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Someone composed an acronym to define fear–F-E-A-R–False Evidence Appearing Real. That described fearful Jacob. His sons went to Egypt to buy food because of a famine. In Egypt, their brother Joseph treated them roughly. He put Simeon in prison, gave them food, but told them not to return without their young brother Benjamin. When that food ran out, father Jacob was full of fear as he pondered sending his son Benjamin to Egypt. In his mind, he would be losing three sons–Joseph, Simeon, and Benjamin. To him, False Evidence Appeared Real. At that point, he did not know what we know–that God was at work. To help calm his fears, one son, Judah, said to his dad, “Send the boy with me, and we will be on our way. Otherwise we will all die of starvation–and not only we, but you and our little ones. I personally guarantee his safety. Hold me responsible if I don’t bring him back to you.” Jacob finally agreed. He told them to take a gift, take double their money, and Benjamin. “Perhaps,” Jacob said, “the man will release Simeon and Benjamin. But if I must lose my children, so be it.” Jacob’s fear in part came from incomplete information. He was unaware of what we know — that having the facts and faith in God can reduce fear.

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