And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father.
I don’t think Reuben really thought through this plan all that well. What happens if this rouse is successful? How will the brothers react when they come home and find out that they’ve been duped? These aren’t the sort of boys you want to make fools of (remember what Simeon and Levi did to an entire city of grown men?). So I wonder why Ruben doesn’t just put it all on the line right now. Why doesn’t he look his brothers in the eyes, stiffen his neck, and say with a stern voice, “If you want Joseph, you’ll have to go through me!?” We’d be reading a much different story if he had. Still, I can’t demean Reuben’s bravery here, friend. Foolhardy as his plan is, it’s still a righteous one. And, beyond that, it’s never easy to face our peers. It’s never easy to be outnumbered against opposition. It’s never easy to stand up for the downtrodden against a hell-bent crowd.
Which is why we need to look to Jesus!