In Genesis 43 Jacob and his sons found themselves in a position we will often find ourselves in if we want all in life that God has for us. To live they were going to have to take a risk.
Their food had run out ( v.2 ) and the only way they could go back to Egypt to get more, was to take Benjamin their youngest brother with them. The governor there ( who they didn’t realize was their son and brother Joseph) had said he wouldn’t see them again unless their youngest brother was with them ( v.3 ). After thinking he had lost Joseph and losing Simeon who Joseph had kept in Egypt ( Ch 42:24), Jacob could not conceive losing another son especially Benjamin. It would be the death of him ( Ch 42:38). He didn’t want to let Benjamin out of his sight, let alone let him to go to Egypt. But it became a matter of life and death, he either risked losing Benjamin or they starved to death. He either took the risk or they died.
Judah summed up the situation in verse 8:
8 Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones….”
The walk of faith is like that, we take risks or we die. We either believe what God has told us to do and obey, with the risk and human uncertainty it involves, or we spiritually die. If we chose to believe and obey, in the process we grow, facing our giants, our fears and misgivings, becoming increasingly free of them, becoming more and more alive.
If we chose not to walk by faith, to avoid risk and play safe, we spiritually stagnate or go backwards. We no longer grow, becoming a victim of our own fears and apprehensions.We die.
Often we want a life where there is no danger, no risk. There’s no such thing. We can chose an existence where we take no risks and face no dangers, but an existence is all it can be called. It isn’t a life. We aren’t alive.
Jacob, Judah and his brothers are our example. They took the risk. They took Benjamin to Egypt and it had huge dividends. It led to a whole new life. They not only got food( Ch 47:12), they got a rich new home ( Ch 47:11) and were reunited as a family, getting Joseph, Simeon and Benjamin back ( 46:31).
They took the risk and lived.
We too must take the risk and live.