By Grace Alone
I am a blessed woman. As a third generation believer, I have reaped blessings from the choices my grandmother and parents made years before I was even born. My mom was a prayer warrior. Many times I came home from school to find her praying for her family. What a powerful effect this had on my young life. My children and their spouses (who also come from generations of believers) also reap what generations before them have sown. We walk in God’s blessings because of what others have done before us. We didn’t do anything to deserve it, but it’s a blessing we don’t take for granted. The Bible declares that God is faithful, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep His commands. I am grateful for the generational blessings of God. We didn’t do anything to earn them. That’s true grace.
Read Genesis 43:24-28
1. What do you notice about the brothers’ treatment when they were brought into Joseph’s house? How do you think this might have made them feel after what they had done?
2. What did Joseph’s brothers do once again when he came home? What does this tell you about Joseph’s dreams?
Read Genesis 43:29-34
3. Note the questions Joseph asks of his brothers. How does he respond when he sees his younger brother?
4. What amazes the brothers when they sit down to eat?
5. How did Joseph honor Benjamin? What did Benjamin do to deserve such preferential treatment?
I’ve read that the number “five” symbolizes grace or unmerited favor. Further study showed that God added the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet to change the names of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, signifying that it was by the grace of God that they were brought into covenant with Him. The height of the door into the tabernacle was five cubits, which meant one had to bow to get through, and is symbolic of entering into the presence of God through grace alone and not by anything anyone could ever do. In today’s study, we read that Joseph gave Benjamin five times as much as he gave the other brothers. It is said that Joseph’s favor on Benjamin represented the priestly blessing of Numbers 6. “May the Lord bless you and keep you; may His face shine on you; may the Lord be gracious to you; May He turn His face toward you; and give you His peace.” Note that this blessing included five parts…all because of God’s grace. Joseph poured out favor on his full brother. What did Benjamin do to deserve it? Not a thing. It was just because of who he was. When we accept Jesus Christ into our lives, we enter into covenant with Him. Just because we are His child, we are blessed with grace and favor. We didn’t do anything to earn it. It is the gift of God. Don’t you love it!