This series takes a creative approach to the Joseph stories. Each day’s reflection imagines what one of the characters might have written in both their diary and their memoirs about the events in that day’s Scripture passage. While this approach sometimes requires us to “fill in the blanks” a bit with regard to what the characters are thinking and feeling, every effort has been made to stay as close to the Bible’s details as possible. The diary/memoir approach underscores how we often perceive—or don’t perceive—God’s hand in our lives.
Read: Genesis 44
Please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord in place of the boy.
(v. 33, NRSV)
If Judah had written in his diary after the events in this passage, what might he have said? DIARY: Just when we thought it was over—it wasn’t. We were on our way home when the steward caught up with us and accused us of theft. To make a long story short, they found the governor’s silver cup in Benjamin’s sack. I begged him to take me as his slave and let Benjamin go home. I told him that our father would never survive Benjamin’s loss. The governor’s face looked so strange when I quoted Dad about Joseph’s being “torn to pieces.” What can I say? We’re not guilty of stealing the cup. But we are guilty of plenty. I can’t help feeling that God is making us pay.
If Judah had written in his memoirs years after this experience, what might he have said? MEMOIR: I did feel responsible. I had offered to stand surety for my brother Benjamin’s safety, after all. But I had also been the one to suggest that we sell Joseph to the slave traders. Was I trying to save his life? Better a slave, after all, than dead in the bottom of a dry pit. I don’t even know anymore. All I know is that I would rather have become a slave myself than see another brother end up as one. I wonder if that’s part of what Joseph was waiting to hear….
Prayer: Forgive those sins we can no longer bear to hide or carry, gracious God.