to buy grain. They bowed before the Egyptian governor—not knowing
he was Joseph!
"We are the twelve sons of Jacob," they said. "But one brother is
dead, and our youngest brother, Benjamin, is at home."
"I think you are spies," said Joseph. "But if what you say is
true, then send for this other brother."
They were frightened. Was God punishing them for selling Joseph as
a slave? Finally, Joseph allowed them to return to their homeland
with food. But he kept one brother, and made them promise to return
When he heard his sons' story, Jacob sadly agreed to let Benjamin
go to Egypt. This time, Joseph invited the brothers into his home,
but Joseph still didn't say who he was. Before they left, he hid a
silver cup in their things. Then he sent his servant after them.
"You've stolen my master's cup!" said the servant. "Now Benjamin
must return to Egypt!"
"Please don't take him!" they cried. "Our father lost his son
Joseph. It would kill him to lose Benjamin too."
At last Joseph cried out. "I am Joseph! God spared me so I could
help you." He sent the brothers back home to get their father. Then
he gave them a fine piece of land.
Bad Things Happen to God's People Too
Jacob and his family were not sheltered from the effects of the famine. Their food supply, like that of all their neighbors, ran dangerously low. We are also subjected to natural disasters and other problems. Just because we believe in God doesn't mean we will never be hurt again.
God rarely removes us from the natural calamities that come to both believers and unbelievers. These times are circumstances to show people that we trust God, even when times are tough.
God used the further famine to cause Jacob's family to move to Egypt. In doing so, he wa getting ready to fulfill another part of the promise he made many years before to Abraham.