Genesis 43:1 And the famine was sore in the land.
2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.
3 And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:
5 But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
6 And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?
7 And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?
8 And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones.
9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:
10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.

Introductory Thoughts

The word blame and its various forms appears twenty-four times in scripture. In a general sense, blame is the guilty responsibility concerning a matter. In Genesis chapter 43, Judah understood the necessity of taking Benjamin if they were to buy food, but he also understood the concerns of his father. Jacob already lost Joseph; he was not prepared to lose another son, especially Benjamin. With these things in mind, Judah promised his father that Benjamin would come back to Jacob alive and well. If Judah was unable to fulfil this promise, he was prepared to bear the blame forever. Later, while in Egypt, when it appeared as though Benjamin would be taken, Judah declared his responsibility for the lad (Genesis 44:10, 32).

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): Read how the two spies and Rahab agreed concerning the conditions under which either she or they would be guilty if Rahab and her people were not spared the destruction of Jericho (Joshua 2:12-21; Joshua 6:21-23). Read also how Jonah was to blame regarding the storm (Jonah 1:10-12).
• (For everyone): Jacob was initially unwilling to send Benjamin with the other brothers in order to buy food. How did Judah become responsible for the life of Benjamin when he talked his father into sending Benjamin?
• What are some areas of responsibility where you could be to blame if something goes wrong? How can you avoid the blame?

Prayer Thoughts
• Ask God to teach you how to be blameless in a practical sense.
• Ask the Lord to teach you about being blameless before Him.