Chapters Read: Genesis 42:1 – 44:34
“Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; and that’s why this distress has come on us.” – Genesis 42:21
Because of their guilt, Joseph’s brothers considered every misfortune and hardship as punishment for what they’ve done in the past. They thought that they’d be better off without Joseph. That finally, Jacob, their father, would love them and treat them as he treated Joseph. But it didn’t happen. What they did only drove their father further away from them, and their guilt prevented them to live peaceful lives.
But God used Joseph show his brothers that despite what they’ve done, God still wanted to bless them. Through Joseph and his God-given wisdom, their family was able to survive the famine, without paying a single silver (because Joseph returned their payments). I think this is because Joseph’s brothers acknowledged and confessed that they have committed a grave sin against their brother and their father that God allowed them the privilege of receiving forgiveness.
We are not so different from Joseph’s brothers. We are guilty of sinning against our brothers and against God from time to time. But we must never let our guilt consume us and make us turn away from God. It is during these times that we must draw nearer to Him, because He’s the only One who can set us free.