24 “And when the man had brought the men into Joseph’s house and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, 25 they prepared the present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there. 26 When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and bowed down to him to the ground” (Genesis 43:24–26 (ESV)
Joseph’s steward brought Jacob’s eleven sons into Joseph’s house. It was at this time that they received water to drink and to refresh themselves following their long, hot, and dry journey. The steward also gave their donkeys food. Egyptian hospitality could not have been better.
Puritan Matthew Henry writes, “We must own ourselves indebted to God, as our God and the God of our fathers (a God in covenant with us and them) for all our successes and advantages, and the kindnesses of our friends; for every creature is that to us, and no more, which God makes it to be. The steward encouraged them, not only in words but in deeds; for he made very much of them till his master came, v. 24.”
Anticipating Joseph’s appearance at noon, the brothers prepared their gift of fruits and nuts (Gen. 43:11). When Joseph arrived, the brothers presented their gifts. In doing so, they also bowed down to him to the ground. The dreams Joseph dreamed as a youth became a reality as a man (Gen. 37:5-11). His brothers gave him homage and respect. What a difference from when they encountered him as a teenager (Gen. 37:12-28).
Dr. R. C. Sproul explains, “Jacob trusted in God’s providence, and the Lord did watch over Jacob’s sons once he sent them back into the land of the Nile. In today’s passage they arrive at Joseph’s house in Egypt. Given how their brother treated them earlier, they are rightly afraid (Gen. 43:18), and they hear strange news when they attempt to pay for the grain they received for free on the earlier visit. Joseph’s steward tells them he received their payment and that God returned their money to their sacks (v. 23), putting into words the divine superintendence revealed in their circumstances. This reminds them of their vulnerability, preparing them to understand the depth of their past sins and to show they have changed since dropping Joseph in a pit (chap. 37). Joseph gives his brothers an opportunity to prove they are now different when he eats with them.”
There are no coincidences. Everything which occurs in our lives happens for a reason. This is true even when we do not yet understand the reason. God’s timing is often not our own. Let us learn to trust in Him.
Have a blessed day in the LORD.
Soli deo Gloria!