Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Thirty Eight

Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis
 
Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster
Day Thirty-Eight – “What is this that God has done to us?” – Joseph’s brothers (Gen. 42: 28)
Yesterday we had Joseph’s brothers accused of being spies, and Reuben was saying, “I told you so,” and they are having a heated discussion in front of Joseph – thinking he can’t understand a word they are saying.  Joseph, of course, understands it all.  And Joseph is overcome with emotions. He has to turn away to weep.  Joseph pulls himself together, turns back to his brothers, and then has Simeon (the second oldest) bound up right there in front of the others. Why did he do that? Well – when he accused them of being “spies,” Joseph said that the only way they could prove their innocence was to go back home and bring their youngest brother to prove they had been telling the truth.  Joseph would keep one of them as a “deposit” until they returned with the youngest brother. 
As I said before, Joseph is messing with his brothers a little bit.  I think he wants them to feel the pain and the full impact of what they have done. He gives orders for the brothers’ bags to be filled with grain (which is why they had come to Egypt in the first place)…but Joseph also has the money they had brought to pay for the grain put back in the smaller sacks that the brothers had brought with provisions for their journey. The big bags were loaded on the donkeys, and off they went.
The brothers stopped for the night to camp.  One of them opened his sack and saw his silver coins were in there.  Can’t you just see the look on his face?! He turned to his brothers and said, “My silver has been returned…Here it is in my sack!” (Gen. 42: 28) Then “their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said,” (our question for today) “What is this that God has done to us?”
Here is what else I imagine is on their minds: (1) This Egyptian governor who has our brother Simeon bound and in prison ALREADY thinks we are spies…now he is going to think we are thieves as well! (2) What is our father going to say to us when we tell him all this?  They finally arrive back home, and they told Jacob everything that had happened – how the Egyptian governor had spoken harshly to them and accused them of being spies…and kept Simeon as hostage until they bring Benjamin back as proof of their story.  Jacob didn’t take it well!  He said, “First Joseph, then Simeon and now Benjamin too? Everything is against me!” (He can be pretty dramatic)
Reflection: What IS God doing to Joseph’s brothers?  Do you think it is “fair?”
Action:  Read Galatians 6: 7. Write in your journal about a time when you reaped what you sowed.

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