Lest Peradventure I See The Evil Gen. 44: 34 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Judah said to Joseph, Lest Peradventure I See The Evil that shall come on my father, concerning returning to Canaan without Benjamin. Judah offered himself in Benjamin’s place because he would have rather been a bondman to Joseph than to see his father suffer the loss of Benjamin. It was the thought of seeing the evil that should come on his father that compelled him to intervene on Benjamin’s behalf even at his own personal loss.
Imagine, for purposes of illustration that Benjamin is a lost soul, Jacob is God the Father and Judah is Jesus Christ. Judah knows the evil that will befall Jacob if Benjamin is not returned to his father. And so he offers himself in Benjamin’s place so that Benjamin will make it back home. No doubt, Jesus could see the evil that would befall his Father because of his love for us and so he went to the cross of Calvary to take our place so that we could go to God. He did not want to go up to his Father without us.
Paul had this same vision when dealing with his brethren, the Jews. Paul was like Judah. He said, “I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,” [Rom 9:2-3]. He was willing to be accursed from Christ so that those for whom Christ had died could be saved and with God.
Would to God we would know the evil that will befall our Father when the souls for whom Jesus died don’t make it home to heaven. If we could “see” this evil it would absolutely revive our individual soul winning efforts and our church’s soul winning efforts. If we would develop the vision of Judah, the vision of Jesus Christ, the vision of Paul we would be willing to sacrifice our own lives for them to be saved. Then we like Judah, like Jesus and like Paul would have more fruitful ministries.
We will develop this vision of the evil that will come on our Father when we consider:
Our Personal Knowledge – Judah had already seen his father suffer – Gen 37:33-35 – Judah had already seen what the loss of a child had done to Jacob when Joseph didn’t return – and if you think about God in the crucifixion, you should be able to see what he went through when his Son Jesus died.
Our Personal Fault – Judah knew that he was partly responsible for his father’s suffering in Joseph’s case [Gen 37:26-27] – he arranged Joseph’s sale and faked death – it was Reuben’s desire to rescue him; Judah was the one who thought to sell him – Paul certainly knew his personal responsibility in causing God to suffer as a result of the persecutions. Can we not see the suffering we have caused our Father because of our sin that sent Jesus to the cross?
Our Personal Responsibility – Judah knew that there was something that he could do [Gen 44:32] – he would stand to protect Benjamin and make it his personal responsibility to make sure that he was returned to Jacob – Paul sensed his personal responsibility so much that he always went to the Jews first and tried to win them to Christ – have you ever considered your personal responsibility to sinners and to God to make sure they get home to heaven?
Our Personal Sacrifice – Judah would do anything to keep from seeing his father suffer again [Gen 44:33] – there was no price to high to keep Jacob from going through the loss of Benjamin [Gen 43:14] – Paul gave his life to save the Jews – his was not just a profession of willingness to be accursed – he went to Jerusalem at the peril of his life [Acts 20:23-24] – what is your personal sacrifice for souls [Rom 12:1-2]?
Conclusion: We will never be effective in the work of soul winning until it becomes personal with us and we see the picture of our Father’s countenance when we get to heaven without those for whom Jesus died. We need to see God’s countenance the way that Judah saw Jacob’s and we need to see sinners the way that Judah saw Benjamin.