Do the Right Thing


Proverbs 24:16 says, “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” I love this verse because it reminds me that I am not perfect, and God doesn’t expect that from me. However, God does expect that I make the most of second, third, or any chances to do the right thing, regardless of how I feel. In today’s passage, we see Judah do the right thing by attempting to sacrifice his life for his brothers.

  • How do you respond when you fail before God? Can you see his patience with you in past or present opportunities to do the right thing?


18 Then Judah went up to him and said, “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23 Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.’

24 “When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And when our father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food,’ 26 we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 One left me, and I said, “Surely he has been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29 If you take this one also from me, and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.’

30 “Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, 31 as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32 For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What is admirable about Judah’s plea? What must have been going through his mind? Think back to his past sins against Joseph.
  2. What was Judah fighting for in his argument? What was the heart-wrenching consequence of loosing Benjamin to be Joseph’s slave?
  3. What do you make of Judah never addressing the crimes he and Benjamin had been accused of? Was that a good move?
  4. What is challenging about your life currently? What does faithfulness to God and doing the right thing look like for you right now? What might God be wanting you to learn in this circumstance?


Like Judah, oftentimes we find ourselves in painful and hard situations. The book of Hebrews says to rejoice in these trials because God is disciplining and training us to be more like his son, so as to share in his righteousness. We can’t control the outcome of our life or the events thrown our way, but we can control our response to them. When we take that kind of focus on life, we usually find ourselves learning God’s lessons for us and showing our colors as sons and daughters of God.

  • Ask God what you need to surrender to him today.
  • Ask him for the ability to focus solely on your faithful response to your circumstances, leaving the results in God’s hands.
  • Talk to God about the trials of your life and ask him to illuminate the areas where you need to do the right thing.