Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jacob Shifts The Blame To His Sons And They Defend Themselves - Genesis 43:6-7

Then Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man whether you still had another brother?” But they said, “The man questioned particularly about us and our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ So we answered his questions.  Could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down?’

Put in a very difficult place by his family’s need for food to survive, and his sons telling him they won’t go to get any because the Egyptian ruler won’t sell them any unless their youngest brother Benjamin is brought to him, Jacob starts to strike out at the various reasons all this is happening to him.  He blames his sons for treating him badly by telling the Egyptian they had a younger brother.  How could they do that?  How could they not?  It was the truth.  But that never stopped them before (remember what they told Jacob about the disappearance of Joseph).  In fact, even now as they spoke to him, they lied.  If we look back at Genesis 42:8-12, Joseph never asked them whether Jacob was still alive or whether they had another brother.  No, they offered that information totally on their own.  Now, since Joseph had recognized them, chances are had they not said anything, he would have inquired of them about his father and younger brother.

The impact of these words in Jacob’s ears and heart just added to the agony that he was experiencing.  Suffice it to say that these two isolated verses from this chapter of Genesis can be used by each of us to ask ourselves this question:  What or who do we blame when things don’t go well for us?  Do we seek to blame others or do we turn to God to rescue us?  I pray we get our strength from the One Who created us for He alone can bring us through any circumstance, no matter what others did or did not do.

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