Who’s Testing Who?
Then he commanded the steward of his house, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.”
Jacob manipulated Esau out of a birthright, dressed up in Esau’s clothes to steal his blessing, and deceived his own father in the process, so the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it? Joseph’s an exceptional man, but we shouldn’t sanitize his deviousness here under the flimsy ethic of ‘the ends justify the means.’ Never in his wildest dreams could he anticipate that Judah will step forward to offer himself in place of Benjamin after this. That isn’t even option Z on his list of expected outcomes, much less B, C, or D. Rather, I think option A looks like this: “(1.) My brothers fume at Benjamin and hand him over to me. (2.) They leave Egypt never to return again. (3.) I meet them up the road for a big reveal.”
Friend, God’s bringing this family back together—not Joseph. And though the editorial heading in my Bible reads, “Joseph tests his brothers,” it should really read, “God tests Joseph.”