Genesis 43
Sermon Bible
And the famine was sore in the land.

Genesis 43:30-31

The text exhibits the contrast between the secret life and the outward life of each one of us; between the chamber and the banqueting-room; between the man whom God sees and the man whom the world sees, in each one of us. It is to the thought of secret sorrows that the text directs us; sorrows which, however keenly felt in secret, must be disguised and suppressed in the presence of others.

I. The trouble of Joseph, on this occasion, was one of the heart or affections. His pent-up love was overwhelming; it could only be relieved by a burst of tears; he entered into his chamber and wept there. Where is the house in which affection is not the source of some secret trouble? Loneliness of heart, unrequited love, is a calamity; God sees it, God pities it; but be brave in His strength to endure it, and do not put aside, in perverseness or self-will, that offer of Divine love which, in the long run, will be worth all else to you.

II. It is but a step from this to the next example—that of anxiety about the souls of others. What words could more aptly designate such a life of anxious watching than those which speak of a weeping in the chamber and a refraining oneself below—a couch watered with tears, yet a face which must smile by day that it may not tell its tale? Well is it written of such a sufferer, that he went out and refrained himself that he might not reveal, that he might not betray!

III. Think next of those distresses which come to us from the inward strivings of sin; from those restless workings of inward corruption which make the life of so many one long toil and conflict. These, too, above all, are secret things. They are our secrets, but they exist. They make a large part of our existence, and we have to refrain ourselves not to show them. (1) To some I would say, Do not nurse your secret sorrows. Sorrows of affection grow by pondering. They are loud calls to work. (2) To stronger men, who have no experiences of secret sorrow, I would say, Beware of disregarding and despising those who have. Make room for others. Recognise the existence of secret sorrow as an explanation of many phenomena of character.

C. J. Vaughan, Lessons of Life and Godliness, p. 98.

References: Gen 44—F. W. Robertson, Notes on Genesis, p. 161; M. Dods, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, p. 231; W. M. Taylor, Joseph the Prime Minister, p. 122.

And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.
And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:
But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?
And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?
And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones.
I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:
For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.
And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:
And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight:
Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:
And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.
And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.
And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house.
And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.
And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,
And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:
And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.
And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.
And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.
And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.
And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.
And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.
And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?
And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.
And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.
And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.
And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.
And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.
And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.
William Robertson Nicoll's Sermon Bible

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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