As I read through the story of Joseph, I reach a part that really stands out to me. Starting in Genesis 42, Joseph tells his brothers, who are unaware of whom he is, that they are spies and puts them in prison for three days. Wow, what a way to start a family reunion. Joseph eventually keeps one brother in prison while the rest are free to return home, but he told them to bring their youngest brother Benjamin back to prove that they are not spies. As the brothers returned home they noticed that all the money they gave to buy food from the ruler of Egypt, Joseph, had all been returned to them and was placed in the grain they were given. This terrified the brothers because Joseph had treated them harshly initially. Now it seemed that they have stolen from him. Can things get any worse? What can they do now? They decide to tell their Father, Jacob. After hearing all that happened, Jacob refused to send Benjamin back with his brothers. To his knowledge he had lost Joseph, he was not about to lose Benjamin also.
The famine was severe and the family really needed food. Jacob sends his sons to get food but Judah warns that they must bring Benjamin. The story goes on and Jacob agrees to send Benjamin. When they finally got back to Joseph, he automatically recognized Benjamin. They spent time with Joseph and he sends them on their way with the grain they have requested, but he also has his silver cup placed into Benjamin’s bag. Joseph sends his servant to stop the brothers and question them about his cup. The servant accuses the brothers of theft, they deny any such act and react too quickly by saying in Genesis 44:9 “with whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.” Whoa, death, come on guys! However, the servant tells them that whoever has the cup will be his slave. So they search the bags and guess what? tThe cup is in Benjamin’s bag, what a surprise!
This is the part of the story that stands out to me. The brothers knew that if Benjamin does not return home to Jacob, their father, Jacob will surely die. They show an act of mourning by ripping their clothes. What will they do now? They have reached a new low. One brother is in prison, another is about to become a slave, and their Father will surely die as a result of it all. Can things get any worse? Have you ever had a time in your life where it feels like all Hell has broken loose and is fighting against you? Ever felt like you wanted to scream from the top of your lungs “GOD WHERE ARE YOU?” Maybe you haven’t, no you wouldn’t scream like that, no not you, but I have; all I can see is the attack that is coming against me but where is God to help me? He said he would never leave me nor forsake me. He said trust in him, but “GOD I AM TRUSTING YOU, I DO BELIEVE IN YOU, AAAAAAAHHHH GOD WHERE ARE YOU, WHEN WILL IT END?” And then it hits me PRAISE.
The only brother that was willing to intercede and stand up for Benjamin was Judah. Judah is a Hebrew name that means Praise. Wow, can you see it now, can you? Let’s look a little closer. Come on, let’s go. Judah means praise the moment in everyone’s life, especially Benjamin where all hope seems lost, Praise (Judah) steps in to stop the attack to protect Benjamin. The story is great to read, I’ll just say this, Judah went face to face with Joseph interceding for Benjamin and in the end God worked it out for everyone’s good.
When you face a season of testing or a trail and all hope seems lost please begin to praise God and watch as He intercedes for you and works it out for your good. Praise is a powerful weapon. Will you wield and unlock its full potential?
Read Genesis 42-44 for background information.