Providing For Those Who Have Harmed You

Text: Genesis 42-46

Scripture Reading:

Genesis 42:1-8 from International Children’s Bible

42 Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt. So he said to his sons, “Why are you just sitting here looking at one another? 2 I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy grain for us to eat. Then we will live and not die.”

3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with them. Jacob was afraid that something terrible might happen to Benjamin. 5 Along with many other people, the sons of Jacob, also called Israel, went to Egypt to buy grain. This was because the people in the land of Canaan were hungry also.

6 Now Joseph was governor over Egypt. He was the one who sold the grain to people who came to buy it. So Joseph’s brothers came to him. They bowed facedown on the ground before him. 7 When Joseph saw his brothers, he knew who they were. But he acted as if he didn’t know them. He asked unkindly, “Where do you come from?”

They answered, “We have come from the land of Canaan to buy food.”

8 Joseph knew they were his brothers. But they did not know who he was.


Joseph’s brothers had sold him for 20 pieces of silver to a caravan of salesmen years earlier. Since that unfortunate event Joseph had worked hard and made the best of horrible situations. Now, as the governor who is in charge of distributing grain from the country’s warehouses during a famine, he finds his brothers in front of him and in need of food. 

How would you have reacted? If you were in charge of distributing the country’s supply of toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, would you have provided it to people who had thrown you into an empty well before selling you to passing by caravan? It’s nice to think that we would be gracious and provide needed supplies that we have access to but really? What would you do?


Dear God, sometimes the examples in the Bible seem too hard to replicate. The grace and compassion toward people who have caused hurt and harm seems too good and is not “fair.” Help us to realize where in our lives we need to take the challenge to provide and care for those who are challenging for us to love. Amen.

Focus for the Day: Providing For Those Who Have Harmed You

Author: Rachel Dudley, Director of Children’s Ministry