Everyone Has Issues

Curiously, that's a good thing.

Genesis 45:16-24 (ESV)

When the report was heard in Pharaoh's house, “Joseph's brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.’ And you, Joseph, are commanded to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Have no concern for your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”

The sons of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. To each and all of them he gave a change of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five changes of clothes. To his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. Then he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the way.”

When Joseph sent his brothers back to get his father, as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the way.” What’s up with that?

They’re going to have to tell Jacob that they’ve been lying to him all these years – that they actually sold Joseph to slave traders. They might quarrel over how to break this news and start playing the blame game.

But there’s another wild card in the deck – Benjamin! He’s been kept in the dark. Now he knows.

On the trip down, they just had to put up with him asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Imagine the questions he’s going to pepper them with on the way back. Joseph is telling Benjamin and his brothers to let go of their baggage.

That’s a tall order. If they take it seriously, they’ll grow on the trip home.


They’re a bunch of drama queens with hall-of-fame levels of emotional baggage. Still, their example is important because we’re not all that different.

Everyone has issues. We may not have as much as these guys, but everyone needs the savior and everyone remembers why they need Him.

Curiously, that baggage is a good thing. Being saved means not being owned by your past, though it doesn’t mean forgetting it. We must always be mindful where we came from and how we got here. If nothing else, that helps us relate to people who are on the same road.

Think back to how you found Christ. Recall how all the pieces came together. How can you be a part of that in someone else’s life?

Remember that you’re not in command. Prayer is the foundation of evangelism – and it’s not telling God what to do, but asking Him for signs and directions.


The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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