We know from reading the documented history of Jacob in Genesis, that Jacob had grown in relationship with the Lord over many years. He experienced many trials and had many victories with God’s help. However, with regards to his family and sons in particular, he seems to encounter defeat over and over again. Note how he responds to the news of Simeon’s captivity. He is upset… he did care for Simeon. He mourns also the loss of Joseph and fears for the loss of Benjamin. It is totally understandable that in this difficult situation he is hesitant to send Benjamin. However, he is living defeated, and giving up Simeon to protect Benjamin.
What is most apparent, by its absence, is that Jacob does not come before God regarding Simeon and ask for guidance and help. He does not seek the Lord on how to proceed. He just reacts in a way to choose his youngest and favored son over one of his older sons, Simeon. This is the manner of parenting which has plagued Jacob’s family and resulted in much jealousy and discord within the family.
Simeon Is Held Hostage
29When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying, 30“The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly with us, and took us for spies of the country. 31“But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32‘We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no longer alive, and the youngest is with our father today in the land of Canaan.’ 33“The man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take grain for the famine of your households, and go. 34‘But bring your youngest brother to me that I may know that you are not spies, but honest men. I will give your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.’”
35Now it came about as they were emptying their sacks, that behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed. 36Their father Jacob said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.” 37Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my care, and I will return him to you.” 38But Jacob said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should befall him on the journey you are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”
We should take heed of the lesson within this scripture. When we face suffering and adversity, turn humbly toward God and pray for His help and guidance. Pray for Him to lead us… and be patient and learn to listen for His response. Rather than accept defeat, seek God.
Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.