Day 89 March 30 Lent 4
Genesis 44:1-17 – Joseph’s final test
Joseph gave commands to his household manager: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they’ll hold, and put each man’s silver at the top of his sack. 2 Put my cup, the silver cup, on top of the youngest brother’s sack, together with the silver for his grain.” So he did just as Joseph told him to do.
3 At dawn, the men and their donkeys were sent off. 4 They had left the city but hadn’t gone far when Joseph said to his household manager, “Get ready, go after the men and catch up with them! Ask them, ‘Why have you repaid hospitality with ingratitude? 5 Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and uses to discover God’s plans? What you’ve done is despicable.’”
6 When he caught up to them, he repeated these words. 7 They replied, “Why does my master talk to us like this? Your servants would never do such a thing. 8 The silver that we found at the top of our sacks, we’ve just brought back to you from the land of Canaan. We didn’t steal silver or gold from your master’s house. 9 Whoever of your servants is found with it will be put to death, and we’ll be my master’s slaves.”
10 He said, “Fine. We’ll do just as you’ve said. Whoever is found with it will be my slave, and the rest of you will go free.” 11 Everyone quickly lowered their sacks down to the ground and each opened his sack. 12 He searched the oldest first and the youngest last, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 At this, they tore their clothing. Then everyone loaded their donkeys, and they returned to the city.
14 When Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph’s house, he was still there, and they fell to the ground in front of him. 15 Joseph said to them, “What’s this you’ve done? Didn’t you know someone like me can discover God’s plans?”
16 Judah replied, “What can we say to my master? What words can we use? How can we prove we are innocent? God has found your servants guilty. We are now your slaves, all of us, including the one found with the cup.”
17 Joseph said, “I’d never do such a thing. Only the man found with the cup will be my slave. As for the rest of you, you are free to go back to your father.”
10 Immediately after this he got into a boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
11 When the local Jewish leaders learned of his arrival, they came to argue with him. “Do a miracle for us,” they said. “Make something happen in the sky. Then we will believe in you.”
12 He sighed deeply when he heard this and he said, “Certainly not. How many more miracles do you people need?”
13 So he got back into the boat and left them, and crossed to the other side of the lake. 14 But the disciples had forgotten to stock up on food before they left and had only one loaf of bread in the boat.
15 As they were crossing, Jesus said to them very solemnly, “Beware of the yeast of King Herod and of the Pharisees.” 16 “What does he mean?” the disciples asked each other. They finally decided that he must be talking about their forgetting to bring bread.
17 Jesus realized what they were discussing and said, “No, that isn’t it at all! Can’t you understand? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? 18 ‘Your eyes are to see with—why don’t you look? Why don’t you open your ears and listen?’ Don’t you remember anything at all?
19 “What about the 5,000 men I fed with five loaves of bread? How many basketfuls of scraps did you pick up afterwards?” “Twelve,” they said. 20 “And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how much was left?” “Seven basketfuls,” they said.
21 “And yet you think I’m worried that we have no bread?”
Comment: compare our worries to Jesus’. Compare Joseph’s brother’s worries to Joseph’s. “And you’re worried that we have no bread?” A wonderful reminder in the midst of Lent. God is good.
1 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.
3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
they shoot suddenly, without fear.
5 They encourage each other in evil plans,
they talk about hiding their snares;
they say, “Who will see it?”
6 They plot injustice and say,
“We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.
7 But God will shoot them with his arrows;
they will suddenly be struck down.
8 He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
9 All people will fear (be in awe of God);
they will proclaim the works of God
and ponder what he has done.
10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him;
all the upright in heart will glory in him!
Prayer: make us bold to share your life, and show your love rather than our worries about bread and plans. Amen.