Prayer- Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
18-20 On the third day, Joseph spoke to them. "Do this and you'll live. I'm a God-fearing man. If you're as honest as you say you are, one of your brothers will stay here in jail while the rest of you take the food back to your hungry families. But you have to bring your youngest brother back to me, confirming the truth of your speech—and not one of you will die." They agreed.
21 Then they started talking among themselves. "Now we're paying for what we did to our brother—we saw how terrified he was when he was begging us for mercy. We wouldn't listen to him and now we're the ones in trouble."
22 Reuben broke in. "Didn't I tell you, 'Don't hurt the boy'? But no, you wouldn't listen. And now we're paying for his murder."
23-24 Joseph had been using an interpreter, so they didn't know that Joseph was understanding every word. Joseph turned away from them and cried. When he was able to speak again, he took Simeon and had him tied up, making a prisoner of him while they all watched.
25 Then Joseph ordered that their sacks be filled with grain, that their money be put back in each sack, and that they be given rations for the road. That was all done for them.
26 They loaded their food supplies on their donkeys and set off.
27-28 When they stopped for the night, one of them opened his sack to get food for his donkey; there at the mouth of his bag was his money. He called out to his brothers, "My money has been returned; it's right here in my bag!" They were puzzled—and frightened. "What's God doing to us?"
29-32 When they got back to their father Jacob, back in the land of Canaan, they told him everything that had happened, saying, "The man who runs the country spoke to us roughly and accused us of being spies. We told him, 'We are honest men and in no way spies. There were twelve of us brothers, sons of one father; one is gone and the youngest is with our father in Canaan.'
33-34 "But the master of the country said, 'Leave one of your brothers with me, take food for your starving families, and go. Bring your youngest brother back to me, proving that you're honest men and not spies. And then I'll give your brother back to you and you'll be free to come and go in this country.'"
35 As they were emptying their food sacks, each man came on his purse of money. On seeing their money, they and their father were upset.
36 Their father said to them, "You're taking everything I've got! Joseph's gone, Simeon's gone, and now you want to take Benjamin. If you have your way, I'll be left with nothing."
37 Reuben spoke up: "I'll put my two sons in your hands as hostages. If I don't bring Benjamin back, you can kill them. Trust me with Benjamin; I'll bring him back."
38 But Jacob refused. "My son will not go down with you. His brother is dead and he is all I have left. If something bad happens to him on the road, you'll put my gray, sorrowing head in the grave."
Joseph has a little fun with his brothers. He tells them to go home and bring back the other brother. Just to make sure they do as he says, he need to keep one of them, as a symbol of good faith. He has been talking in Egyptian and having an interpreter talk to his brother,(sneaky,) and when the brothers began to complain to each other in hebrew, it drove him to tears.
Simeon stayed in jail, and the rest went back to face their father, Jacob. As they were returning home they noticed that the money they had paid for their grain had been placed in the grain sacks. It looks bad for Simeon. Do the brothers go back to Egypt now? They may be accused of stealing back the payments.
They try to convince Jacob into to allowing them to carry benjamin back to Egypt with them to ransom their left brother, but Jacob is less than enthusiastic. He has lost Joseph, now Simeon, why throw good sons after bad? This would require faith, faith in his son's being able to protect his baby and faith that God will take care of the situation. Jacob was a man of faith, but is this too much? Sometimes we run into similar situations,(only scaled back a bit.) Do we have faith? Do we put our children in God's protection, even though we have already lost some?
Prayer- Lord, Give me the faith to let you be in charge of my life. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.