Gen. 42:18-28; 1 Cor. 5:9-6:8; Mark 4:1-20
As I gripped the steering wheel and drove through the fog last night, my cry went up to God: “Could I just please make it home in one piece so I have the opportunity to continue to serve you tomorrow? That would be swell, God.” Last night’s dinner party was wonderful, and it is always good to party with friends, but the dew point made for a foggy, slow drive home. I am thankful just to be writing today’s reflection.
Grace and Travel are the order of the day in Genesis too. And God’s grace begins to spill uninhibitedly through Joseph.
Today he sends his brothers on their way home, in order to retrieve Benjamin. He sends them with grain. And to top it all off, he returns their money too – literally topping the bag off with the bag of money.
The brothers don’t see this as grace yet. They are filled with fear and trembling. “What is this that God has done to us?”
They had decided going back to their land to fetch Benjamin was a penalty for what they had done to Joseph (and they still don’t know the secret of who Joseph is in Egypt). Now the penalty must be more!
What looks like grace to me (a big bag of money out of nowhere!), they take as a compounding penalty. Part of this has to do with the rules of indebtedness during ancient times. These men are trying to get out of this famine alive. All they want is to just make it. Instead now, they are wracking up more debt to the Egyptians. By giving them their money back, the Egyptians now have more to hold over their head, when it comes time to collect the debt. These brothers are putting their very livelihood in jeopardy. They may end up being indentured servants to Joseph and the Egyptian gang.
This is all part of the trajectory of grace which we see throughout this story. Heavens, that we see throughout the Bible! The whole trajectory of grace is upon us today, tracing God’s providential hand, guiding, directing, and caring for us.
Ultimately this will lead to a Savior who guides us out of the fog of this world into the glorious light. The ride isn’t over yet! We have much more grace coming.