had treated him. Also, God needed to know if
Jacob would be willing to move Benjamin out
of the way from between him and God.
When the sons returned home and explained
to Jacob what the Egyptian ruler, Joseph, had
told them, Jacob reacted like a child. First,
he blamed his sons for the situation when
they were not to blame. Then he claimed life
would no longer be worth living if he had to
give up Benjamin. Jacob was not thinking of
anyone but himself, so God had to hem him
into a corner by allowing him and his family
to run out of food again and face starvation. It
is unfortunate that God has to put some Christians
in extreme circumstances to try to get
them to put Him first.
Finally, Jacob became desperate enough to
allow his sons to take Benjamin with them
to Egypt. During that trip, Joseph finally
revealed himself to them with love and forgiveness.
Then he made it possible for Jacob
and his entire family to live in Egypt and be
sustained until the famine was over.
Do You Have a Benjamin?
Oh, what a great day that must have been
when Jacob was reunited with his son Joseph,
but think about all he would have missed if
he had not finally given up Benjamin. Many
times, suffering helps people put things into
proper perspective. It can cause them to
devalue the Benjamin in their life and put God
first, where He belongs. Benjamin can be anyone
or anything that takes priority over God and
His will. Do you have a Benjamin in your life?
Like Jacob, some people’s Benjamin is
their family or a particular family member.
They treat them better and give them more
time than they do God. Jesus tells us what
He thinks of that mentality. He that loveth
father or mother more than me is not
worthy of me: and he that loveth
son or daughter more than me is
not worthy of me. And he that
taketh not his cross, and followeth
after me is not worthy
of me (Matthew 10:37,38). You
are not worthy of God if you
continue to put your Benjamin
Joseph Gave All
For some Christians, self is not the problem;
“Benjamin” is what keeps them from carrying
their cross and doing the whole will of God.
The book of Genesis explains the concept of
having a Benjamin in your life in chapters 37
Jacob had two wives and many children. He
had been tricked into marrying his first wife,
Leah, when he didn’t really love her; but he
really loved his second wife, Rachel. She bore
him only two children, Joseph and Benjamin;
and Jacob loved them more than all of his
other children. Joseph’s other brothers became
jealous and full of envy, so they devised a plan
to sell him into slavery. Then they deceived
their father and told him that a wild beast had
Joseph ended up a slave in the land of Egypt,
and he suffered much; but God had a plan and
was preparing him to be used in a great way.
Joseph was a type of Jesus in the Old Testament—
he gave all, and he took on Heaven’s
humility. Eventually, God gave Joseph much
favor, and Pharaoh made him second in command
over all the land of Egypt.
Would Jacob Give Up Benjamin?
After Jacob was convinced Joseph was dead,
he held fast to Benjamin, his only other son from
Rachel. His world revolved around Benjamin,
and he loved Benjamin more than anyone,
including God; and he didn’t even realize it.
Years later, a famine covered the known world
of that day for seven years. When Jacob and
his family started running out of food, he sent
10 of his sons to Egypt to buy food; but he kept
Benjamin at home by his side because he did
not want any harm to come to him. The brothers
met Joseph in Egypt; and although he knew
them, they did not recognize him, so the Lord
used Joseph to test the brothers and Jacob.
After purchasing the corn they
needed, Joseph told the brothers they
could not return and buy any more
unless they brought Benjamin with
them. Joseph wanted to know if his
brothers were jealous of Benjamin
and if they treated Benjamin as they