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I. There had been a strong combination, designed and undesigned, to keep Joseph down. But it was in vain. "Light is sown for the righteous." It is sometimes late in springing, but God's harvests are large ones, if it is far on in the autumn before they are gathered. They only linger to grow. He who had been sold as a slave lived to say to the steward of his house, "Fill the men's sacks with food"; and the men were those who had sold him.
II. Joseph has always been a favourite type of Jesus. In these words of his we seem to hear our Joseph saying to His stewards, the ministers and teachers of every sort, "Fill with food, not flowers." Hungry men cannot eat flowers; yet some preachers act as though poetry and pretty ideas were the only things fit for food. Food, not chaff. Chaff is worse than flowers; they are at least pleasant to look at before they fade, but dry, tasteless preaching gives neither pleasure nor profit. The finest of the wheat is in the granary, and only needs serving out.
III. Fill, do not give short measure. There need be no stint. There is plenty. The less the mind that comes, the more pains should be taken that it has a full sack.
IV. "Put their money in their sacks." God's grace is free. Salvation cannot be of grace and of debt. Our royal Joseph is a King, and does not trade.
T. Champness, New Coins from Old Gold, p. 12.
Reference: Genesis 44:1-5 . Parker, vol. i., p. 338.
I. That there is sorrow, and sorrow on a vast scale, is a great fact a fact both too patent and too painful to be gainsaid. Joseph put the cup in the sack to try his brothers' faith, love, and loyalty to their father. (1) Sorrow was sent into the world as a preventive of greater sorrow. (2) Sorrow gives occasion for the exercise of many an else impossible virtue. (3) This would be a lame excuse indeed if it stood alone. But grief is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. (4) When we remember our sins, we wonder, not that life has had so many sorrows, but that it has had so few.
II. Why should sorrow so often smite us in the most sensitive place? or, to take up the parable of the text, (1) Why should the cup be in Benjamin's sack? Just because it is Benjamin's, we reply. The very thing that leads God to smite at all, leads Him to smite you here. God takes away earthly pleasure, and thus helps you to remember your sin and repent of it. (2) The cup was put there to bring them to a better mind ever after. (3) It was put there to give Joseph the opportunity of making himself known to his brethren. (4) It was put there to lead them out of the land of famine into the land of plenty. From this we may learn three lessons: ( a ) Learn to think more kindly of God and His dispensations, as you see how much reason you have to expect sorrow, how little right to look for joy; ( b ) learn the lesson the lesser sorrows are meant to teach, lest you need the greater; ( c ) take care lest you not only lose the joy, but lose the good the loss of joy was meant to give.
J. B. Figgis, The Preacher's Lantern, vol. ii., p. 694.
References: Genesis 45:0 F. W. Robertson, Notes on Genesis, p. 165; R. S. Candlish, Book of Genesis, vol. ii., p. 219; M. Dods, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, p. 251.Genesis 45:1 . Clergyman's Magazine, vol. x., p. 91; G. Bainton, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xv., p. 245.Genesis 45:1-15 . W. M. Taylor, Joseph the Prime Minister; p. 122.Genesis 45:2 . Outline Sermons for Children, p. 13.
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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Genesis 44". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter