Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. Genesis 42:25
Even though Joseph spoke harshly to his brothers, he could not restrain his own love for them. Emotion overcame him and he had to leave the room. “He turned away from them and wept” (42:24). Then he told his servants to load the brothers’ bags with provisions for the journey. This is a sheer act of kindness. “God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance” (Rom. 2:4).
Robert Murray M’Cheyne says that God ordinarily awakens the human conscience by the preaching of the law, but he adds, “And yet to me there is something far more awakening in the sight of a Divine Savior freely offering Himself to every one of the human race.”
The fascinating thing is that the brothers didn’t understand what had happened. One of the brothers said, “My money has been put back; here it is in the mouth of my sack!” The Bible underscores their bewilderment: “At this their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, ‘What is this that God has done to us?’” (42:28, emphasis added).
This is the first time in the story that the brothers ever mention the name of God. At last, these men who had lied, broken trust, and long forgotten their past sins, had some awareness of God. Right now they thought He was against them. They didn’t yet know the great purpose of grace He had for their lives—but at least they were awakened.
God had been at work in their lives: He disturbed their peace, aroused their memories, spoke to them harshly, and now He was showing them undeserved kindness and favor.
Have you ever been awakened and convicted of your own sin? When you are awakened, you will say, “I have already sinned enough to deserve the condemnation of God.” That’s the first thing that happens when you become a Christian, and when it happens, hope will have begun for you.