Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Final Test

By Mary Vee
Genesis 44:1-13

After the meal with the eleven Hebrew brothers, the governor of Egypt left the hall. He strolled down the quiet corridor leading to his office. I wish I could go home, back to the promised land God gave my family. He looked out the window at the sky. "Don't misunderstand, God. I know you brought me here to save the world from famine. I--I just miss my family and the fun I could have had with them all these years."

He sat at his desk and thought about the work he needed to do. He shoved a stack of papyrus off his desk. "Steward!"

The door opened. "Yes, my Lord."

The governor stepped out to the balcony overlooking the grain storehouses. "Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry. Put each man's money in the mouth of his sack. Also--."

He leaned over the balcony and heard his brothers voices from the window on the lower floor. I can't hear what they're saying. They sound happy--kinda cheerful. How can I be sure they are truly sorry for what they did to me? Hmmmmmmmmm. I know--

The governor turned back to his steward. "Also, put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain money."

The steward tipped his head, shrugged then left.

The governor leaned on the balcony again and watched the people milling about in the court. How much do the older brothers care about the youngest? How will they protect him? Maybe they won't. They didn't take care of me.

He listened for his brother's voices again. In fact, the governor stayed on the balcony the rest of the evening listening to their voices.

The next morning, he called his steward. "Release the eleven Hebrew men. Tell them they may return to their country."

The governor watch them gather their donkeys and walk out the court. A tear dripped down his face as they left. He returned to his desk to do his work.

After the sun moved in the sky a short ways, the governor called his servant. "Go. Find the eleven Hebrew men. When you overtake them, say, 'Why have you repaid evil for good? You have stolen the lord Governor's cup.'"

The steward bowed. "Yes, my lord."

Hours later the steward knocked on the governor's door. "I have done as you said. I overtook the men and spoke as you said. One man said, "Why do you accuse us? We wouldn't do such a thing. We brought back the money found in our sacks the first time to prove our innocence. How could we steal silver or gold from the governor? Go ahead and search. Whoever has his cup, let him die. The rest of us will be slaves.

"I agreed but said,'Whoever has the cup will be the slave, the others may go.' I began with the oldest man's sack. When I opened the youngest man's sack, they gasped when I pulled out your silver cup."

The governor rose from his chair. "Was that their only response?"

"No--they tore their clothes and cried out. The whole group came back with the youngest brother to protect him."

The governor's mouth fell open. "All of them? They all came back with him?"

"Yes, my lord."

Sometimes we feel discouraged when people disappoint us or do mean things. Joseph, who is the governor, discovered that his brothers had changed. What was different about them? How had God worked in their lives?

What did you see for yourself in this event that God included in the Bible?

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