I love Easter Eggs. Easter eggs are little bits and pieces hidden inside of a piece of media such as a song or video. Symbolism is a bit like it, something that goes deeper, has a meaning other than the obvious.
The tv show Lost.was like that. It had hidden meanings and stories, references to literature, songs, and all kinds of things. I watched the shows more than once,, visited talk forums, was very interested in finding the ‘secret.’
I have found things like this in scripture. Sometimes there is something really cool to put together, although it really doesn’t really mean anything extraordinary. Perhaps I just haven’t looked closely enough.
So, this old familiar passage in Genesis kind of hit me between the eyes even if everybody else in the world already knew it.
Genesis 42: Jacob’s sons go to Egypt to buy food because there is a famine. Joseph is one of Jacob’s sons who was sold into slavery by his brothers years before. Joseph has prospered in Egypt and is a rule, and in charge of selling food. Joseph recognizes his brothers although they don’t recognize him. Joseph has a younger brother, Benjamin who was still in Canaan with his father was the youngest and protected by his father.
Joseph arranges for a test of the brothers designed so they would agree to bring Benjamin to Joseph. Joseph asked for a brother to be imprisoned until they returned.
Well, I think the brothers didn’t think their dad would release Benjamin to go to Egypt. They left Simeon in prison, returned home and just did nothing for a while.
In my version of the story, the brothers went home, got Benjamin and went on their way. I wasn’t looking carefully enough.
The truth is that they had no intention of going back. Simeon was on his own. They only went back because they were out of food. They had no other choice. That really sucks for Simeon.
So there is Benjamin, an adored, protected child, and Simeon whose life, apparently was worth nothing. I mean, as a brother, I would think that they might feel empathy that it could have been any of them, but they were just like ‘glad it’s not me.’ Sorry, we can’t take Benjamin to Joseph in order to save your life.
What was the difference? Different mom, different birth order.
I’m not sure what that means. The passage speaks to me of redemption. The brothers received food from Joseph. Redeemed from starvation. Simeon stayed in prison so the others could go home. That’s redemption. Ultimately the father sending Benjamin to Egypt. So Benjamin redeemed Simeon and his brothers so they could get food. And God restored Joseph to his family. More redemption.
Relationship and redemption. That’s what God is interested in.