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A Look Says it All

A Look Says it All

Genesis 42:1-2

When Jacob learned that there was grain for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another? ... Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.”

On first reading, Jacob seems to be reprimanding his boys for laziness here. It's as if he’s been trying earnestly to find food, waiting by the roadside for news from foreign travelers, but when he finally brings back word that Egypt’s economy is thriving, he finds his sons lazing around like lions in the afternoon sun. For an old-world, working-class guy like Jacob who spent fourteen years laboring for the love of his life, that sort of carelessness won’t do. So he effectively says, “Boys, why are you sitting here looking at each other?—get up and help!” But maybe there’s more to this question than that, friend. Maybe Jacob catches something suspicious in their quiet glances back and forth, something off, but he can’t quite make out what. And maybe, just maybe, they haven’t gone to Egypt yet because they’re afraid of walking past hordes of slaves and coming across…ssshhh— don’t say it out loud!

“Be sure your sin will find you out,” says Numbers 32:23. And it comes out first through our eyes.