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Genesis 44:3-13 (NIV)
3 As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4 They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 5 Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.’” 6 When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them. 7 But they said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything like that! 8 We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we found inside the mouths of our sacks. So why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9 If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves.” 10 “Very well, then,” he said, “let it be as you say. Whoever is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free from blame.” 11 Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12 Then the steward proceeded to search, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 At this, they tore their clothes. Then they all loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
The sons of Jacob still do not know that the Egyptian ruler they have been dealing with is really their brother, Joseph. Using this to his advantage Joseph plays a nasty trick. While Joseph’s actions are not commendable, this little game shows us how the brothers have had a change of heart. They care about their brother, Benjamin, and how their father will react if he does not return. This is totally different than how they acted toward Joseph all those years ago. Christian discipleship is a long journey. We will not be who we think we should be overnight. God uses the ups and downs of our lives to shape us. What might God be doing in your life? Is God trying to make you more patient or self-controlled? Maybe God is making you humble? Whatever it is, we can trust that God is at work!