15 so the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and benjamin also. they hurried down to egypt and presented themselves to joseph. 16 When joseph saw benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare a meal; they are to eat with me at noon.”
17 the man did as joseph told him and took the men to joseph’s house. 18 now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. they thought, “we were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.”
19 so they went up to joseph’s steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20 “we beg your pardon, our lord,” they said, “we came down here the first time to buy food. 21 but at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and each of us found his silver—the exact weight—in the mouth of his sack. so we have brought it back with us. 22 we have also brought additional silver with us to buy food. we don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.”
23 “it’s all right,” he said. “don’t be afraid. your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver.” then he brought simeon out to them.
24 the steward took the men into joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys. 25 they prepared their gifts for joseph’s arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.
joseph’s brothers really had no idea what was happening to them. Last time they encountered this man (who we know is their brother joseph) their brother was detained and they were accused of being spies and thieves. now, they are told not to be afraid, they are invited to eat with this same leader, and received quick forgiveness when they explained their situation.
the key to all of this is in verse 23 as joseph reassures his brothers, “don’t be afraid”. time and time again, scripture makes the statement to flee from fear, ye how readily we embrace fear, as if there is anything fear could do to change or thwart the plan God has for those he loves. our fear cannot make us stronger or prevent suffering that may or may not come. this circumstance was frightening, to be sure! but God was moving in and around all of it from the start. let us remind ourselves that he is in and around our circumstances as well each day and allow him to replace our fears with faith.
~ jason soroski