"We, Too, Have Silver in Our Sacks!"
by Ken Gardner

It occurred to me recently, as I was studying Genesis 42, that you and I are a lot like Joseph's brothers. Joseph wasn't very happy to see his brothers when they first came to Egypt. After all, they were the ones who cruelly sold him into bondage 13 years earlier! He didn't tell them who he was, he just interrogated them, and rather harshly at that, sold them grain, and sent them away. He kept Simeon, hoping to exchange him for the youngest brother Benjamin (who had not betrayed him as had the other ten brothers). Joseph also took the money his brothers had paid him for the grain and hid the money in their grain sacks. Imagine the brothers' surprise when they discovered the money after they got back home to Canaan! "They were afraid"--afraid "the lord of the land" (Joseph) would think they had stolen the money--he had already accused them of being spies!

Why did Joseph give them their money back? Was he just being kind? Was he angry--"I don't want your money!" It's possible Joseph was testing his brothers. Were they the same heartless knaves who sold him into slavery? Had they changed any over the years? Just what kind of men were they now? In other words, what would they do with the money they knew wasn't theirs?

You and I are a lot like Joseph's brothers, because silver has been placed in our sacks: talents, abilities, opportunities, prosperity, spiritual blessings, gifts that really don't belong to us. God has simply entrusted these to us for a short time to see what we will do with them. They belong to God and must be used in His service. They must be returned to him with interest. If we use them for our own benefit and satisfaction, then we really are no better than Joseph's brothers.