3/2/16: Is What We Have, What We Need?
In Genesis chapter 43, Joseph’s brothers found themselves in a bind. The land was still experiencing a grave famine and they had run out of the food they’d bought from Egypt on their first trip. When their father told them to go back to buy more, they reminded him that they couldn’t go without taking Benjamin, their youngest brother, with them. Although Jacob protested, there was no other option.
With Judah solemnly making himself the pledge for the boy, Jacob sent all the sons away, but not without a little something extra. “And their father Israel said to them, ‘If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down a present for the man—a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds’” Genesis 43:11 (NKJ).
Wait a minute. I thought there was a severe famine in the land. How is it that Jacob and his family had balm, honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds? I don’t know the answer to that, but what I do know is what they had is not what they needed. Regardless of the value of the stuff they had, without what they needed – bread, one of the basic necessities of life – they still would have died. So despite Jacob’s reluctance to send Benjamin to Egypt with his brothers, he had no other choice if he wanted to live.
Is what we have, what we need? What precious thing or person are we holding onto today that could very well be keeping us from what we need? Are we keeping our hands so full of what’s good that we fail the ability to grasp what’s best? “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God” Psalm 20:6-8 (NKJ). “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” Luke 12:15 (NKJ).
Today, let’s choose to live not merely surviving with what we have, but thriving because we allow God to give us what we need.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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