She recalled after losing her full term baby how she struggled with the fear that God would take one of her other children too. Wanting to hold them especially close and protected, she had to daily trust them with the Lord. It seems Jacob in the Bible had a similar fear.
Genesis 42:36 NASB
“Their 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.’”
Jacob believed Joseph, his favorite son, had been killed by a ferocious animal (Genesis 37:32-33). Thirteen years later, in the process of buying grain from a faraway city, Simeon, another of Jacob’s 12 sons, was taken captive. Now, Jacob is informed that to receive more grain and to receive Simeon back, Jacob must release his newly favored son, Benjamin.
I am sure Jacob had flashbacks to losing Joseph after the Simeon was taken captive. Once having 12 sons, he only had 10 now. It’s no wonder he held on to his favored son Benjamin so tightly. Can you imagine his logic? “Yeah, I lost one son, Joseph, but what are the odds that would happen again? I should trust God and not worry.” But then it did happen again! And after this time, who knew how many more sons he would lose within his lifetime? I imagine Jacob held much more tightly to his sons after this second son went missing.
Thankfully we know the end of the story and Jacob died at a ripe old age with all 12 of his sons around his deathbed. However, in the midst of it all, Jacob struggled, like most parents, to release his children. Are you a parent? Do you struggle to release your children? If you’re not a parent, do you struggle to release your friends? Is there something you hold on tightly to because you fear something happening like it did in the past? The Lord wants us to trust Him. He does not want us to fear. If Jacob never released Benjamin, he may have never seen Joseph or Simeon again! Not only that, but since they were in the middle of a famine, the rest of his family might have starved to death. Yet Jacob chose to trust God. As a result, all of his sons were restored to him and his family was kept from starvation. Then instead, they became a great nation! Pray to be able to trust God with things you’re tempted to hold on to tightly.
This is an excerpt from my upcoming book.