Sometimes things get worse before they get better

Genesis Bible Background

01.18.2018 – Old Testament: Gen 42.29–34

To read the Bible in a year, read Genesis 42–43 on January 18, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

The sons of Jacob were already experiencing a famine when their father sent them to Egypt, where he had heard that they had grain. However, when they appeared before the man who would sell them grain, they did not know who he was, but he knew them, for it was Joseph whom they had not seen for 22 years. He treated them roughly because of the way that they had treated him. They brought back this report to their father,

Then they went to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan and told him all that had happened to them, saying: “The man who is lord of the land spoke roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is with our father this day in the land of Canaan.’ Then the man, the lord of the country, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, take food for the famine of your households, and be gone. And bring your youngest brother to me; so I shall know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. I will grant your brother to you, and you may trade in the land’” (Genesis 42.29–34).

Yet, if you have read the story before, you know what happens later and how Joseph ended up blessing them all mightily. However, at this point in time, the brothers could only see their lives getting worse.


  • Have you experienced bad times before the good times happened?
  • Do you look to bless others or do you look to be blessed by others?

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