Years had lapsed since Joseph’s brothers had treated him unjustly and sold him to the Ishmaelites. They had no way of knowing that he was still alive, and they would certainly not have expected the slave that they had sold to be ruler over Egypt. Reuben, it seems, was still unaware of the truth that Joseph had not been killed by an animal; so he too, would not have expected his brother to be still alive.
There go the ten brothers into Egypt, sent by their father Jacob to buy grain. That there was grain in Egypt, we remember, was God’s plan using Joseph’s dreams. Had Joseph not interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, there would have been no grain in Egypt for Egyptians or strangers.
It was no surprise that Jacob did not allow Benjamin to accompany his brothers. He had already lost Joseph, Rachel’s other son. He could not risk losing his surviving brother. Maybe Jacob had transferred his special affection on to Benjamin whose mother had died during childbirth.
But it’s all part of the plan- God’s plan. Truth doesn’t die. Joseph knew his brothers and pretended not to. He seemed to be harsh with them because his strategy was to have his father and all his brothers come to Egypt. But the guilty ones, knowing the truth about their hatred for Joseph, believed that their sins had come back to haunt them.
They said to one another, “Alas, we are paying the penalty for what we did to our brother; (Genesis 42: 21).
When the truth comes back to haunt us, what do we do? Covering up should not be seen as an option, when God’s Spirit reveals our wrongdoing. We should own up and confess, for that’s the pathway to forgiveness and blessings.
Search me, O God, and know my heart today.
Try me, O Saviour, know my thoughts I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
cleanse me from every sin and set me free.