The Brothers Return – Genesis 43:1-44:34
The games people play…
I suppose we could give Joseph a “pass” on this. After all, his brothers had done him wrong, and he may have wanted to see if they had changed at all. Would they give up on Benjamin as easily as they had given up on him? Perhaps Joseph’s behavior is justified.
At the same time, we also recognize a great deal of deception that takes place in this story. Joseph does not provide us an example of honesty and transparency… and his behavior would seem to lack integrity. Instead, Joseph wears a mask to cover his true self. He runs off to hide so his brothers don’t see him cry.
And then he proceeds to play this game of power and manipulation with his brothers. He puts their silver in their sacks, adding a special cup in Benjamin’s sack… only to send the guards after them to arrest them and bring them back… demanding that Benjamin stay as his servant instead of returning to his father.
But Joseph isn’t the only one who plays relationship games of power and manipulation.We’re quite capable of hiding behind our masks and keeping people from seeing our authentic selves. And we certainly have tendencies toward playing games… testing people to see how they respond, or creating unnecessary drama.
What mask do you wear? What are the ways you are less than authentic with those around you? Is there anything that prevents you from being in pure and unbroken fellowship with your brothers and sisters?
Let us break bread together on our knees;
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.