Real Repentance (Genesis 44)

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Genesis 44:12–13 And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.

The stage was nicely set for the brothers to do to Benjamin what they did to Joseph. Benjamin looked guilty, and they could easily ditch him to slavery and go on their merry way.

But this time was different. God’s chastening hand through Joseph and their own conscience was doing its work. They are truly sorry for the sorrow they caused their father and the wrong they did to Joseph.

So sorry that their hearts have changed, and even when it would have been temporarily advantageous to them to repeat their sin, they do not. This is the point when Joseph reveals himself to them and they are reconciled.

Godly sorrow is not just outward contrition for getting caught; it is deep inward sorrow that leads to a changed mind and changed actions. It is good when God works such sorrow and repentance in us. And may we yield to the humbling, breaking hand of God. Only then are we prepared for the next step of His plan.

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