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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 43

Sermon Bible CommentarySermon Bible Commentary

Verses 30-31

Genesis 43:30-31

The text exhibits the contrast between the secret life and the outward life of each one of us; between the chamber and the banqueting-room; between the man whom God sees and the man whom the world sees, in each one of us. It is to the thought of secret sorrows that the text directs us; sorrows which, however keenly felt in secret, must be disguised and suppressed in the presence of others.

I. The trouble of Joseph, on this occasion, was one of the heart or affections. His pent-up love was overwhelming; it could only be relieved by a burst of tears; he entered into his chamber and wept there. Where is the house in which affection is not the source of some secret trouble? Loneliness of heart, unrequited love, is a calamity; God sees it, God pities it; but be brave in His strength to endure it, and do not put aside, in perverseness or self-will, that offer of Divine love which, in the long run, will be worth all else to you.

II. It is but a step from this to the next example that of anxiety about the souls of others. What words could more aptly designate such a life of anxious watching than those which speak of a weeping in the chamber and a refraining oneself below a couch watered with tears, yet a face which must smile by day that it may not tell its tale? Well is it written of such a sufferer, that he went out and refrained himself that he might not reveal, that he might not betray!

III. Think next of those distresses which come to us from the inward strivings of sin; from those restless workings of inward corruption which make the life of so many one long toil and conflict. These, too, above all, are secret things. They are our secrets, but they exist. They make a large part of our existence, and we have to refrain ourselves not to show them. (1) To some I would say, Do not nurse your secret sorrows. Sorrows of affection grow by pondering. They are loud calls to work. (2) To stronger men, who have no experiences of secret sorrow, I would say, Beware of disregarding and despising those who have. Make room for others. Recognise the existence of secret sorrow as an explanation of many phenomena of character.

C. J. Vaughan, Lessons of Life and Godliness, p. 98.

References: Genesis 44:0 F. W. Robertson, Notes on Genesis, p. 161; M. Dods, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, p. 231; W. M. Taylor, Joseph the Prime Minister, p. 122.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Genesis 43". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sbc/genesis-43.html.
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