The Deepest Anguish and the Greatest Good

“As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, ‘Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, “Why have you repaid good with evil? Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done”’. . . And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. At this, they tore their clothes. Then they all loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.”—Genesis 44:3–5, 12–13 (NIV)

“We’re in the endgame.” This famous line uttered by Dr. Strange to Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War served to foreshadow the plot and title of the follow-up film Avengers: Endgame, but it was also an indication to Iron Man that everything was proceeding as it needed to and that the pivot-point of the story was coming.

This is exactly what we see here in Genesis 44:1–13! You get the sense that God let Joseph know they were in the endgame of this family brokenness. But before that moment of revelation could come, Joseph’s brothers, like the Avengers, experienced a breaking point moment where they believed hope was lost. Here, it’s the revelation that apparently Benjamin had stolen a silver cup and would be forced to stay in Egypt as a slave to the Egyptian lord (secretly Joseph) he’d stolen from . . . the same Egyptian lord who had shown them kindness. This turn of events led them to the ultimate act of lament and anguish in their culture: tearing their clothes.

Honestly, can you blame them? After all these years, they were feeling immense regret over what they’d done to Joseph and shame over the pain they’d caused their father. And now, it seemed they would have to go back and break his heart all over again, having lost the last remaining son of Rachel, Jacob’s great love. They knew this news would likely kill Jacob.

Friends, your past may be full of pain, regret, anguish, and many transgressions. And chances are you haven’t done anything close to what Joseph’s brothers did, but even if you have, there is forgiveness and redemption for you. Even if you’re the chief of sinners, Christ came into the world to save you (1 Timothy 1:15)! God does not repay evil with evil, no matter how many times we repay His good with evil. Instead, He always repays evil with good, and sending Jesus to pay for our sins and make a way for us to be saved is the greatest good of all!

If you’ve received this gift of grace, this ultimate good, then you’ve been set free from sin, death, and the shackles of guilt and shame your own sin has caused. I pray if you’re holding on to shame over the past, that you let it go, because Christ has seen it all, your most wicked thoughts and greatest evils, and still loves you so deeply that He was willing to pay for it.

If you’ve not yet received Jesus, you can be free! All you need to do is repent of your sins and receive Him into your heart as Savior and Lord! Like Joseph’s brothers, come to the point of brokenness and come to Jesus. He will heal you, make you whole, and give you grace, love, and purpose!

DIG: Why did Joseph’s brothers feel such anguish at this moment?

DISCOVER: What was the pivot-point in your life? What was the endgame moment that brought you to the feet of Jesus?

DO: If you’ve never received Jesus and would like to learn how, please contact me at DanielS@CalvaryFTL.org.