• W. Austin Gardner

Have you Learned the Lesson?


Genesis 42:15-16, 44:16, 34


  • The story shifts to what has happened in the lives of the brothers--have they learned anything from their past

  • Joseph will reveal himself in chapter 45 but right now he seems to be testing his brothers to see what they will do when it comes to taking care of themselves or their brother

  • There is a strong reminder that we do not escape from our sins through the years pass

  • The real goal of bringing out their sin wasn’t punishment but confession and growth


  1. Judah and the brothers have made great mistakes--really they have sinned against God

  2. All sin is actually against God and not against a person Psalm 51:4

  3. They had hated their brother and wanted to kill him

  4. They hated him because of their jealousy of their dad’s love for Joseph 37:4

  5. They hated him for his dreams 37:5, 8

  6. They decided to throw him in a pit and kill him 37:18, 20

  7. How much have I allowed myself to compare myself to others and allow jealousy, envy, and even hatred into my life?

  8. Reuben as the oldest and leader wanted to save his life but wasn’t strong enough to take a stand

  9. Reuben is a very self-consumed man--it didn't matter what had happened to Joseph he was concerned about what would happen to him when Joseph was gone 37:30

  10. He had already shown his total selfishness and lack of respect by defiling his father’s bed 35:22

  11. Reuben loses his position of family leadership because he was unstable 49:3-4

  12. How self-consumed am I that I only concern myself about how I look or how it will turn out for me?

  13. It was Judah who thought that they could make money selling Joseph 37:26

  14. Judah apparently leaves the family and his father for a time after this sin 38:1

  15. He marries and brings much sadness into his life and family

  16. He has very serious family problems

  17. God kills two of his sons for their sin

  18. How far away have we walked from our spiritual authorities and the will of God for our life?

  19. Simeon and Levi are cruel brothers that kill a whole city 34:30

  20. Now in Egypt, the brothers will be proved to see if they have learned the lesson of their sin

  21. In Egypt, they come face to face once again with their sin

  22. Joseph accuses them of being spies due to the story they tell of their family 42:14

  23. He tells them that they will have to bring their youngest brother to prove that they are not spies 42:20

  24. They see and feel their guilt 42:20-24

  25. Reuben reminds them that he had tried to save Joseph 42:22

  26. They acknowledge that they had cold-heartedly ignored Joseph and sold him into slavery 42:21

  27. Simeon the cruel brother is bound before their eyes 42:24

  28. They know that God is dealing with them for their sin 42:28

  29. At home, Reuben offers his two sons if he doesn’t take care of Benjamin 42:37

  30. Judah offers to bear the blame forever if they do not take care of Benjamin 43:9

  31. III.Joseph tests them to see if they will take care of their brother

  32. Joseph has his cup placed in Benjamin’s sack 44:2

  33. When the cup is found in Benjamin’s sack they all tear their clothes and go back to talk to Joseph 44:12-13

  34. Judah confesses that God has found out the iniquity of the brothers 44:16

  35. Joseph says that only Benjamin will have to become his servant for his crime 44:17

  36. Judah confesses their crime and begs to become a servant slave in Benjamin’s place 44:18-34

  37. Judah is determined not to see his dad suffer the loss of Benjamin 44:30

  38. The practical lesson for us

  39. God’s people may sin after salvation Galatians 6:1, I John 2:1 but it is not our practice or habit I John 3:9

  40. We should see the severity of our sin

  41. Sin is against God, not man!

  42. Abimelech took Sarah and God said it was against Him 20:6

  43. If Joseph had sinned with Potiphar’s wife it would have been against God 39:9

  44. If you violate one of the things God has commanded even unknowingly it is against the Lord Leviticus 5:19

  45. Even lying is a trespass against the Lord Leviticus 6:2

  46. David’s sin with Bathsheba was to despise the commandment of the Lord II Samuel 12:9-10, 13-14

  47. When David confesses his sin he says that he has sinned against God and only against God Psalm 51:4

  48. God does discipline sin

  49. Their sin was found out 44:16, 42:28

  50. Your sin does find you out Numbers 32:23

  51. Our secret sins are in His face Psalm 90:8

  52. If you are not disciplined or chastised then you are not a legitimate son Hebrews 12:8

  53. God’s love is stronger than our failures Romans 5:20-6:2

  54. God does not love us less

  55. He has already given the ultimate gift Romans 8:32

  56. Nothing can separate us from His love Romans 8:34-39

  57. There is now no condemnation to us Romans 8:1

  58. We have already passed from death to life John 5:24

  59. We sin or fall but we get up Proverbs 24:16

  60. We learn the lesson from our failure and continue growing

  61. There are two types of repentance from sin II Corinthians 7:9-10

  62. Being sorry for your sin is not enough

  63. Will you learn from your mistakes?

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