“Now the famine was severe in the land. And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” (Genesis 43:1-2 ESV)
For a second time, it is the hunger of Joseph’s brothers caused by the great famine which compels them to go into Egypt (cf. Gen. 42:2). As we looked at before, it is our hunger — our awareness of our need for spiritual sustenance — which brings us to Christ. The sons of Jacob (except Simeon) returned to their homes in Canaan. And it was not until they had eaten up all of the grain which they were given during their first visit to Egypt that Jacob sent them again. What a profound reminder to us that we must return again and again to the Lord in order to receive our own “food.” Jesus is our Bread of Life, but we must partake of Him continually; we must stay close to Him if we hope to remain filled.
It is interesting to note that God repeatedly uses a time of crisis, a period of desperation in order to bring Joseph’s brothers to where He wants them. So often we resist and despise the struggles and times of need in our own lives, yet God chooses to use these times to bring us closer to Him. In our own times of “plenty”, we lose sight of our need for the Lord and begin to forget that He is the Provider of our needs. When this happens, God lets our own grain run out that we might return to Him again.
(*English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)