Saturday, May 29, 2010

Can Reuben Save Simeon?

By Mary Vee
Genesis 42:29-37

Reuben and his brothers came to the last hill before their father's home. Asher walked up to the front of the group. The others joined him. "Reuben, you're going to do all the talking, right?"

I wish I didn't have to, but I'm the oldest. Reuben raised a corner of his mouth. "Of course. I don't mind telling father."

Asher slapped his older brother on the back and laughed with relief. "Thanks."

Reuben yanked the rope for his donkey and took the lead down the hill. In the distance he noticed his father standing near a tent. Reuben's pace slowed. He's going to be mad. How do I tell Father that Simeon's in jail? How do I tell him I need to take Benjamin back to rescue Simeon?

As they neared, Jacob walked out to the road. He shaded the sun from his eyes. "My sons, you're home!"

The brothers tied their donkeys to a tree and walked over to their father. Reuben turned to look at each brother. "Remember, I do the talking." They nodded, raised their heads, and smiled.

Jacob opened his arms to give each of his sons a warm welcome. "My sons, I'm so glad you're home. Come, have something to eat and drink. You must tell me about your journey."

Jacob raised his cup to give a toast. "To my sons who brought food for our families." As Reuben and the others raised their cups, Jacob scanned the row of boys. "Do my old eyes deceive me? Didn't I send ten sons to buy food? Why do I see nine?"

He slammed his fist on the table. "Where is Simeon?"

Dan and the other brothers coward back.

Reuben rubbed the back of his neck. "I will tell you about our journey." He took a deep breath. "The man who is lord of the land spoke with harsh words to us. He said we were spies!"

Jacob's eyes flashed wide. "Spies? Why did he say that? What did you do?"

Reuben shoved his hands down on the table. "I told him--" he pointed to his brothers, "--we told him 'We are honest men, not spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One has died, and the youngest is with our father in the land of Canaan."

At that moment, Benjamin closed the gate for the sheep. He rubbed his hands together and sat at the table. "You're back! Great, I could use some help with--hey, where's Simeon?"

The older brothers growled at him. "Quiet, Squirt."

Jacob pressed his hands together and looked back at Reuben. "So, what happened to Simeon?"

'Well, the lord of the country said, 'There is a way you can show your honesty. Leave one of your brothers here with me, take food for your hungry families and leave. When you get home, get your youngest brother and bring him to me. If you do these things, I will know you truly are honest men and will set your brother free and allow you to trade in Egypt."

"And you left Simeon there?"

Reuben stood and took a few steps from the table. "There's more."

Jacob pushed up with his cane and followed Reuben. "More? What could be worse?"

Reuben and the other brothers led Jacob to their grain sacks. Each opened his. Jacob gasped. "Why is there money on top of the grain?"

"We don't know. We did what we were told. It wasn't until we were half way home that the money was discovered."

Jacob pressed his fist on his chest and closed his eyes. "I can't take much more. Joseph is dead, Simeon is gone, and now you want to take Benjamin away? What more could be against me?"

Reuben bowed. "Take my two sons. If I don't bring Benjamin back to you, take my sons. Trust me. I will bring him back to you."

The Bible says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding." Reuben has stopped thinking about himself and started thinking of others. He wanted to rescue Simeon. He wanted to protect Benjamin. He wanted to get food for the families.

Will Jacob let Reuben take Benjamin to rescue Simeon? Reuben realizes that all his troubles came because they sold Joseph into slavery. When everything goes wrong for you, what do you think God wants you to do? Click on the comment button.

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