“It’s all right,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver.” NIV
Joseph’s brothers had quite a lot to worry about.
First, they had betrayed him, and in their minds, he was gone forever.
Second, there was a famine and they and their families were in danger of starving to death.
Third, they’d lost a second brother, Simeon, on their first trip to Egypt in search of food.
Fourth, they had returned to their homeland and found that, in addition to the grain they picked up on their first trip, they ended up getting it for free … Joseph had ordered that their silver be returned to their sacks without their knowledge prior to their departure. So, of course they are worried that the powerful Egyptian (Joseph) will have discovered the error and will take it out on them.
And, lastly, on this trip to Egypt, they have brought their youngest brother Benjamin — the only surviving son, they thought, of Jacob’s beloved Rachel. Rueben, one of the brothers, has basically pledged the lives of his own kids against returning Benjamin safely to their dad.
So, they’re pretty worried when they are called into the presence of this powerful man who is in charge of dispensing Egypt’s grain.
So often, I find myself tied up in knots like these 10 were. Some of their problems are of their own doing, others aren’t, but, they are all worries, just the same.
As I think about all the things that are worrying them, I can sum it up in one word … uncertainty. Is Joseph dead? Will we be able to get the food we need to stave off starvation until the land returns to fruitfulness? Will the powerful man return Simeon, the brother who was left behind on the last trip, or is he dead, too? Will this guy throw all of us in jail for not paying for the grain that we’ve already eaten? And, can we get Benjamin safely home again?
They don’t have the answers to any of these questions … that’s frustrating. Uncertainty if often the cause of my worries.
But, I love Joseph’s words here, “Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks.”
Joseph is not worried. Joseph is not suffering from uncertainty. He isn’t angry with them for betraying him, no, he sees the role that his betrayal has played in saving his own family. And, he gives credit where credit is due. Only God could have pulled a boy out of a well, and ultimately placed him to save those who had betrayed him. God gave their money back to them … not Joseph.
As I think about my own life, I know that God is the cure for uncertainty … it is not in my power or in His will for me to know my future. Only God knows what’s next on the path; only God knows the reasons for the trials I endure (however big or small they might be); and only God can calm my heart.
Today, I’m bringing my uncertainties to Him with complete certainty that He can handle them and give me the peace I need to walk the path before me today.