Genesis 44:34 (KJV) For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.
“For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me?” Judah was pleading for his younger brother Benjamin. Judah had been the one whose idea it was to sell Joseph into slavery. Judah had been part of the plot to kill Joseph and dip his coat in blood, and present it to his father to make him believe Joseph had been killed. But now we see him pleading for his brother’s life and willing to take the place of his brother in prison if only his father may be spared of further grief. There has been a complete change of heart somewhere. Judah had been converted. A new principle was implanted in his heart. I like what has happened to Judah, don’t you? Can you relate?
Previously Judah had not cared for his father’s feelings. Now he is concerned about them. Before, he thought only of himself. Now he is thinking of the welfare of others as more important. He used to be dishonest; now he is honest. Judah’s life had been changed. He has taken the responsibility of being surety to Benjamin. Judah had voluntarily become surety for him. He took that responsibility by choice.
As soon as one is born into the new life, he voluntarily chooses to make himself surety. “Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary.”The Desire of Ages, p. 195. Missionary work is all about selfless interest in others welfare, in this world and for eternity.
The day is soon coming when we will go up to our Father. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV) 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord). We can be thankful today for a God who will do everything possible so that when we go up to our Father and His Father, those we love will be there with us. Aren’t you thankful for the one who like Judah, stepped forward and said for you and for those you love, “I will be surety for them. Let me take their place”? Aren’t you thankful for the burden of the teacher or parent or brother or missionary or friend that became surety for you? Won’t you join me today to determine not to bring sorrow in the heart of the Father by not being there when all his children gather home?
Wont you join me today in the plaintive appeal made in the court of one of the mightiest nations in the land, “Let me be surety. For how shall I go up to my Father, and the lad be not with me?” Praise God we are making the appeal to the One who is Mightier to save than Joseph. Do you have a brother or sister or friend for whom you are pleading? I cannot imagine heaven without my wife, son, siblings, parents and friends. And even for the wayward, I plead like Judah “Let me be surety. For how shall I go up to my Father, and my wife, son, sister, brother, parents etc be not with me? Join me in pleading for our dearest ones.