Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Silver in the Sacks

This relates to the story of Joseph and his brothers, narrated in Genesis. In chapter 42.25 Why did Joseph give orders to 'put each man's silver back in his sack'? God doesn't write anything unnecessarily in the Bible. Everything has significance.

I wonder how much money they paid for their grain. At the encampment one of the brothers opens his sack and discovers the silver. It is written that their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, 'What is this that God has done to us?'

Why bring God into the picture? Their hearts smote them. Take a look at 42.21 where they said to one another, 'Surely we are being punished because of our brother.' 'We are truly guilty,' as another version says. And then Reuben says, 'We must give an accounting for his blood.'

Yes, we have to give an account to God for all the sins we have committed and which are unconfessed. We have to give an account to God for all the wrongs that have not been set right, through restoration and restitution. 'Lord, cleanse me and wash me in the blood of Jesus! Lord, forgive me all my sins. Lord, help me set right all my relationships with my fellow-believers. Lord, let no debt remain, either to you or to my brother!' That should be our cry!

We turn to 42.35. 'As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man's sack was his pouch of silver!' And they were frightened.

The third time we find the word 'afraid' is in chapter 43.17. The men were afraid when they were taken to Joseph's house.

I wonder how much each brother paid for his sack of grain? Was it 20 pieces of silver? That was the price they obtained from the Ishmaelites when they sold Joseph in Gen 37.28. Those pieces of silver! Oh, the weight of sin! God knows exactly how to deal with us to bring us to the point of repentance. He knows exactly how to smite our conscience and bring us to confession. Yes, we have to give an account to God. So why not settle all our accounts here on earth before we stand at the judgment seat of Christ? 

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