September 24, 2014

Confrontation: a Major Setback

Genesis 44:1-13

The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. At this, they tore their clothes … and returned to the city.
—Genesis 44:12-13


Nothing has yet convicted the brothers to confess. Not harshness. Not imprisonment. Not returned silver. Not relentless famine. Not father Jacob’s anxiety. Not even Joseph’s lavish kindnesses.

Worse, as the brothers leave Egypt, with sacks full, spirits light, and Benjamin and Simeon with them, it seems they might get away with their secret after all. But the love of God won’t let them go. Joseph’s steward comes charging after them, raising a cloud of dust.

The steward, scowling, dismounts, strides over, and accuses the brothers of repaying good with evil. After all his master has done for them, how could they run off with the governor’s silver cup?

What a charge! The brothers are accused of treating pure goodness with thievery and deceit. Joseph has framed them again, now putting Benjamin in peril.

What will they do? Will they have to leave Benjamin as a slave in Egypt and make up another lie to their father, just as they did so long ago?

This time their response is different. Have they finally had enough of running from their sin? The brothers tear their clothes and return to the city. Turning back—that’s a move in the right direction!

Eternal God, thank you for the moments in our lives when you finally stop us in our tracks, compel us to turn around, face up to our wrongdoing, and, surprisingly, find amazing grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Kenneth D. Koeman

Rev. Ken Koeman is a pastor at Bellevue, Washington, Christian Reformed Church. He has written Today devotions in past years and has also authored numerous articles for The Banner, the magazine of the Christian Reformed Church. Ken and his wife, Kay, live in Bellevue and have two children and five grandchildren.

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