When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.” Genesis 43:16
Why in the world would these brothers be invited to dine with the governor of Egypt? Why would he want these strangers and foreigners in his own house?
The answer is in verse 16: “When Joseph saw Benjamin with them…” When the brothers came on their own, the great ruler spoke harshly to them, but when they came in the company of the dearly loved son, the great ruler received them with kindness. He opened his home to them, and he did it because the dearly loved son was with them.
That is a beautiful picture of our position before God. If you come to Him without the dearly loved Son, you will find that He speaks harshly to you. But if you come to God in the company of His dearly loved Son, you will be welcomed into His house and seated at His table.
This kindness takes the brothers completely by surprise. Last time the great ruler spoke to them harshly, and they expected more of the same. The brothers were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house, and they said, “It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may assault us and fall upon us to make us servants and seize our donkeys” (43:18).
This was exactly what the brothers had done to the Shechemites. They launched an assault when these men were in no position to defend themselves. It was such an atrocity that Jacob said it had made his name stink (34:30). The way you expect others to treat you will often reflect the way you have treated others. The brothers assaulted the men of Shechem. They assume that this is what Joseph has in mind for them.
How do you expect God to treat you? Do you find Him harsh or welcoming?