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Summary: This is a propositional/expositional sermon with an aim at practical application of Joseph’s dealings with his brothers--likening it to the way God deals with Christians about their sin and lack of repentance.

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The Conviction of Sin

Genesis 44

Introduction:

1. Joseph’s brothers had undoubtedly learned the art

of subtlety that their father had practiced so

well throughout his young adult life.

2. They had deceived their father many times, the

worst of which was in the matter of Joseph’s

supposed death! Joseph, here, finally puts one

over on them as he frames their youngest brother,

Benjamin, for a crime he did not commit.

3. Remember, Jacob barely let Benjamin accompany his

sons to Egypt for fear that he might lose his only

remaining son by the wife of his love (Rachel), as

he lost Joseph.

4. Joseph does this to his brother to test their

honesty--to see if they had developed any--and to

test their humility.

I. JOSEPH’S BRETHREN ARE FRAMED (v. 1-6).

A. Joseph puts the corn in his brothers’ bags

(v. 1a).

They had come for corn, so he fills their bags

so full that they can barely carry them! It

seems from the text that they received a

healthier portion than most.

B. Joseph puts the cash in his brothers’ bags

(v. 1b).

Joseph had given their cash back the first

time to test their honesty—they had returned

it with extra gifts besides (43:21-22). This

alone had proved their honesty to him, but he

had to try them one more time! Remember how

they had treated him!

C. Joseph puts his cup in Benjamin’s bag (v. 2).

Joseph does this so that he can have his way

over them completely. Until this time, they

had done nothing wrong--though he had accused

them of being spies. If he could catch them

doing something wrong, he would have the right

to do anything to them, especially to the

guilty culprit!

II. JOSEPH’S BRETHREN ARE FRANTIC (v. 7-13).

Joseph gives his brethren a head start and then

sends his steward after them and instructs him to

accuse them of thievery! When Joseph’s men catch

the brethren, they are frightened by the

accusations. They are sure that no one has done

anything wrong, until the silver cup is

discovered in Benjamin’s bag. They quickly

become frantic as they realize that they have

been caught, not by man, but really by God--they

are finally reaping the consequences of what they

have sown (Galatians 6:7-9).

A. Benjamin may have been dishonest (v. 11-12).

They, no doubt, all thought that Benjamin had

actually stolen the cup. The probability of

this guilt may have been heightened by the

circumstance of his having that very cup to

drink out of at dinner; for as he had the most

honorable mess, so it is likely he had the

most honorable cup to drink out of at the

entertainment.

B. Benjamin may have to die (v. 9).

They hastily proclaim, :"With whomsoever of

thy servants it be found, both let him die,

and we also will be my lord’s bondmen,"

because they are assured that it will not be

found in their bags. Imagine their horror

when the cup is discovered indeed. Further

still, think of the sorrow that they must feel

when they find out it is in Benjamin’s bag.

Their father will die if he hears of

Benjamin’s death or even his incarceration!

C. Benjamin will be detained (v. 10).

What a blessing! Joseph will not demand the

death penalty for Benjamin’s alleged

thievery. Joseph’s brothers must have

breathed a sigh of relief indeed. However,

one small matter remains--they promised to

bring Benjamin back to their father unharmed!

Joseph has offered to let all of them go but

Benjamin!

III. JOSEPH’S BRETHREN ARE FAITHFUL (v. 14-34)

For the first time in their lives, the patriarchs

start showing a little maturity as Judah

(actually innocent this time!) offers himself for

his guilty brother.

A. They learned faithfulness to their father

(v. 14-32)

When they went home with a bloody strip of

Joseph’s coat of many colors, they did not

even consider their father’s grief at losing

his favorite son! All they could think of was

that they were finally rid of his annoying

presence. This time, it appears as if they

love their father and would rather die than to

see him grieve as he did over Joseph!

B. They learned faithfulness to their family

(v. 33-34)

Oh! how they had hated Joseph, the oldest of

two sons by Rachel (their father’s favorite

wife). It stands to reason that after the

false report of Joseph’s death, Jacob must

have devoted his attention to Benjamin. No

doubt, this enraged the brothers at first, but

eventually they came to love him instead of

hating him as they had hated Joseph. It is

touching to see Judah offer to give his life

for his half-brother. If Joseph would accept

his offer, he would be Joseph’s slave for life

(Judah was the one who had sold Joseph into

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