There are times
when I write these poems,
that I absolutely can not change
any of the words.
That is often why these poems
are often so long.
God’s Word is just -
Oh So Good!
“When Jacob saw
that there was grain in Egypt,
Jacob said to his sons,
“Why do you look at one another?”
Did they remember
they had sold their brother
to slave traders going to Egypt?
Did they all experience guilt?
Jacob said, “Indeed I have heard
that there is grain in Egypt;
go down to that place
and buy for us there,
that we may live and not die.”
Throughout scripture Egypt is the place
where the Israelites experienced
both refuge and bondage.
“So Joseph’s ten brothers
went down to buy grain in Egypt.
But Jacob did not send
Joseph’s brother Benjamin
with his brothers, for he said,
“Lest some calamity befall him.”
Jacob had already lost his favorite son.
He was not about to risk losing Benjamin.
They were the only two sons born to Rachel,
Jacob's true love,
the first was Joseph, and the second, Benjamin.
“Now Joseph was governor over the land;
and it was he who sold
to all the people of the land.”
Isn’t it funny (no - not really)
that Joseph was purchased by Egypt
only to sell grain to Canaan?
Joseph’s life was sacrificed
for the benefit of Israel,
God’s chosen love.
came and bowed down before him
with their faces to the ground.”
I wonder if Joseph remembered
the dream God gave him,
as recorded in Genesis 37?
"There we were, binding sheaves in the field.
Then behold, my sheaf arose
and also stood upright;
and indeed your sheaves stood all around
and bowed down to my sheaf.”
And his brothers said to him,
“Shall you indeed reign over us?
Or shall you indeed
have dominion over us?”
So they hated him even more
for his dreams and for his words.”
“Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them,
but he acted as a stranger to them
and spoke roughly to them.
Then he said,
“Where do you come from?”
And they said,
“From the land of Canaan.”
"So Joseph recognized his brothers,
but they did not recognize him.
Then Joseph remembered
the dreams which he had
dreamed about them,
and said to them, “You are spies!
You have come to see
the nakedness of the land!”
Where do you think
his response came from?
Was he intentionally trying
to falsely accuse them?
Was he seeking revenge?
And they said to him,
“No, my Lord, but your servants
have come to buy food.
We are all one man’s sons;
we are honest men;
your servants are not spies.”
But he said to them,
“No, but you have come to see
the nakedness of the land.”
Why do you think
Joseph did not believe them?
Do you think Joseph might have had
some issues with trust?
And they said,
“Your servants are twelve brothers,
the sons of one man
in the land of Canaan;
and in fact, the youngest is
with our father today,
and one is no more.”
must have pissed Joseph off!
How dare they say -
he exists no more!
They are the ones
who plotted against him.
They are the ones who were envious.
But Joseph said to them,
“It is as I spoke to you, saying,
“You are spies!’
In this manner you shall be tested:
By the life of Pharaoh,
you shall not leave this place
unless your youngest brother
comes here. Send one of you,
and let him bring your brother;
and you shall be kept in prison,
that your words may be tested
to see whether there is any truth in you;
or else, by the life of Pharaoh,
surely you are spies!”
Did you hear that?
Joseph, a vessel of God, said,
“by the life of Pharaoh”
to indicate that he spoke the truth.
I wonder what God
thought about that?
I wonder if God will forgive Joseph
for being so blasphemous?
By the way,
this is a rhetorical question -
a tongue and cheek response.
It is filled with sarcasm
for those reading this
who are made to think
like the Pharisees.
So Joseph put them all together
in the prison for three days.
Then Joseph said to them
on the third day,
“Do this and live, for I fear God:
If you are honest men,
let one of your brothers
be confined to your prison house;
but you, go and carry grain
for the famine of your houses.
And bring your youngest brother
to me; so your words will be verified,
and you shall not die.”
And so they did.
I just love the “three days”
that God uses to accomplish His purpose.
Then they said to one another,
“We are truly guilty concerning our brother,
for we saw the anguish of his soul
when he pleaded with us,
and we would not hear;
therefore this distress has come upon us.”
It appears three days represents
a time of repentance.
And Reuben answered them,
saying, “Did I not speak to you,
saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’;
and you would not listen?
his blood is now required of us.”
You see, it was Reuben’s idea
to cast Joseph into the cistern,
but he did it so that
his brothers would not kill him.
But then Reuben left,
and when he returned to the pit,
and saw that Joseph was not in the pit;
he tore his clothes.
He returned to his brothers and said,
“The lad is no more; and I, where shall I go?”
All these years,
Reuben must have been
filled with great remorse,
and now he had a chance to seek repentance.
“But they did not know
that Joseph understood them,
for he spoke to them
through an interpreter.
And he turned himself away
from them and wept.
Then he returned to them again,
and talked with them.
And he took Simeon from them
and bound him before their eyes.”
Here are several things
I learned from this last verse.
First, Joseph had learned to speak Egyptian.
He was completely acculturated.
He did not look like a Canaan,
and he did not look like the son of Jacob.
Joseph bowed down to Pharaoh
and was married to the daughter
of the priest of On -
who worshipped a different god.
Joseph casted his word on
the life of Pharaoh - and yet,
Joseph is considered a man of God!
The second thing I learned
is that deep down inside of him -
Joseph was touched and he had a heart for God.
When he heard Reuben speak,
he was overcome with grief and he wept.
The last thing I learned
is that Joseph bound Simeon, not Reuben.
Reuben was the first son of Jacob,
and Simeon was the second.
Surprisingly, Joseph did not bind Judah,
the one who said to his brothers,
“What profit is there if we kill our brother
and conceal his blood?
Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites,
and let not our hand be upon him,
for he is our brother and our flesh.”
And his brothers listened.”