“If you are honest men … “ (42:19). Joseph’s brothers had not previously been honest men or good men (see chapter 40, Judah’s story), but God was not finished with them. Joseph now held the power, and he used their desperate situation to test their characters to see if they had changed. The men realized that somehow their past deeds had led them to this point: “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother …” (42:21).
“Do this and you will live (42:18). We don’t have to repeat the pattern of wrong early choices. God gives us new opportunities to obey Him and experience His blessings.