Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Genesis 43:15-16

So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. (Gen 43:15)

With all that the Bible tells us about God, His people, their history and their future, it is amazing what is NOT included in Scripture. I do love that Beth Moore asks her readers to conjecture about what is NOT described in this section of the story. We have not yet heard a word out of Benjamin! We have no idea what went through his head during this trip. Being Daddy’s favorite and being the baby of the family - even as a man - this was possibly the first time he had gone on a trip with his brothers. Because I am the youngest in my family of four girls, I am anxious to get into Benjamin’s head!

Being the youngest has some definite advantages, from which I truly benefitted. Everyone loved me and doted on me right from the start, which gave me lifelong confidence. I was able to observe my sisters and learn from some of their mistakes (although I made some doozies of my own). By the time my parents got to me, they were worn out and very hands-off! I interpreted this as trust, and honestly thought they gave me full rein because they trusted me. Turns out they just didn’t care what I did and couldn’t be bothered. The good news about that, however, was that I always wanted to live up to their trust (although I didn’t), so it had a positive effect on my behavior most of the time.

The downside of being the baby, is that you never grow up in the eyes of your siblings. At 61, I’m still feeling I’ll never quite be grown up enough for them or be taken seriously as an adult. From the time I was little I was always told to “wait until...” It was “Wait until you are in fifth grade - then the homework really starts!‘ Then “Wait until you are 16 and you can drive . . . wait until you are 21 . . . wait until you are married, then you’ll understand... wait until you have children. . . wait until you, too, go through menopause,” etc. :) The only bright point there? I will always be younger than they are!!! The truth is, I adore my sisters, and I know they love me - but I am never feeling quite adult enough. Can any of you relate to that?

So, it makes me wonder about Benjamin! Surely Benjamin knew about the mysterious “death” of his only full brother, Joseph. Was he fearful about going on this road trip with the guys, or did he see it as a time for potential bonding? Was he worrying about his father being left alone? Or did he see this as a great adventure? We’re not told. Note, though, that Benjamin is listed almost as one of the “goods” being taken down to Egypt: they took “the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also.” I’m wondering if that reflects the attitude of the brothers. If you are an older sibling, you know that sometimes it’s a pain to be in charge of the “babies” of the family! Is this how they felt about Benjamin? Were they resentful of the fact that he was precious cargo? One thing I’m certain of is that the brothers were in a hurry to get this whole thing over with! They expected the worst, but Joseph was about to pour mercy on them:

When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare dinner; they are to eat with me at noon.” (vs. 16)

I don’t think I’ve ever noticed before that they were actually taken to Joseph’s own home. I always have seen this story played out at some official banquet hall. But Joseph takes them to his house. This was very personal and intimate. He orders a banquet for his brothers! Was he going to “forgive and forget?” Oh, there is so much more to these verses! Can’t wait to see the reunion tomorrow!


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