Bible Text: Genesis 42:29-44:34 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: Seal Training
Trust is powerful and fragile. We need to be proactive in maintaining trust
Trust that has been betrayed requires rebuilding. Four key elements for rebuilding:
Complete 100% honesty with lovingkindness
Voluntary engaging the truth
Personal transparency and openness
Genuine repentance and sorrow
Trust that has been injured takes time to rebuild. But if it cannot be rebuilt then we need not make ourselves the victim, rather we move forward in the grace and forgiveness of the Lord as we abide in Him!
Trust is earned! At times it is wise to test a person’s honesty and trust but always for the right reasons with a healthy attitude and for the right motives and methods
One of the HUGE things that we deal with in ministry and life is trust. This is one of the most significant ingredients in all human relationships. Marriages, families, friendships, businesses, churches are blow up when trust has been violated, betrayed and lost.
Joseph’s relationship with his brother is a classic case study of rebuilding trust that has been lost. What we will see is that trust can be rebuilt even when there has been deep painful hurt. Trust is rebuilt even though there has been dishonesty and great deception.
How do we rebuild lost trust? Joseph needed to know and believe two things. Where his brother speaking the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth? Where they genuinely sorry and repentant for what they had done before man and the Lord (both)?
2 Corinthians 7:8-11 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
We can speak the truth but that does not mean our HEARTS are REALLY changed.
BIG QUESTIONS: What is the motivation to speak the truth? Are we simply being manipulative? Are we being impulsive? Are we genuinely sorry and repentant that leads to real change? Is what the brothers are saying do to jealousy? Are they still insensitive? Do they have a conscience or has it been seared? Are there hearts hardened?
The Report: Genesis 42:30-36
Genesis 42:30-32 The man who is governor of the land spoke very harshly to us, they told him. He accused us of being spies scouting the land. But we said, We are honest men, not spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of one father. One brother is no longer with us, and the youngest is at home with our father in the land of Canaan.
Genesis 42:33-35 Then the man who is governor of the land told us, this is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take grain for your starving families and go on home. But you must bring your youngest brother back to me. Then I will know you are honest men and not spies.
Then I will give you back your brother, and you may trade freely in the land. As they emptied out their sacks, there in each man’s sack was the bag of money he had paid for the grain! The brothers and their father were terrified when they saw the bags of money.
Genesis 42:36 Jacob exclaimed, you are robbing me of my children! Joseph is gone! Simeon is gone! And now you want to take Benjamin, too. Everything is going against me!
They were TERRIFIED! The Hebrew word used here is “YARE” that describes intense negative emotion. Fear attached itself to their hearts.
Panic Attack: Genesis 42:37-38 Then Reuben said to his father, you may kill my two sons if I don’t bring Benjamin back to you. I’ll be responsible for him, and I promise to bring him back. But Jacob replied, my son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on your journey, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.
The oldest, first-born son (of Leah) Reuben is having a classic panic attack. How many times had Dad said to Reuben that he would never trust him again with one of his sons?
Remember that Reuben lost the trust of his father even before this event:
Genesis 35:21-22 Then Jacob traveled on and camped beyond Migdal-eder. While he was living there, Reuben had intercourse with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Jacob soon heard about it.
And we know because we have whole story in front of us that Jacob struggled with his son Reuben his whole life:
Genesis 49:3-4 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength, the child of my vigorous youth. You are first in rank and first in power. But you are as unruly as a flood, and you will be first no longer. For you went to bed with my wife; you defiled my marriage couch.
Reuben became the classic victim unable to move on. Genesis 37:21-22 But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. Let’s not kill him, he said. Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him. Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.
Instead Reuben remained silent and now was an accomplice to the horrible act of deception and dishonesty.
The best predictor of future behavior is often past actions!
Crisis brings concession: Genesis 43:1-10
When the grain they had brought from Egypt was almost gone, Jacob said to his sons, Go back and buy us a little more food…(Judah) But if you don’t let Benjamin go, we won’t go either. Remember, the man said, you won’t see my face again unless your brother is with you. Why were you so cruel to me? Jacob moaned. Why did you tell him you had another brother? The man kept asking us questions about our family, they replied. He asked, Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?
So we answered his questions. How could we know he would say, bring your brother down here? Judah said to his father, Send the boy with me, and we will be on our way. Otherwise we will all die of starvation—and not only we, but you and our little ones. I personally guarantee his safety. You may hold me responsible if I don’t bring him back to you. Then let me bear the blame forever. If we hadn’t wasted all this time, we could have gone and returned twice by now.
Genesis 43:23 Relax! Don’t be afraid, the household manager told them. Your God, the God of your father, must have put this treasure into your sacks. I know I received your payment. Then he released Simeon and brought him out to them.
Family: Genesis 43:26 When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought him, then bowed low to the ground before him.
Dad: Genesis 43:27-28 after greeting them, he asked, How is your father, the old man you spoke about? Is he still alive? Yes, they replied. Our father, your servant, is alive and well. And they bowed low again.
Brother: Genesis 43:29-30 Then Joseph looked at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about? Joseph asked. May God be gracious to you, my son. Then Joseph hurried from the room because he was overcome with emotion for his brother. He went into his private room, where he broke down and wept.
Jealousy? Genesis 43:33-34 Joseph told each of his brothers where to sit, and to their amazement, he seated them according to age, from oldest to youngest. And Joseph filled their plates with food from his own table, giving Benjamin five times as much as he gave the others. So they feasted and drank freely with him.
The Final Test: Genesis 44:1-14
Genesis 44:9 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.
They opened their sacks to prove their innocence but there was Joseph’s silver cup in Benjamin’s sack.
Genesis 44:10 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.
Genesis 44:13 When the brothers saw this, they tore their clothing in despair. Then they loaded their donkeys again and returned to the city.
They all came back together to face the consequences unlike the last time 20 years ago when they had hidden the truth. They we changed!
Guilt uncovered: Genesis 44:16 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.
Judah is a different man! Genesis 44:17 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.
People change! Genesis 44:30-31 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.
People really do change! Genesis 44:34 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!
Revelation: Genesis 45:1-3 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. 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.
What happened that day in that room is in itself an amazing story to be continued next week!