Changing The Fear Factor

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During one of our morning devotionals recently in the Olive Tree Discipleship and Agriculture Program, we examined Judah’s attitude of faith in Genesis chapters 42 and 43. This was a turning point in Jacob’s family, and I believe also part of Judah receiving the honor of being ancestor of the Messiah (Genesis 49:10).

Jacob and his sons were confronted with a situation of uncertainty and perceived threat – in this case that Jacob’s sons could not go back to buy more grain in Egypt unless young Benjamin came as well. 

Interpreting uncertainty as a fear factor is sometimes a human tendency. Even the great patriarch Jacob, being also a man of flesh and blood like us, had to deal with a natural tendency towards fear of failure and catastrophe, namely that after seemingly having lost his son Joseph, he might also lose his son Benjamin as well.

After a gloomy, extended group discussion between Jacob and his sons, Judah stepped forward and brought a different spirit.

Send the young man with me, and we will arise and go, and we will live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones…” (Genesis 43:8). 

Jacob, as if jostled and awakened from a dream-like stupor, responded to Judah’s faith and suddenly remembered that if God is in the equation the answer turns out differently. “…Take your brother and rise and return … and God Almighty will give you mercy…” (Genesis 43:14). 

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