israel said, “why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?” they replied, “the man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘is your father still alive? do you have another brother?’ what we told him was in answer to these questions. could we in any way know that he would say, ‘bring your brother down’?” and judah said to israel his father, “send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. i will be a pledge of his safety. from my hand you shall require him. if i do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. if we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.” [genesis 43:6-10]


when you are in a predicament, do you sometimes get so caught up in the details of what happened and why it happened that you are hindered from deciding how to move forward?


this seems to be where jacob’s heart and mind are at. placing blame on his sons, he is avoiding the reality of the desperate situation. he has to give over his son into the hands of the Lord. just like his grandfather abraham was given a command to trust the covenant love and promises of God, even to the point of giving up his son, israel is put in the same situation. no other option but to trust and obey.

and though judah comes to his own and his brothers’ defense, he also lays out the plain truth of the situation. if you don’t send benjamin, we will all die.


think about the times when you are in a desperate situation. what is your reaction? blame? demanding explanation? anger toward others? or trust in the covenant love of your Father in heaven?

today, in the presence of your Father who calls you to trust him, confess anything you’re still trying to keep control over. put it into the hands of your capable Father who loves you. you will see his faithfulness. you will know his provision. you will grow in faith. 


trust and obey

for there’s no other way

to be happy in Jesus

but to trust and obey. – john h. sammis


~arwen eastman