I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again.
Many sports fans enjoy rooting against teams like the New York Yankees, whose power, wealth, and history of success make them a target. We love to see the mighty brought low. Jacob’s story calls forth some of those same emotions. He deceived his way into his position, and we want to see his “comeuppance.” But by chapter 43 many might be thinking, “Enough is enough.” Jacob was no longer suffering “setbacks.” He’s losing everything.
For Jacob to allow Benjamin to go, he needed to let go of his fear (46:2). Joseph’s “death” meant that Benjamin was his last link to his beloved Rachel. Perhaps he worried that the favoritism he had exercised would now come full circle. Sending Benjamin meant risking his greatest love, his greatest possession. Perhaps he also feared God. He had lost so much. He may have wondered if God had just set him up in order to knock him down again.
Jacob had already traveled much in his life, but God asked from him one more journey: a journey of faith that would make his physical journey possible. We know that he later went to Egypt, but first he had to let Benjamin go, trusting God for the safety of his beloved son.
We do not hear God speak in chapter 43, but we do see His presence. Judah has been transformed from the depths of sin and misery (Genesis 37–38) to offering himself for Benjamin (43:9–10). Such a change can only come from God Himself. Judah’s actions foreshadow the sacrifice of his greatest descendant (Matt. 1:3). Through Judah, God tells us that He understands Jacob’s fear of losing a son all too well. Far from setting up Jacob in order to knock him down, God had brought Jacob here so that what he lost, he would find again.
Apply the Word
Like Jacob, our greatest journey may mean trusting that God truly is with us, even in the midst of our own difficult experience. Pray for the faith of Jacob, and pray for God to reassure you of His presence (46:3–4). Thank Him for the way that He is able to lead you in faith to the place where He wants to bestow His blessings in your life.