Provisions for the Guilty

from Lynda Lindsey

Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” Genesis 42:21-22

And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them. Genesis 42:25

For God so loved the world, the He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

In distress of soul Joseph begged his brothers not to sin against him, but they stopped their ears to Joseph’s cries. Their hatred and jealousy began an ever increasing pattern of lies and deception. Were they superb masters of denial or did they come to believe their own lies? The irony surely wasn’t lost on Joseph as he heard his brothers proclaim that they are honest men. Joseph stipulated exacting terms for their purchase of grain: Simeon would be retained as a pledge, guaranteeing that the brothers, after taking the grain to their home in Canaan, would return with their youngest brother Benjamin. 

The brothers admitted their guilt among themselves, unaware that the Egyptian official is Joseph. How dismayed the brothers must have been when Simeon was tied up and taken back to prison. How would they explain the loss of yet another son to their father? Joseph gave his brothers grain, replaced every man’s money, and gave them provisions for the journey. All this, even though Joseph knew their guilt! This is grace in action! In utter terror, they almost had heart attacks when they discovered all their monies intact! Already facing spy charges, would they now be thought to be thieves? 

A provision is something done in advance to prepare for a future crisis or need. Joseph’s plans for storing grain before the famine saved the hungry and needy from death. As vital as that was, God made the ultimate provision for our salvation. God gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. Jehovah Jireh sees and provides for our need, for all we like sheep have gone astray. We are all guilty, yet Jesus’ sacrifice spares us from certain death. Jesus has made provision for your homecoming. Won’t you accept His gift and give Him cause to rejoice?