1. FEAR AND HUMBLING 1-6 a. A famine again. As we begin our story we are reminded of what we learned in chapter 41, “The famine was in the land of Canaan.” In 41, we were told that all the earth was experiencing famine but, lest we think that Canaan, the Promised Land, the land which we hear about in Exodus that is flowing with milk and honey, is exempt from this famine, we are told explicitly that the famine was in Canaan. It is interesting that Abraham, Isaac and now Jacob all experience famine in the land of Canaan. All three are moved from their homeland. All three experience a test of faith because of the famine. All three are blessed on the other side of the test. God used these famines to make the point clear to them that their homeland was not their ultimate homeland. We are told in Hebrews 11 that these three men desired a heavenly country. If the land of Canaan was all their hearts were set on they would have had opportunity to return. And so they lived as sojourners. Even King David who lived in the city of David and built a palace for himself to live in prayed to God saying, “For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were.” b. Go buy grain. There were many well-established trade routes through Israel that goods going to and from Egypt would pass. As reserves of grain in Canaan begin to dwindle word of seeing caravans carrying grain from Egypt must have spread like wildfire. The social media of the day must have spread the news quickly. Jacob, who is a businessman, hears that there is grain for sale in Egypt and knows what must be done. His sons, on the other hand, are idle. Jacob says to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” As if they didn’t know what to do. As a father, this is a phrase I know well. Stop staring at each other and get the work done. You don’t need to debate or deliberate who’s doing what. Just get it done. And so Jacob says, “Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.” c. Jacob’s fear. The brothers obey their father and the ten set out for Egypt. However, we are told that Benjamin, who is a young man at this point, is left behind. Why? Jacob feared that harm might happen to him. It seems as if Jacob still favors Rachel’s children. Sending the other ten might not have been ideal, but to send Benjamin, the last of his beloved Rachel’s children, that would never happen. Benjamin would not be put in harm’s way. d. Dreams beginning to be fulfilled. The ten make their way to Egypt and go to the governor of the land to buy the grain. Of course, the governor is Joseph but they won’t figure that out for a while. They do, as all others do, and come before Joseph bowing down to him. Their sheaves bow down to his. Joseph’s dreams that he had around two decades earlier are starting to come true.