the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Thou has pleaded the causes of my soul.”
Joseph ordered a silver cup to be placed in Benjamin’s sack, and when his brethren had set out upon their journey he sent his steward after them to bring them back. By this means Joseph tried his brethren, and brought them into a fit condition to be informed of their relationship. Our reading commences with the scene when the brothers had been brought back into Joseph’s court-house.
This he said to help himself in acting the part he had assumed.
Though innocent of the present charge, Judah confesses that their sad plight was well deserved by other sins.)
To this Judah, the surety, could not yield; but pleaded in a marvellously touching manner. Note how eloquent he was. Our surety is our advocate, and his pleadings are mighty.
The power of Judah’s advocacy lay very much in its truth. It is a simple unvarnished narrative of facts. But its master weapon is found in the proposed substitution of himself for Benjamin. He is ready to smart for his suretyship. Do we not remember how Judah’s great antitype not only proferred to be our substitute but actually was so: in this lies the power of his intercession.
Where high the heavenly temple stands,
The house of God not made with hands,
Jesus, our Judah, stands to plead,
A brother born for time of need.
He, who for men their surety stood,
And pour’d on earth his precious blood,
Pursues in heaven his mighty plan,
The advocate and friend of man.
“He loved me.”
After Judah’s thrilling speech a solemn pause would follow. All hearts were full, but all tongues were silent.
It was not meet that strangers should view that tender scene. When Jesus reveals himself to his chosen, it is “not unto the world.”
His heart long pent up burst forth at last uncontrollably.
How amazed they must have been to see before them the brother whom they sold for a slave, and themselves in his power. What a discovery the soul makes when it perceives that Jesus whom it crucified is Lord and God.
Tenderness courts communion and seeks to cast out fear. The words before us are such as Jesus uses to his troubled brethren; let us not be slow to draw near.
He has so completely pardoned them, that he does not speak of forgiving them himself, but urges them to forgive themselves. He labours to expel from them the sorrow of the world which worketh death, for he knew that there would then be more room for godly sorrow.
Genesis 45:9 , Genesis 45:10
To be near to Joseph would be the choicest joy to Jacob. To be in fellowship with Jesus is the believer’s heaven.
He who forgives provides bountifully for the pardoned ones. Those whom Jesus cleanses from sin shall have all their wants supplied.
The loves of Jesus and his favoured ones are mutual. What one feels the other feels.
These kisses were seals of love, comparable to the witness of the Spirit in believing men. Such tokens unloose the tongue, and enable us to talk with Jesus in the holy familiarities of sacred fellowship. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” saith the spouse in the song. Amen. The Lord do so unto each one of us.
Oh see how Jesus trusts himself
Unto our childish love,
As though by his free ways with us
Our earnestness to prove!
His sacred name a common word
On earth he loves to hear;
There is no majesty in him
Which love may not come near.
The light of love is round his feet,
His paths are never dim;
And he comes nigh to us when we
Dare not come nigh to him.