Change is inevitable! A Baptist church deacon was asked at his retirement party if he had seen much change in his 40 years as a deacon? “Yes and I resisted everyone of them!”
Change is inevitable v1-10
Jacob has lived his life as an arch-manipulator, but in these last years he is having to realise that the world has changed around him and he is no longer the man he was in strength, authority or wits. It’s now 2 years since the brothers had left Simeon in Egypt and they have run out of food – things are getting worse for them. Judah makes a wise and reasoned suggestion, but Benjamin going is unthinkable to Jacob. Verse 6 indicates he would have rather they lied.
Meanwhile Joseph has responded to the huge changes in his life rather better – as we will see he has adjusted culturally and to having staff.
Change is uncomfortable v11-30
Jacob is no longer in control and it has filled him with despair and dread – v14 fearing bereavement, while desperately trying to trust the Almighty God. The “almighty” Jacob is learning to trust the Almighty God.
For Joseph seeing Benjamin is uncomfortable – causing him to leave the room to weep.
Change should make things better v31-34
This change is giving Jacob a golden opportunity to grow in his character, even late on in life. Like many skilful manipulators will need to do, he is learning to trust not his own guile and wits, but God. Gradually he is changing and becoming more noble.
Some of us see all change as bad, just like the Baptist deacon earlier! Whether you love or hate change, it is inevitable and verse 23 reminds us that in the midst of disruptive change, we have One who never changes – He is our God and the God of our Fathers – the same, yesterday, today and forever Hebrews 13:8.