Baptist pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon is remembered today as the Prince of Preachers. But in addition to his sermons, he regularly reading a Bible passage before his message and gave a verse-by-verse exposition, rich in gospel insight and wisdom for the Christian life. === Sample: Gen 42:1-8 ===
1, 2. Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.
Famines are hells on earth. The famine which had overtaken Jacob was one which, if it had not at the moment of which this passage speaks, exactly arrived at that dreadful pitch, was sure to come to it; for the famine was to last for seven years; and if, through the spendthrift character of Eastern nations, they had not saved in the seven years of plenty enough even for one year, what would become of them during the sixth or seventh year of famine? This was the state of Jacob’s family. They were cast into a waste, howling wilderness of famine with but one oasis, and that oasis they did not hear of till just at the time to which our text refers, when they learned to their joy that there was corn in Egypt.
The sons of Jacob had a very great need of bread. There was a family of sixty-six of them. We are apt, when we read these names of the sons of Jacob, to think they were all lads. Are you aware, that Benjamin, the youngest of them, was the father of ten children, at the time he went into Egypt, so that he was not so very small a lad at any rate, and all the rest had large families, so that there were sixty-six to be provided for. Well, a famine is frightful enough when there is one man who is starving—when there is one brought down to a skeleton through leanness and hunger: but when sixty-six mouths are craving for bread, that is indeed a horrible plight to be in.
Do you see the gathering? The venerable patriarch sits in the tent, his sons come to pay him their morning obeisance; there is despair in their faces, they bring their little children with them. All that the patriarch has he gives; but this morning he adds good news to his benediction, he says to them, “There is corn in Egypt.” Can you conceive how their hearts leaped? He scarcely needs to add, “Get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live and not die.”
3. And Joseph’s ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.
Jacob’s sons did not say, “Well, that is very good news; I believe it,” and then sit still and die. No, they went straightway to the place of which the good news told them corn was to be had. So should it be in matters of religion. We should not be content merely to hear the tidings, but we should never be satisfied until by divine grace we have availed ourselves of them’ and have found mercy in Christ.
4-8. But Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him. 5 And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan. 6 And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth. And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them;
Joseph intends to bless his brethren; he has the most liberal of the royal designs towards them, but he first deals roughly with them. So, too, with our own souls. When the Lord Jesus Christ intended to save us, and to give us a sense of pardon of our sins, he began by convincing us of our iniquity. He dealt heavy blows at our self-righteousness.
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