Blessing to Ruined Sinners

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 43:8-248And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. 9I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever: 10For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time. 11And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds: 12And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: 13Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: 14And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved. 15And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 16And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon. 17And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house. 18And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses. 19And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house, 20And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food: 21And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand. 22And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks. 23And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them. 24And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender. (Genesis 43:8‑24)
Judah told his father that he would take the responsibility of bringing Benjamin down to Egypt, and he became surety for him. If anything happened to Benjamin, he said he would bear the blame. Doesn’t this remind us of the Lord Jesus who became the Surety for us? We had a great debt of sins, and the wages of sin is death, so the Lord Jesus paid the great debt with His own precious blood in order to deliver us from the judgment which we deserved. What a wonderful Saviour He is!
Acceptable to God
At last Jacob gave in and agreed that he would send Benjamin. He told his sons to go and bring a present of a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and almonds to the lord of Egypt. This present would, Jacob hoped, make him favorable toward them. What are you bring­ing to God to find favor in His sight? Are you trying a little balm or honey? Are you trying to make a “balm” for your conscience by offering some of your own works to God, or do you think that the “honey” of your kindness to others, and love to your fellow man will turn away His righteous wrath against your sins? There is nothing in your own resources which will make you acceptable to God. Just as Joseph’s brothers were the objects of Joseph’s love, not because of anything they had done, but because of the goodness of his own heart toward them, so we who are saved are the objects of the sover­eign love and grace of God which we never deserved at all. The work of Christ on the cross is the only ground of blessing to ruined sinners.
It is as useless to bring your prayers, churchgoing, penance, and good living to God as it was for these men to bring their offering of balm, honey, spice and nuts. Nor will it do you any good to bring your “double money” to Him, for you cannot buy your way into heav­en. The price has already been paid, neither with silver nor gold, but with the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Awakened Sinners in the Presence of God
In spite of all Jacob’s fears, there was, under it all, a real living faith which God’s eye could see. It is always comforting to know that although we may be mistaken at times as to who is really saved and who is not, yet, “The Lord knoweth them that are His” (2 Timothy 2:19). He never makes any mis­takes.
What a great surprise awaited them when they arrived in Egypt. Joseph commanded his servant to prepare a dinner for them so that they could all eat together with him. This made his brothers afraid. No doubt they felt much like an awakened sinner in the presence of God, who does not know His love toward him. They said that Joseph was seeking an occasion against them and would make them slaves, but they were soon to learn differently. How many people think that God wants to rob them of their liberty, and that if they get saved, they will have to give up everything, and not have any pleas­ure at all in life. This is only Satan’s lie, for while God must make the sinner feel his sins, it is only that he may be set free in Christ.
Joseph’s brothers then offered the money which they had found in their sacks to the steward of the house. It reminds us of those who find out that they have sinned and would like to pay for their sins in some way of their own. There are few who realize that the greatest of all sins is the rejection of Christ, just as Joseph’s brothers’ greatest sin was the selling of Joseph to the Ishmaelites long before.
Further Meditation
1. What did Jacob tell his sons to bring to the lord of Egypt in order for him to be favorable to them?
2. How does the Lord help us to understand that His love for us has nothing to do with our worthiness and everything to do with Himself? What has He done to show you love in spite of what you have done?
3. You might enjoy something of God’s divine love for individuals by reading the pamphlet The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved by H. Smith.