1. A PLEDGE OF SAFETY 1-10 a. Time to buy more. As we start today’s story we are greeted with the reminder that the famine was severe in the land. And so, even though the brothers had bought food it did not last long. Jacob, as the provider for his family, tells his sons that they must go again and buy them a little food. A little food compared to the great need they had not because they only needed a little. Judah speaks on behalf of his brothers and reminds his father that they would not be able to buy food without bringing Benjamin with them. That was the condition they had received from “the man”. Judah reasons very plainly with his father and says that if Benjamin doesn’t go they won’t go. Jacob’s reply is to complain about how badly they have treated him in telling the man that they had another brother. The brothers plead their case. They weren’t trying to treat their father badly, this time, they were just answering the man’s questions. They were trying to prove their innocence against the accusation of being spies. The man was interrogating them. From their point of view, the man was trying to prove their alibi that they were all brothers and had the same father. So of course, they would answer the man’s questions and truthfully. Their final answer is, “Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down?’” b. Judah’s pledge. Hopefully, you are looking for the repetitions in the stories here and you noticed that it was Reuben that first tried to protect Joseph, and ultimately it was Judah that provided for his safety by suggesting them sell him. In the case of Benjamin, Reuben is the first to try to ensure the safety of Benjamin. But it is ultimately Judah that will be the one to provide for Benjamin. Judah asks that he be put in charge of “the boy”. Remember that Benjamin is a man who is probably in his late twenties so we should not imagine him as a little kid. This probably says more about affection or his status as being the youngest than his age. Judah pledges himself for the safety of his bother. Judah would assure that Benjamin would make it to Egypt and back. He would take full responsibility if something were to happen. Benjamin and Jacob had nothing to fear because Judah was his pledge of safety. c. Our pledge of safety. Many years later, as King Hezekiah was dying he called out to God and said that the Lord was his pledge of safety. He says, “What shall I say? For he has spoken to me and he himself has done it…in love, you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction…the LORD will save me.” Many years later as the apostle Paul is facing some fierce opposition he invokes this same idea. “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Jesus gave Himself as the pledge of safety for all his people. He said, “I give them eternal life, and no will snatch them out of my hand.” If you know Jesus as your savior he is your pledge of safety and he will make sure to bring you safely into his heavenly kingdom.