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Their father Jacob said to them, “You’ve taken my children from me. Joseph’s gone. Simeon’s gone. And you are taking Benjamin. All this can’t really be happening to me!” (Genesis 42:36 CEB)

I’ve just finished reading Susan Howatch’s Ultimate Prizes about a young archdeacon who, while confronting many of his demons, has to deal with his relationship with an uncle who taught him that success was more important than love. As I read more about Uncle Willoughby, I thought more about Jacob. I can not diminish the grief and fear this father must be feeling at the thought of losing yet another son, right on the heels of losing his second. But with conniving Uncle Willoughby in the back of my mind, I started to wonder about Jacob.

Jacob was a bit of a rogue. Notice how he picked favourites among his sons? First it was Joseph. Then it was Benjamin. Why Benjamin? Well, he held him back. I wonder if Benjamin became the favourite. I wonder if he encouraged this sibling rivalry, in hopes that the best son would step forward, that none would feel entitled.

Whatever Jacob’s motives, yet again God has taken the mess of a family that we often create for ourselves and has moved our salvation forward, now through Joseph.

Day 13: Genesis 42

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