Honest Men


“No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. We are all sons of one man; we are honest men; your servants are not spies.”


The ten older sons of Jacob were outlaws, scoundrels, thugs, and hooligans.

~Alvin Tucker

I don’t remember the entire sermon, but I do remember hearing Alvin Tucker characterize the ten older brothers of Jacob and he was right. The term ‘honest men’ is found five times in the Bible, and all are in Genesis 42 and in reference to these ten older sons of Jacob. Joseph knew exactly who there were, and he put them to the test by accusing them of being spies. He recognized them the moment he saw them but that didn’t have a clue as to who they were dealing with. In protest they say, “We are not spies. We are all sons of one man and honest men.” I imagine it was hard for Joseph to keep a straight face; there wasn’t an honest man among them. They had conspired together to deceive their own father who had been living under the cloud of a diabolical lie for twenty years. Not one of the ten ever told Jacob the truth. When they report back to Jacob {without Simeon who Joseph kept in Egypt}, they said, “So we said to him {Joseph}, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies.'” I am sure Jacob was tempted to say, “Honest men, really; you told him you were honest men. You wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you on the neck.” Joseph knew they were liars and so did their father. They were not men you could trust. Shechem trusted them and it cost him his life. No, there was not an honest man among them, yet they tried to convince Joseph that they were honest when he knew the truth.

Why do we pretend to be something we are not? Why is it so difficult to tell the truth? All have sinned and come short of the glory of God and you and I are not exceptions. Even Bildad the Shuhite got it right, How can a mortal be innocent before God? Can anyone born of a woman be pure? David said in Psalm 53, God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.
But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one! Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:20, Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins. Jesus said, “No one is good except God.” Do you think it is possible for someone to appear before Christ in the final judgment with the attitude of these ten brothers? “Lord, we are good men, we have not done anything wrong.” It is so ironic to me that the ten brothers try to pass themselves off as honest men. They were lying when they said, “We are honest men.” They did not deceive Joseph, he knew how corrupt they were, but did they deceive themselves? Did they honestly think they were honest men?


I am a lot better, and it is possible that I may make the service tomorrow night. I will have to see how it goes today. Mrs. Fran Smith {Pat’s mom} lost her house yesterday to fire. Everything is gone! Pat told me she was taking it well. I hate she lost her things, but I am glad she is all right. Our house burned down when I was six. Mother lost everything. It was really upsetting to her. Pray for Mrs. Fran.

I hope you have a great day and thanks for reading the blog.

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