Judah glanced at the afternoon sun. The blazing heat caused sweat to run down his forehead, burning his eyes and dripping into his mouth. The salty taste was in sharp contrast to the refreshing waters of Engedi, the cool spring beyond Jordan that he knew from his youth. He stopped from his labor and took a deep breath. His hands were blistered from holding the sickle so tightly for many hours. Looking around, all he could see was his master’s field full of barley and ready to be harvested. Other men were working the field but they were much younger and full of hope.
A flood of memories assaulted his mind as the meaning of his name bore down on his conscience. Judah is Hebrew for “he shall be praised.” It must have been wishful thinking on his parent’s part. He began to laugh and then to cry as the irony of the thought dawned upon him. Falling to his knees, he sobbed uncontrollably as he asked, “How could it come to this? Joseph, my brother, and my parents! What joy we had in the oasis of the desert, the garden of God! How I loved to explore the rocks, swim the crystal waters, and listen to the Bible stories of the people of Israel.
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This article was published by the Berean Bible Society in the free monthly Bible study magazine,The Berean Searchlight. We have included a few paragraphs of the article here, but you can read the entire article using the link above.