All These Things

“Then they went to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan and told him all that had happened to them, saying . . .”—Genesis 42:29 (NKJV)

As the providential plot of Joseph’s life thickens, his brothers (with the exception of Simeon who was forced to stay imprisoned in Egypt) make the return trip home and tell their father all that had just happened. For a moment, try and imagine what it must have been like for Jacob to hear all this! Envision the visible change that must have come over his face and the cries of his heart as his sons’ account was shared!

I can just hear Jacob now. “This was supposed to be a simple errand: Go and buy some grain so we can all survive this famine, but you’ve done just the opposite! Now the ruler over Egypt thinks you’re spies, has put your brother Simeon in prison, and is demanding you all return with my youngest son, Benjamin! Save the family? You’ve gone ahead and brought our family to the brink of extinction!”

Here’s what Jacob actually said, and they are words we can all relate to all too well: “And Jacob their father said to them, ‘You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me” (Genesis 42:36 NKJV).

We’ve all been where Jacob is at right now. Life takes an unexpected turn, the news isn’t what we hoped for, the report isn’t a good one, or the story only seems to get worse and worse with each passing word. Life can get very heavy, and it doesn’t take much for us to echo Jacob’s sense of despair by proclaiming, “All these things are against me.”

It certainly did seem like everything was against Jacob. But in reality, and this is what we need to hide in our hearts, God was working behind the scenes of circumstance to bless Jacob and his family above and beyond anything he could have imagined at this point. Hang in there, Jacob! It seems bleak now, but the Lord isn’t finished yet and you’re going to want to be around when He is!

Hide that truth in your heart, because there’s bound to be something on the horizon that will get you to say, “All these things are against me!” But when that happens, remember, “all these things” are actually going to be worked together for your good by God (Romans 8:28). Hang in there no matter what, because you’re going to want to be around when He does!

DIG: Why was Jacob wrong?

DISCOVER: What’s the point of relatability between Jacob and us?

DO: Pray about how you can hide the greater truth of God’s working in your trials in your heart.