With a severe famine in Canaan, Israel told his sons to go back to Egypt and buy food. Only by bringing back his brother, Judah said, would they see the man again. Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man you still had another brother?” Judah assured his father that he would bear full responsibility in bringing back his brother (Gen. 43:1-10). God uses trying circumstances to make offenders' hearts tender and responsive so they reconcile fractured relationships.
Israel said his sons should bring the best products of the land as a present and return twice as much money found in the mouth of the sacks in case it was a mistake. He asked God Almighty to grant them compassion so this man would release Simeon and let Benjamin come back to him. The brothers, including Benjamin, went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph (Gen. 43:11-15). Integrity tests determine if people will choose character and reconciliation over riches and selfishness.
When Joseph saw Benjamin, he asked that an animal be prepared so they could eat lunch together in his house. The brothers were afraid the money returned in their sacks would provide Joseph opportunity to make them slaves. He reassured them, “Be at ease, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Joseph brought Simeon out, gave them water, washed their feet and fed their donkeys. The brothers prepared the present for Joseph since they heard about eating lunch with him (Gen. 43:16-25). The peacemaker who initiates reconciliation must have a compassionate, non-judgmental heart in putting the offending party at ease to improve chances for reconciliation.
After Joseph received the gift, he asked about their welfare and whether their old father was alive. They answered yes and bowed down in homage. When Joseph saw Benjamin, he was deeply stirred and wept. He served them separately since it was loathsome for Egyptians to eat with Hebrews. The brothers were seated according to their birthright and looked at one another in astonishment. Benjamin’s portion was five times more than the others as they feasted and drank freely with Joseph (Gen. 43:26-34). The peacemaker observes appropriate cultural norms while engaging in free and open communication.
This passage illustrates Gal. 6:1-5:
1. If you are involved in a broken relationship, look to yourself first.
2. Be gentle & humble while not thinking too highly of yourself.
3. Bear the other person's burden by initiating the process of reconciliation.
4 Use great sensitivity in communication by asking questions and listening to help the offending party feel more at ease as preparation for reconciliation.