...He commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s [grain] money in the mouth of the sack. Put my [personal] cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his grain money.” And the steward did as Joseph had told him. As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. When they had left the city, and were not yet far away, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil [to us] for good [paid to you]? Is this not my lord’s drinking cup and the one which he uses for divination? You have done [a great and unforgivable] wrong in doing this.’” Genesis 44:1-5 (AMP)
Today’s devotion is about the ultimate love test. Joseph tested his brothers before and it resulted in bringing Benjamin to him and confirming that his father was alive. In the first test Simeon was the hostage, one could argue that the brothers came back for one of their own at the expense of Benjamin. This would neither prove any repentance on their part for what they did to Joseph nor that they changed in their character. However if the ransom was their half brother Benjamin, their actions would prove so much, because their hearts and character would be unveiled.
This is because just like when Joseph was sold into slavery, it was only their father who was affected, the rest of the brothers weren’t bothered despite knowing the truth. Years went by buy none of them had enough love in them in order to compel them to confess their evil deed to their dad of perhaps go to Egypt in search for Joseph. In same way, there was a possibility of the brothers acting in the same was if anything happened to Benjamin. The brothers’ hearts were so stone and cold and the ultimate love test eould determine whether their hearts changed from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh.
This premised on the fact that the ten brothers represent the generation that lived under the old covenant, Leah representing the old covenant. Meanwhile Joseph and his brother Benjamin shared a mother, Rachel who represents the new covenant of grace. Joseph represents Jesus Christ while and Benjamin represents the generation that lives after Christ’s death which ushered in the new covenant of grace.
In order to pass this, test the brothers must prove that the genuinely love each other which includes Benjamin. So, what exactly is love?, From previous devotion, we already covered a characteristic of love which is love gives. But what is love? John, the disciple who Jesus loved answers this elegantly in 1 John 4:10 (AMP)
This is love: He loved us long before we loved him. It was his love, not ours. He proved it by sending his Son to be the pleasing sacrificial offering to take away our sins.
So love involves sacrificial giving, a giving that costs one everything. For example, it cost God His only begotten Son to love us and it cost Jesus Christ His entire life to love us. So, will the brothers prove they have changed genuinely without realising that Joseph, their brother, is the master. For love to be genuine it must have integrity, it this means it should operate whether it is in the presence of people you want to have favor with or before strangers who care nothing about you. Can you exhibit such purity in love???
• 1 John 4:10