JOSEPH & BENJAMIN
“And it came to pass,
when they had eaten up the corn
which they had brought out of Egypt,
their father said unto them,
Go again, buy us a little food”
The Manifold Workings of God
There was a famine in the land. The famine was for a purpose. It was to end the separation of Jacob and his sons from Joseph (whom Jacob thought was dead). Joseph was in one place and they were in another. Jacob was content to stay where they were as long as they had provision. God’s purpose was to bring them to Joseph, the source. This place of independence is not God’s ultimate design. We get our sermons and teachings so that we can sustain our way of living. We want provision so that we can maintain our independence and our “place” of abiding. God is only interested in a living expression called the ONE Body of Christ. We hold on to our “teachers” and our “ministers” while living in independence from the Body of Christ around us. Not only is this a meagre existence, it also prevents the real edification that is ours by the local gathering and functioning of the Body of Christ. It keeps us from participating in the things of our Father with each other; from developing the very ministry that HE has called us unto; from realizing that my relationship with my brother is paramount in the seeing of His Face.
“And Judah spake unto him, saying,
The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying,
Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you”
For Jacob’s part he must sacrifice the object of his greatest love. For his independence to die he had to give up that which was most dear to him. The thing that he clung to had to be released in order to realize God’s full revelation. Little did he realize that the Faith of Abraham must be lived out through each succeeding generation. Doctrines and teachings can pass without much cost, but real and vital faith must know true sacrifice. Abraham’s experience (of offering up Isaac) would not suffice for Jacob. Jacob must also offer the same sacrifice to know the same God. The famine had to be greater than Jacob’s resistance to hold back, yet in the final relinquishing of his last love he found that God gave more than he could ever imagine. So too is it with each of us.
For Jacob’s sons part they would not see the face of Joseph until they were willing to sacrifice their lives for their brother Benjamin (Genesis 44:18 – 45:2). Joseph means, “He shall add”. As the early Church revealed the life and power of the risen Christ in their day, we too are standing on the brink of the coming forth of Benjamin, the Son of HIS RIGHT HAND! This Benjamin will require people who are willing to lay down their lives for each other that the Lord Jesus Christ himself may openly declare HIS presence in our midst. The sacrifice and faith required for the early church must once again be known by this generation. It is a day to repent of living APART from the people of God around us; a time to cease from a life of subsisting on a provision from somewhere else. The manna that sustained us in the wilderness is not designed for the Land of Promise! Let us lay down our lives that we might see the face of our beloved. It is for Benjamin that the Son is looking; it is to Benjamin that the fivefold portion is given. It is in loving one another, interacting with one another and praying for one another that we shall know of this Glory.
“Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love,
being of one accord, of one mind”
“Ye know that my wife bare me two sons” *
“The sons of Rachel;
Joseph and Benjamin”
* Later writing