Look at Genesis 43:1-34. One of the advantages of seeing this story unfold over many years is that we observe the reactions of the brothers and their father to the situations and opportunities they encounter.
Judah started out self-interested and was the one who had sold his brother, Joseph, into slavery for 20 pieces of silver. He also initially showed little compassion for his daughter-in-law, Tamar, (see Genesis chapter 38) and her predicament of being a widow and childless. Judah was more concerned for his own physical needs than Tamar’s wellbeing, but her bold plan seems to have unsettled him before God and helped him to see his own unrighteousness (Gen 38:26).
Now in chapter 43, Judah is the one who guarantees the safety of Benjamin. We know that from the family of Judah will spring the Messiah. Judah’s change is a picture of things to come, things that will require self-sacrifice for the sake of others.
It is encouraging to see that Jacob (or “Israel” as he is named by God), who seems to have been quite depressed, finds his faith awakening when he blesses his sons as they prepare to depart. He says: “May God almighty grant you mercy before the man”. The crisis of the famine and the loss of one of his sons has been an opportunity for Jacob to begin to be freed from his self-preoccupation and seek God. He is remembering God’s power, which is his (and our) only hope.
God’s Blessing David O’Mara
From the AM Pastor’s Bulletin, 21 Nov 2021