What a poignant picture is this? Here is the most powerful ruler of Egypt, and indeed maybe of the whole world, which was reeling under a severe famine, asking for an evidence of truth from his own brothers (who did not recognise him)!
“Bring me the youngest brother you are talking about. And I will believe you, that you are not spies!”
We read about this in Genesis 42. And Simeon was bound before their eyes by Joseph (the ruler in entire Egypt under Pharaoh) and put in prison. The rest of the brothers return to Canaan and to their father, only to find all their money returned to them along with abundant provision that would sustain them for at least a year, and they were afraid.
And the father Jacob’s grief: “Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, now you want to take Benjamin. Why did you tell the man that you had another brother?”
And Judah’s response: The man pointedly asked about our father whether he is alive and whether we had another brother.
Look at God our Father in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world – a picture of Joseph “lost” in Egypt. And his own brothers were dying of famine; they needed to live, needed food to survive. And now Benjamin has to go. That is again a picture of Jesus – the Son at the right hand of the Father. For Benjamin means “son of the right hand”. Rachel was dying as her son was born, and she named him “Ben-Oni” meaning son of sorrow; but his father named him “Benjamin” meaning son-of-the-right-hand. (Gen. 35: 18)
Jesus, the Darling-of-Heaven, the Son at the right hand had to go. We did not know him (just as Joseph’s brothers did not know Joseph); but He knew us, that we are His brothers. (He is not ashamed to call us His brothers! – Heb. 2:11). And the Father’s love for us was so great that He sent BENJAMIN – the Son of His right hand. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
The father’s (Jacob) most-treasured son Benjamin finally left for Egypt. Because his brother Judah had taken a stand – “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. I myself will be surety for him; from my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever…” – Gen. 43: 8, 9
And there was a divine exchange-Jesus coming in the line of Judah, the surety for Benjamin. That He may take the blame forever… And He took our sins. Our sin-bearing Messiah came in the line of Judah, who was always close to Benjamin and the place Bethlehem – the house of bread.
Judah and Benjamin dwelt together. That is why it is written: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” And again in Matt. 2: 16-18 when Herod killed male infants below 2 years, it was Rachel weeping for her children – the children of Benjamin.
Jesus has come according to the Father’s great love. Our heavenly Benjamin was sent to this world; the divinely exchanged Judah took the blame for us-dying on the cross. And the lion of Judah has roared back to life from the dead, again becoming our heavenly Benjamin – ascended and sitting at the right hand of the Father. Jesus is able to intercede for us as our own High Priest forever – for He knows our weaknesses.
One of the most recurring verses in the Bible is this: The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” (Psalm 110: 1, Matt. 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42, Acts 2:34)
Therefore let all the house of Israel know ASSUREDLY that God has made THIS JESUS…both LORD and CHRIST. (Acts 2:35)
Our Lord is from the tribe of Judah (and Benjamin). It was the tribe of Judah and Benjamin who rebuilt the temple at Jerusalem (Ezra 1: 5). We too belong to the tribe of Judah and Benjamin, rebuilding the temple made without hands – the heavenly Jerusalem.
It was the tribe of Benjamin that dwelt in the land of Galilee, where Jesus loved to spend time preaching, teaching and healing. His own (Judah) rejected Him, but people in Galilee gladly heard Him.
You belong to this tribe of Benjamin, if you will hear Jesus gladly. Today, if you will hear His voice…do not harden your heart.
May YOUR TRIBE INCREASE. Amen in Jesus’ name.