2/7 Genesis 44:33

33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers.

When the famine struck the land, the half-brothers of Joseph came to Egypt for food, but Israel kept Joseph's full brother, Benjamin, at home. His bothers did not recognize Joseph. He was now more than thirty-years-old, dressed in Egyptian clothing and speaking another language. Joseph implied that they were spies and interrogated them. They were sure their sin had caught up with them. It had! But it was not to punish them, but rather to save them. They mentioned their youngest brother at home, so Joseph kept Simeon until they could prove the truth of their statements by bringing Benjamin.

Israel refused to let Benjamin go to Egypt until their food ran out. When they finally came to Egypt, Joseph had them dine with him. Then he had his servant hide his royal cup in Benjamin's bag of grain. Soon after they left for home, the servant went after them. Finding Joseph's cup in Benjamin's bag, he ordered him to become Joseph's slave.

Judah had made a pledge to his father to bring the boy back safe. He offered himself as a slave instead of Benjamin. Joseph is about to reveal himself to his brothers and end their anxiety, and here we have an important shadow of God's plan. Judah is the line from which Jesus came into the world. The descendant of Judah, Jesus, will offer himself in our place. We were slaves of sin, but Jesus pledged to the Father to bring us home safely. He put Himself in our place. In that atoning sacrifice God revealed Himself to us as the God who loves us and would do anything possible to have us with Him forever.

Consider: God has planned each day of our lives. He put these pictures before us in history so that when His plan unfolds, we will understand how much He loves us. Take a moment to rejoice in how much you are loved by Him.