30 Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s life; 31 It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.
Jacob hasn’t been the central focus of the biblical narrative for a while, but I wish we had more insight into his heart at this time. Specifically, I would like to know more of his thoughts around the area of his life that has long been marred by loss.
When Jacob ran away from home to escape the wrath of Esau, he found solace in Rachel, the love of his life, and gradually built up a great family around him. But then tragedy struck as Rachel died in childbirth. Jacob was still left with her sons, Joseph and Benjamin, but, of course, Joseph was taken and sold into Egypt by his half-brothers. And now Judah believes that Jacob is on the cusp of losing his Benjamin as well.
In short, the Rachel-branch of the family has been both the source of Jacob’s greatest joy and greatest sadness in life. Inherent in the having is also the losing. It is the curse of mortal existence. With every joy we possess comes the fear of losing it…and the eventual realization of that fear.
But, as we will see at the end of this story, after the loss of happiness, even by death, there can be restitution.