And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for The Journey. This was done for them. Genesis 42:25 RSV
Ten brothers, looking for food in a foreign land. Ten brothers who once hated their fathers favorite son, find him alive, but do not know him. Ten brothers in an Egyptian prison, falsely accused of a crime they once accused their brother Joseph of.
Have you ever wondered if something happening to you is beyond God’s help? Joseph was hated by his brothers. Was that God’s will? He was sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, unjustly taken from slavery in a home to prison, where he was forgotten by someone he encouraged. What had he ever done to deserve all this?
He lived his life on The Way, faithful to God, giving him the glory for every positive event in his life, seeking his face when The Way was too hard. God did not forget his faithful servant. Nor did Joseph’s life come to where his brothers find him by accident. God does have a plan and a purpose for those who love him.
Joseph’s brothers find out that the man in control of their lives fears the very God their father serves. He tells them, “do this and live” But what is “this”?
On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: Genesis 42:18
English translators did not know what to do with the Hebrew word z’ot, they faithfully translate it as “this” even though there are other Hebrew words for “this”. In the book of Revelation, Y’shua introduces himself as the Alpha and Omega, which is Greek for, the Alaph-Tav. Alaph-Tav is found all over the Hebrew scriptures, but that is a study for another day. You have probably also heard that the sword of the spirit is the Word of God (which Paul told us in Ephesians 6:17 we are to “take up”). The Hebrew letter zayin (z in English) pictures a weapon, a sword. When I see the Hebrew word z’ot (this) I know it means the word of God. Joseph challenges his brothers to take up the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and live.
The brothers see the Word of God, even God himself through eyes of guilt for the sin that dogs their lives.
Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he besought us and we would not listen; therefore is this distress come upon us.” Genesis 42:21 RSV
Believing they are worthy of the worst punishment the Word of God has for unrepentant sinners, they are unable to take up the sword of the spirit and live. It is only bitterness for them. Not knowing God from their hearts, only knowing about their father’s relationship with God, they fail to see blessing in the gift they were given for The Way.
…and 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 42:28
We are no different then they. If like Joseph, you trust YHVH on your Journey, The Way, you will see his hand at work in your life. If you do not, you will often be overwhelmed with the guilt for the things you have done and said that honestly deserve punishment. Jesus paid it all, all to him we owe…. and what is that all? It is our lives. Why? Because the joy of living life in his care is powerful. How do you pick up the sword of the Spirit? By coming first to Jesus, thankful in all things and for all things.