Here I am,” Jacob replied.
+ God’s blessing – “I am God, the God of your father,” the voice said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation. I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.”
So Jacob left Beersheba, and his sons took him to Egypt. They carried him and their little ones and their wives in the wagons Pharaoh had provided for them. They also took all their livestock and all the personal belongings they had acquired in the land of Canaan. Jacob and his entire family went to Egypt — sons and grandsons, daughters and granddaughters — all his descendants.
+ Census – These are the names of the descendants of Israel—the sons of Jacob—who went to Egypt:
- Reuben was Jacob’s oldest son. The sons of Reuben were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
- The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul. (Shaul’s mother was a Canaanite woman.)
- The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
- The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (though Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan).
- The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
- The sons of Issachar were Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron.
- The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
These were the sons of Leah and Jacob who were born in Paddan-aram, in addition to their daughter, Dinah. The number of Jacob’s descendants (male and female) through Leah was thirty-three.
- The sons of Gad were Zephon,[k] Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
- The sons of Asher were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah. Their sister was Serah. Beriah’s sons were Heber and Malkiel.
These were the sons of Zilpah, the servant given to Leah by her father, Laban. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Zilpah was sixteen.
The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
- Joseph’s sons, born in the land of Egypt, were Manasseh and Ephraim. Their mother was Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On.
- Benjamin’s sons were Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.
These were the sons of Rachel and Jacob. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Rachel was fourteen.
- The son of Dan was Hushim.
- The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
These were the sons of Bilhah, the servant given to Rachel by her father, Laban. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Bilhah was seven.
+ Jacob’s seed of seventy – The total number of Jacob’s direct descendants who went with him to Egypt, not counting his sons’ wives, was sixty-six. In addition, Joseph had two sons who were born in Egypt. So altogether, there were seventy members of Jacob’s family in the land of Egypt.
Jacob’s Family Arrives in Goshen
+ Joseph’s greeting – As they neared their destination, Jacob sent Judah ahead to meet Joseph and get directions to the region of Goshen. And when they finally arrived there, Joseph prepared his chariot and traveled to Goshen to meet his father, Jacob. When Joseph arrived, he embraced his father and wept, holding him for a long time. Finally, Jacob said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen your face again and know you are still alive.”
+ Joseph’s counsel – And Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s entire family, “I will go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘My brothers and my father’s entire family have come to me from the land of Canaan. These men are shepherds, and they raise livestock. They have brought with them their flocks and herds and everything they own.’”
+ Joseph’s wisdom – Then he said, “When Pharaoh calls for you and asks you about your occupation, you must tell him, ‘We, your servants, have raised livestock all our lives, as our ancestors have always done.’ When you tell him this, he will let you live here in the region of Goshen, for the Egyptians despise shepherds.”
Jacob Blesses Pharaoh
Genesis 47 (NLT)
Then Joseph went to see Pharaoh and told him, “My father and my brothers have arrived from the land of Canaan. They have come with all their flocks and herds and possessions, and they are now in the region of Goshen.”
Joseph took five of his brothers with him and presented them to Pharaoh. And Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”
+ We are shepherds – They replied, “We, your servants, are shepherds, just like our ancestors. We have come to live here in Egypt for a while, for there is no pasture for our flocks in Canaan. The famine is very severe there. So please, we request permission to live in the region of Goshen.”
+ Pharaoh’s blessing – Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have joined you here, choose any place in the entire land of Egypt for them to live. Give them the best land of Egypt. Let them live in the region of Goshen. And if any of them have special skills, put them in charge of my livestock, too.”
+ Jacob’s blessing – Then Joseph brought in his father, Jacob, and presented him to Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
“How old are you?” Pharaoh asked him.
Jacob replied, “I have traveled this earth for 130 hard years. But my life has been short compared to the lives of my ancestors.” Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again before leaving his court.
+ Jacob resettled – So Joseph assigned the best land of Egypt — the region of Rameses — to his father and his brothers, and he settled them there, just as Pharaoh had commanded. And Joseph provided food for his father and his brothers in amounts appropriate to the number of their dependents, including the smallest children.
Joseph’s Investment Banking
Meanwhile, the famine became so severe that all the food was used up, and people were starving throughout the lands of Egypt and Canaan. By selling grain to the people, Joseph eventually collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan, and he put the money in Pharaoh’s treasury. When the people of Egypt and Canaan ran out of money, all the Egyptians came to Joseph. “Our money is gone!” they cried. “But please give us food, or we will die before your very eyes!”
+ Food for livestock – Joseph replied, “Since your money is gone, bring me your livestock. I will give you food in exchange for your livestock.” So they brought their livestock to Joseph in exchange for food. In exchange for their horses, flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and donkeys, Joseph provided them with food for another year.
But that year ended, and the next year they came again and said, “We cannot hide the truth from you, my lord. Our money is gone, and all our livestock and cattle are yours. We have nothing left to give but our bodies and our land. Why should we die before your very eyes? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we offer our land and ourselves as slaves for Pharaoh. Just give us grain so we may live and not die, and so the land does not become empty and desolate.”
+ Food for land – So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold him their fields because the famine was so severe, and soon all the land belonged to Pharaoh. As for the people, he made them all slaves, from one end of Egypt to the other. The only land he did not buy was the land belonging to the priests. They received an allotment of food directly from Pharaoh, so they didn’t need to sell their land.
+ Seed for food – Then Joseph said to the people, “Look, today I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. I will provide you with seed so you can plant the fields. Then when you harvest it, one-fifth of your crop will belong to Pharaoh. You may keep the remaining four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for you, your households, and your little ones.”
+ Return on investment – “You have saved our lives!” they exclaimed. “May it please you, my lord, to let us be Pharaoh’s servants.” Joseph then issued a decree still in effect in the land of Egypt, that Pharaoh should receive one-fifth of all the crops grown on his land. Only the land belonging to the priests was not given to Pharaoh.
+ Jacob prospers – Meanwhile, the people of Israel settled in the region of Goshen in Egypt. There they acquired property, and they were fruitful, and their population grew rapidly. Jacob lived for seventeen years after his arrival in Egypt, so he lived 147 years in all.
+ Jacob’s last request – As the time of his death drew near, Jacob called for his son Joseph and said to him, “Please do me this favor. Put your hand under my thigh and swear that you will treat me with unfailing love by honoring this last request: Do not bury me in Egypt. When I die, please take my body out of Egypt and bury me with my ancestors.”
So Joseph promised, “I will do as you ask.”
“Swear that you will do it,” Jacob insisted. So Joseph gave his oath, and Jacob bowed humbly at the head of his bed.
“Provider” – Urban Rescue
Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Categories: Life in Christ