"Why have you repaid Good with evil?"

Richard Huls

READ : Genesis 44:1-5

Joseph decided to teach a lesson to his brothers who sold him as a slave. The third time they came to Egypt to buy food, they brought Benjamin, Joseph’s younger blood brother. Joseph told his servant to place his own silver cup in Benjamin’s sack. After they left, Joseph sent his servant to threaten them with this question, “Why did you repay good with evil?” (niv) They are thunderstruck with fear.

Regrettably, repaying good with evil is all too common. Think of the times you did good things for people and they repaid you with evil. Parents often sacrifice for their children and get rejection in return. Spouses go out of their way to help each other only to find that the other spouse has been unfaithful and deceitful. Pastors pour their souls and bodies into church ministries and may, in turn, suffer a crushing dismissal. Parishioners do their best and yet may be neglected.

Joseph manipulated the silver cup event to force his brothers to look inside themselves. He succeeded. We usually do not succeed in getting people to acknowledge how evil they can be. Instead we should endeavor to respect the good that people do for us, never ever repaying good with evil.

On the cross Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:24). He repaid evil with good a model for us all.


Lord, help us to repay evil with good. Amen.