~~~~~Lesson: Genesis, Chapter 43 (part 1)
Jacob (Israel) doesn't agree to them going back until supplies are exhausted (obviously putting them all at risk of starvation, including Benjamin). Again, Israel is reluctant to send his beloved Benjamin into possible harm's way.
Judah takes the role of orchestrating the argument to allow them to go back to Egypt. His passionate words "you can hold it against me forever" are at contrast with his very next sentence which talks about "dilly-dallied."
Israel agrees to let them go, but only after making sure they have sufficient gifts to help assure his beloved son's return. Though he does accept reality and God's will with his final words, "As for me, if I am to suffer bereavement, I shall suffer it."
Often we humans are reluctant to accept the reality of the situations we are in. We try to "fool" ourselves and pretend that we have control of everything, that everything will be all right if we "just do this or just do that". Even the most miserable of souls are reluctant to invite God into their hearts.
Oh, we cling to our independence with every fiber of our being. We forget that it is our independence that hurt us in the first place.
God gave us free will and independence, because a true relationship of love needs independence. If one person is completely subject to another, love cannot exist. But the gift of free will is often a burden to us. We forget in our everyday life to daily ask God to dwell within our hearts and to keep a constant flow of conversation (or meditation) with God.
Israel accepts God's will in his last sentence. A great saint said "I will suffer whatever is pleasing to God." This is the ultimate acceptance of God!! What a blessing it would be if we could all strive to be like this.
Attempting to do "good works" and forcing ourselves to do "what we think God wants" is a foolish waste of time. We must accept God into our hearts with every bit of longing we have...then the good works and the correct behavior will flow out of us through his grace.
Question: When have you denied God presence in your heart? Why did you do so?
Is there a moment in which you were completely open to God’s presence in your heart? What caused it (besides God)?
~Reading: Genesis: Chapter 43, part 1
(1-14) Now the famine in the land grew more sever. So when they had used up all the rations they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, "Go back and procure us a little more food."
But Judah replied: "The man strictly warned us, 'You shall not appear in my presence unless your brother is with you.' If you are willing to let our brother go with us, we will go down to procure food for you. But if you are not willing, we will not go down, because the man told us, 'You shall not appear in my presence unless your brother is with you.'"
Israel demanded, "Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man that you had another brother?"
They answered: "The man kept asking about ourselves and our family: 'Is your father still living? Do you have another brother?' We had to answer his questions. How could we know that he would say, 'Bring your brother down here'?"
Then Judah urged his father Israel: "Let the boy go with me, that we may be off and on our way if you and we and our children are to keep from starving to death. I myself will stand surety for him. You can hold me responsible for him. If I fail to bring him back, to set him in your presence, you an hold it against me forever. Had we not dilly-dallied, we could have been there and back twice by now!"
Their father Israel then told them: "If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the land's best products in your baggage and take them down to the man as gifts: some balm and honey, gum and resin, and pistachios and almonds. Also take extra money along, for you must return the amount that was put back in the mouths of your bags; it may have been a mistake. Take your brother, too, and be off on your way to the man. May God Almighty dispose the man to be merciful toward you, so that he may let your other brother go, as well as Benjamin. As for me, if I am to suffer bereavement, I shall suffer it."
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong