Genesis 42:29
When they reached their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they described to him all that had happened to them:
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 42:29-35
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 42:29-35
Money Causing FearG. Lawson, D. D.Genesis 42:29-35
God's Trials of His PeopleR.A. Redford Genesis 42
The famine was part of God's plan to carry out his promise to Abraham (Genesis 15:13, 14). But it is not merely a fact in the historical preparation for what he was bringing to pass; a link in the chain of events leading on to Christ. We must look upon it as part of a series of types foreshadowing gospel truths. The famine was a step towards the promised possession, and has its counterpart in the work of the Holy Spirit. It represents the spiritual want of man; conviction of sin (John 16:8; cf. Romans 7:9), leading to know the power of Christ's work (Matthew 18:11).

I. The first step is CONSCIOUSNESS OF FAMINE; that a man's life is more than meat; more than a supply of bodily wants. It is realizing that he has wants beyond the present life; that in living for time he has been following a shadow. This knowledge is not natural to us. Bodily hunger soon makes itself felt, but the soul's need does not; and until it is known, the man may be "poor and blind and naked," and yet suppose that he is "rich and increased with goods."

II. WE CANNOT OF OURSELVES SUPPLY THAT WANT. Gradually we learn how great it is. We want to still the accusing voice of conscience; to find a plea that shall avail in judgment; to see clearly the way of life that we may not err therein. In vain we look one on another, seeking comfort in the good opinion of men, in their testimony to our upright life. In vain we try to satisfy ourselves, by promises to do better, or by offerings of our substance or of our work. In vain is it to seek rest in unbelief, or in the persuasion that in some way all will be right. The soul cannot thus find peace. There is a voice which at times will make itself heard - "all have sinned" - thou hast sinned.

III. GOD HAS PROVIDED BREAD. "I have heard that there is corn in Egypt" (cf. Romans 10:18), answers to the gospel telling of the bread of life. As to this we mark -

1. It was provided before the want arose (1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8). The gospel tells us of what has already been done, not of a gift to come into existence on certain conditions. The ransom of our souls has been paid. We have to believe and take (Revelation 22:17).

2. How faith works. They must go for that food which was ready for them. To take the bread of life must be a real earnest act, not a listless assent. The manna which was to be gathered, the brazen serpent to which the sick were to look, the command to the impotent "Rise, take up thy bed and walk," all show that it is not enough merely to wish, there must be the effort of faith (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:3). This is a law of the spiritual kingdom. As natural laws regulate results within their, domain, so spiritual results must be sought in accordance with spiritual laws.

3. It is our Brother who has made provision for us. This is our confidence. He waits to reveal himself when in humility and emptiness we come to him, and to give us plenty (1 Corinthians 3:21, 22). - M.

They came unto Jacob.
1. Providence carrieth guilty souls in, through, and out of temporal dangers at His will.

2. Gracious fathers are gratified sometimes from God by safe return of sinful children.

3. Reason will instruct men to declare all events of Providence furthering, or hindering in the way (ver. 29).

4. In relation of providential events truth must be declared; yet no need of telling all.

5. In relating providences, evil men are willing to hide sins which caused them.

6. It concerns suspected, and accused persons to declare what is required for their purgation. Upon this these sons of Jacob make this narration of themselves and others (vers. 30-34).

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

1. Providence ordereth to creatures strange things at home, as well as abroad.

2. God ordereth good in events to men, which they are apt to think bad.

3. Mistakes of Providence may make men fear where no cause is (ver. 35).

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

Gold and silver are bright metals. They dazzle the eye of the greater part of mankind. Achan saw a gold wedge, and, in defiance of an awful curse, took it to his tent. Yet when Jacob and his sons saw heaps of money in the mouths of their sacks, they were terrified as if they had seen a serpent. For what reason were they afraid at a sight so generally desired? They thought that this money was a snare laid for their lives. And have not many rich men still greater reason to tremble when they look at their gold and silver? All money unjustly got, or unrighteously or unmercifully kept, is a snare to the possessor, and will rise up to witness against him in the day of accounts. Such riches are corrupted and cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against the owners, and eat their flesh as it were fire. But Jacob and his sons had no good reason to be afraid when they saw the money. It came not from an artful knave, but from a kind son and brother, who was tenderly solicitous about his father and brethren, that they should not come to poverty. Our fears often proceed from our ignorance and mistake. We are afraid of those evils that will never come, and stand in no fear of those that will come. Happy are they who can commit all their affairs to Him who knows everything that shall befall us. Jacob's sons were afraid at the inn, when they were told of money in one of their sacks. But the fears which they had endeavoured to forget were awakened anew at the opening of all their sacks. Every little circumstance heightens the distress of minds already dejected; and therefore, in dangerous circumstances, it is necessary to our peace and happiness to have our minds fortified with the consolations of God. "The wicked fleeth when no man pursueth, but the righteous is bold as a lion."

(G. Lawson, D. D.)

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