God Hath Given (Gen 43:15-34)
Joseph was very conscious of God working in his life. His father and brothers, however, were different. According to the doctrine of the providence of God, there is God’s general providence to all (e.g. God’s laws implanted in nature) as well as His special providence and special grace that He gives to His children. Genesis 43:15-34 shows the difference between Joseph and his brothers with regards to God's providence.
1. The suspicion (Gen 43:15-22)
Joseph’s brothers were worried and suspicious when Joseph’s intention was to dine with them. They were afraid that they would be punished. Is our mind filled with suspicion and worry, and is critical? And, in our lack of faith, we misinterpret other people’s good intentions?
2. The lesson (Gen 43:23-29)
Joseph taught his brothers that God provided for them. God works and intervenes in our lives even in the small details. When God calls a person into the ministry, God works and prepare the lives of that person before the calling takes place. Thus, we must be conscious of how God prepares us even in little details. We must be sensitive to see the hand of God working our lives.
In Genesis 43:29, Joseph also reminded his brothers that God was gracious to them. When we think of the truth that God has given us, we must think of God’s grace. He is the One who can supply all our needs.
3. The test (Gen 43:30-34)
This test that Joseph gave to his brothers was to test their character. When Joseph set the meal for his brothers, he set them according to their birthright. They were amazed at how Joseph knew their birthright. In Genesis 43:34, when Joseph gave five times more to Benjamin, it was a prelude to the test that would be detailed in Genesis 44. Joseph wanted to see how the brothers would react to Benjamin. If they truly knew of God’s providence and graciousness to each of them, they would be guarded against jealousy. Seeing God’s graciousness, we will be contented with what we have and this will guard our hearts from jealousy.
Can you see the providential hand of God working in your life?