March 27 Lent 3
The famine was severe in the land, 2 and when they had eaten all the grain that they brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little food.”
3 Judah said to him, “The man was absolutely serious when he said, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.’ 4 If you agree to send our brother with us, then we will go down and buy you food. 5 But if you don’t agree to send him, then we can’t go down because the man said to us, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.’”
6 Israel said, “Why have you caused me such pain by telling the man you had another brother?”
7 They said, “The man asked us pointedly about our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have a brother?’ So we told him just what we’ve said. How were we to know he’d say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8 Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the young man (Benjamin) with me. Let’s get ready to leave so that we can stay alive and not die—we, you, and our children. 9 I will guarantee his safety; you can hold me responsible. If I don’t bring him back to you and place him here in front of you, it will be my fault forever. 10 If we hadn’t waited so long, we would’ve returned twice by now.”
11 Their father Israel said to them, “If it has to be, then do this. Take in your bags some of the land’s choice produce, and bring it down to the man as a gift: a little medicinal resin, a little honey, gum, resin, pistachios, and almonds. 12 Take twice as much silver with you, and take back the silver returned in the top of your sacks. It might have been a mistake. 13 And take your brother, get ready, and go back to the man. 14 May God Almighty make the man compassionate toward you so that he may send back our other brother and Benjamin with you. But me, if I’m left childless, then I’m left childless.”
Comment: Judah steps up and takes responsibility toward making amends.
24 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, 25 but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” 30 So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Comment: further challenges to tradition, rather tradition that makes God’s grace exclusive like the religious leaders of the day thought. Jesus reaches beyond all sorts of borders, just as Joseph is doing in the Genesis story.
God, listen to my cry;
pay attention to my prayer!
2 When my heart is weak,
I cry out to you from the very ends of the earth.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I am
3 because you have been my refuge,
a tower of strength in the face of the enemy.
4 Please let me live in your tent forever!
Please let me take refuge
in the shelter of your wings! Selah
5 Because you, God, have heard my promises;
you’ve given me the same possession
as those who honor your name.
6 Add days to the king’s life!
Let his years extend for many generations!
7 Let him be enthroned forever before God!
Make it so love and faithfulness watch over him!
8 Then I will sing praises to your name forever,
and I will do what I promised every single day.
Prayer: Lord, listen, pay attention to my prayer, please let me take refuge in you! Amen.