Sometimes we get in a fix that no matter what we decide, none of our choices work for us. Jacob found himself facing that very scenario. We can’t wait until life has dished us out more than we can handle. We have to trust God from the very beginning.
Famine had overtaken the land and Jacob’s family ran out of food for a second time. This meant a trip back to Egypt where they could purchase their needed provisions. On their first trip, Joseph recognized who they were but made himself unknown to them at the time.
Before he would give his brothers another audience, he required their youngest brother to accompany them. Jacob did not like the decision he had to make. The choices were, send Benjamin and risk losing him or the entire family would starve.
Jacob replied, “My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on your journey, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.” Genesis 42:38
Could Jacob Trust God?
Jacob was adamant about his decision at first saying they would not take young Benjamin to Egypt. As far as he knew, he had already lost Joseph. Simeon was held prisoner and may never return. So the last thing he wanted to do was risk losing his youngest son.
Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I don’t bring Benjamin back to you. I’ll be responsible for him, and I promise to bring him back.” Genesis 42:37
That wasn’t good enough though for Jacob. He was unwilling to compromise at all. Benjamin was not going and that was final! But, their circumstances were changing and not for the better.
The famine continued to ravage the land of Canaan. When the grain they had brought from Egypt was almost gone, Jacob said to his sons, “Go back and buy us a little more food.” Genesis 43:1-2
It’s interesting how when a person gets hungry enough, they will do just about anything. Desperation had set in. In their opinion, they could either die of starvation or die at the hands of this Egyptian ruler. They chose the latter.
So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, “If it can’t be avoided, . . . take your brother, and go back to the man. Genesis 43:11,13
Jacob finally decided to trust God, thus willing to make any sacrifice needed. Even if it meant giving up some of his sons. Little did he realize it would take all of his sons to form the 12 tribes of Israel.
May God Almighty give you mercy as you go before the man, so that he will release Simeon and let Benjamin return. But if I must lose my children, so be it.” Genesis 43:14
A Great Spiritual Lesson for Us
God gave us a great spiritual lesson in this story. We too can become famished, that is spiritually famished. When we do, in our desperation we often forget to trust God. We try to fill our hunger with things that we think are good for us but aren’t.
Like Jacob as we trust the Lord, we must be willing to make sacrifices. That might include the willingness to give up some relationships or willing to give up certain pleasures. Are we willing to humbly go to the one who can give us spiritual nourishment?
Any of the decisions we are faced with may not look favorable to us. But understand that God knew what He was doing in Jacob’s family. And He knows what He is doing in your life.
Here is a related post you might enjoy called When You’re Out of Your Comfort Zone, Trust God.
Lord, sometimes we feel we are receiving good spiritual nourishment when we are really just getting junk food.
Help us to trust you God to make decisions that please you. We humbly come to you and put our trust totally in your guidance.
I wrote another post about trust called Can You Trust God In All Your Circumstances?
Read all of this account of Jacob’s decision starting at Genesis 42
Check out these other related posts about Jacob
Another post you will enjoy relating to this same story is called How Easily We Get Stuck In A Detour In Life.
Featured Image Photo by Nico Smit on Unsplash
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