God’s Renewing Word of Mercy and Forgiveness
Genesis 44:18-34: Judah pleads for Benjamin and offers to become Joseph’s slave in place of Benjamin.
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18 Judah went up to Joseph and said, “Please, sir, allow me to speak with you freely. Don’t be angry with me; you are like the king himself. 19 Sir, you asked us, ‘Do you have a father or another brother?’ 20 We answered, ‘We have a father who is old and a younger brother, born to him in his old age. The boy’s brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother’s children still alive; his father loves him very much.’ 21 Sir, you told us to bring him here, so that you could see him, 22 and we answered that the boy could not leave his father; if he did, his father would die. 23 Then you said, ‘You will not be admitted to my presence again unless your youngest brother comes with you.’
24 “When we went back to our father, we told him what you had said. 25 Then he told us to return and buy a little food. 26 We answered, ‘We cannot go; we will not be admitted to the man’s presence unless our youngest brother is with us. We can go only if our youngest brother goes also.’ 27 Our father said to us, ‘You know that my wife Rachel bore me only two sons. 28 One of them has already left me. He must have been torn to pieces by wild animals, because I have not seen him since he left. 29 If you take this one from me now and something happens to him, the sorrow you would cause me would kill me, as old as I am.’
30-31 “And now, sir,” Judah continued, “if I go back to my father without the boy, as soon as he sees that the boy is not with me, he will die. His life is wrapped up with the life of the boy, and he is so old that the sorrow we would cause him would kill him. 32 What is more, I pledged my life to my father for the boy. I told him that if I did not bring the boy back to him, I would bear the blame all my life. 33 And now, sir, I will stay here as your slave in place of the boy; let him go back with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I cannot bear to see this disaster come upon my father.”
Today’s Key Verse: Genesis 44:32
[Judah said:] “I pledged my life to my father for the boy. I told him that if I did not bring the boy back to him, I would bear the blame all my life.”
Judah offers to take Benjamin’s place as a slave in order to fulfill the promise he made to Jacob to bring Benjamin safely back home (43:8, 9). When Judah pleads for Benjamin, what does he say to Joseph?
Loving and merciful God, I come before you this day with a humble heart, trusting in your steadfast love. Knowing that I can turn my worries and cares over to you, I pray in your holy and precious name. Amen.
Genesis 45:1-28: Joseph reveals himself to his brothers.