Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Benjamin's Request Denied

By Mary Vee
Genesis 42:38-43:14

Benjamin sighed. His brothers tried to talk their father into taking him to Egypt. It was the only way the governor would release Simeon from jail. I wouldn't mind going to Egypt. I'm not afraid.

His father, Jacob, stood firm. "I'm telling you, Reuben. I won't let Benjamin go. His brother, Joseph, is dead and now he is left alone."

The brothers looked at Benjamin. He wasn't sure what their eyes said, but it didn't seem good. He looked down at the ground and shuffled his feet. If I went, I could get Simeon out of jail. "Father, I want to help."

Jacob shook his head. "You're not going Benjamin. If I lost you...I'd...I'd die. No. I won't change my mind."

Benjamin's brothers turned away in a huff. He heard them muttering. Great, now they'll be mad at me.

Days and weeks passed. No one said a word about Egypt to keep from upsetting Jacob. After a while the grain bin grew empty. One morning, Leah, Jacob's wife became concerned. "I can't make bread. We're out of grain. Benjamin, go tell your father we need more."

Benjamin walked out to the field and found his father with a handful of dry dirt. "The grain is gone. What do you want us to do."

Jacob rolled his thumb in the powdery dirt. "The rain still has not come." He dropped the dirt and brushed his hands on his tunic. "Call your brothers. Tell them to meet me here."

Benjamin found Reuben first. "Father wants to meet with all of you. He's out by the field."

Reuben nodded. "I'll help you get the others."

Benjamin followed his brothers, but made sure he stayed toward the back of the group.

"The grain is gone." Jacob turned toward his sons. "As much as I hate to say this, you need to go to Egypt to buy more."

"Father, the govenor won't sell us any food unless we have Benjamin." Judah rubbed his temple. "He distinctly warned us, saying he would never see us unless our youngest brother came. If we can take Benjamin we'll go, but, if you refuse then we won't bother with the journey."

Jacob huffed. He raised his fist and paced. "Why did you tell him you had another brother in the first place?"

"But he asked about our family." Levi picked at the gate. "If we didn't tell the truth, we'd all be in jail right now. We didn't know he'd say we had to bring Benjamin back."

No one spoke. The brother's looked at each other trying to figure out what to say.

"Send Benjamin with me." Judah pressed his hands together and held them close to his face. "I will watch him. We'll go, buy the grain. If I don't bring him back safely, let me bear the blame forever." He stepped close to his father. "Look, if we hadn't waited we could have gone to Egypt and been back by now with more grain. Our families are hungry."

Jacob walked away from his sons a few steps. He gazed out at the dusty, empty fields. "Take your brother and go back to Egypt. And may God Almighty give you mercy before the governor that he may release Simeon and return Benjamin. Go. Leave at once."

Benjamin ran back to his tent. "I get to go to Egypt!"

Why didn't Jacob want Benjamin to go to Egypt? Sometimes we ask our parents if we can do things or go places and they say no. Why do they do that? What did the brothers do when Jacob said "no"? What does God want us to do when our parents say no?

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