Daily Devotional for

Tuesday: God of Circumstances

Before these men started for home, the story tells us, Joseph caused each man’s silver to be returned to him in one of his purchased sacks of grain. In addition, he gave them provisions for their journey. The use of these provisions would have kept them from opening their sacks until well along in their journey. But at last, for some reason or another, perhaps because the traveling provisions ran short, one of the brothers opened his sack and discovered the money Joseph had returned. What consternation! “My silver has been returned,” he said to the others. “Here it is in my sack.”

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Proof of God's Presence

Tuesday: God of Circumstances

Before these men started for home, the story tells us, Joseph caused each man’s silver to be returned to him in one of his purchased sacks of grain. In addition, he gave them provisions for their journey. The use of these provisions would have kept them from opening their sacks until well along in their journey. But at last, for some reason or another, perhaps because the traveling provisions ran short, one of the brothers opened his sack and discovered the money Joseph had returned. What consternation! “My silver has been returned,” he said to the others. “Here it is in my sack.”

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Proof of God's Presence

Monday: An Instructive Combination

An instructive combination of ideas in Genesis 42:24 makes a useful introduction to this study. In the first half of that verse we are told that for the first time Joseph began to break down in the presence of his brothers and weep out of his great love for them. His weeping related to God’s work in bringing them to a confession of sin, which they had made to one another and which Joseph had heard, though they did not know that he had understood them. In the second half of Genesis 42:24 we are told of an entirely different action. “He [that is, Joseph] had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.”

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Press of Solitude

Friday: Let Us Reason

The third thing solitude did for these guilty brothers of Joseph was cause them to reason spiritually. They were not godly men. In fact, they were probably not even saved men before the events of these chapters. They did not reason spiritually.

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Press of Solitude

Thursday: Bitter Memory

The second thing solitude did in the lives of these men was refresh their memories. So far as we know, there had never been a time previous to this when the anguish of Joseph had been openly discussed between them. Indeed, the narration itself does not mention it. It is only when their deep guilt has already been forced to the surface that they remember what we had long suspected but had not been told was the case, namely, that Joseph had cried and pleaded for his life but was not heeded. They say, “We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen” (v. 21).

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Press of Solitude

Wednesday: Let Conscience Work

In the stillness of the brothers’ solitude, they began to hear the voice of God’s Spirit. The way the story is told we are introduced to the brothers’ thoughts only after Joseph had released them from prison after the three days and had begun to interrogate and deal with them again. But although their changing attitudes emerge in response to his prodding, I have no doubt that they merely reflect what had already been building up in their minds during the days of confinement. God was at work.

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Press of Solitude

Tuesday: Flight from God

What did God use to bring about this quickening of conscience and confession? He had used the pain of material want to bring the ten brothers (Benjamin had remained home with his father) to Egypt, where they were particularly vulnerable to God’s prodding. He had used Joseph’s harsh words to prick their carefully constructed defenses; the words had begun to get through. Now God uses solitude or physical imprisonment to set them apart from life’s incessant trivial demands and give them time to awake to His displeasure.

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Press of Solitude

Monday: When the Spirit Moves

In this next section of the story the guilty memory of the brothers becomes an open confession for the first time. They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come upon us.” Reuben chimed in, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood” (vv. 21-22).

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James Montgomery Boice

About Think & Act Biblically

James Montgomery Boice (1938-2000) was a successful inner city pastor and articulate spokesman for the Reformed faith in America and around the world. He was the pastor of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church (1968-2000) and his teaching continues to be aired on The Bible Study Hour radio and Internet broadcast. In 1996 he brought The Bible Study Hour, God’s Word Today magazine, Philadelphia Conference of Reformation Theology, and other Bible teaching ministries under the umbrella of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.
Alliance of Confessional Evangelicals

About the Alliance

The Alliance is a coalition of believers who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today’s Church.

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