Good day, Royal Ones.
I’m working on a series of entries on Judah (man – tribe – nation), and came upon a verse in today’s reading. This is just something to think about, and “prove” the scripture includes some conditions we experience but do not mention because of the ridicule and harsh responses.
Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, since his life is bound up in the lad’s life, it will happen, when he sees the lad is not with us, that he will die.
Genesis 44:30-31a NKJV (Chronological Bible)
This is the story of Joseph, in the phase of life where he’s past pit and prison. He is now the governor of Egypt and overseeing rations during the predicted seven years of famine. His brothers come and bow before him to ask for grain…and the prophetic vision from his teen years is now fulfilled. But they bring Benjamin, the brother by his mother Rachel he did not know existed. And he wants to keep him for the brothers to bring Jacob back.
At this point he has yet to reveal his true identity to his brothers.
Genesis 44:18-34 is where Judah intercedes Benjamin. He tries to persuade this Egyptian authority (really his brother Joseph, but he doesn’t know it yet) to let Benjamin come home with him. His intercession is twofold really — for the youngest brother Benjamin and for their father Jacob.
[Just so you know, Judah’s intercession is successful. Joseph reveals himself, reunites and reconciles with his brothers and sends them all back to return with the entire family — Jacob, the kids, the grandkids, the great grandkids, and all the animals.]
THE POINT OF THIS POST: It is possible to have our lives so tied up in another after tragic loss that the idea of losing this person can bring us back to trauma, this time to the point of death. Jacob thought Joseph was dead all these years. Joseph was his favored son, the only son by the woman he loved — Rachel. And Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin. So all Jacob’s hope and life was tied to Benjamin being alive and well and creating a succession line with children of his own.
Judah asks for Benjamin to return with all the brothers because Jacob’s life is bound up in Benjamin’s life, and if the brothers return without Benjamin Jacob could die of inconsolable grief.
THE HOPE: We have the benefit of the entire story, but if we put ourselves in Judah’s shoes, then we have no way of knowing that Joseph intends to let them all live. We see the real threat of our father dying of a broken heart because of the death of the two sons by the wife he loved and wanted. So we petition the governor for the release of Benjamin to spare the life of Jacob.
In Jacob’s shoes, yes we have all the sons Leah and her maid birthed, but Joseph and Benjamin mean more because we had them with Rachel. And with guilt and grief still lingering years later about Joseph’s death, Jacob places all his hopes for Joseph on Benjamin.
It is possible to be so closely tied to the memory of one person, that we place all our hopes and expectations on the next person. Our lives get bundled up in their lives, and we may die (emotionally or spiritually…and maybe, naturally) if they come to harm or early ruin.
The benefit we have today is the finished work of Christ on our behalf. We are children of the bondwoman, but children of the free woman (see Galatians 4). And we can be un-bundled from the grief, the guilt, and the memories that shackle us to create unhealthy bonds with those who come later.
Please think about it if this applies to you. Pray for this threefold cord to be broken in your soul.
- memories and shattered hopes
Allow Holy Spirit to bring healing and new life, as well as clear vision to look on the Benjamin-people in your life. Let Him bring health to these relationships, so they do not buckle under the weight of expectation you had for Joseph. And, so you can live in the liberty of Christ (see Galatians 5:1) and love Benjamin for who he is and the role he plays in your life now.
SELAH…and love to all.