From Genesis 43-45
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Joseph has tested his brothers and has seen an amazing transformation in them. In particular Judah, who demonstrated a willingness to give himself up rather than allow his brother Benjamin to be taken and his father suffer as a result.
Given this massive change and the long and painful history they had, it is little surprise that Joseph breaks down in tears and reveals himself.
45 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. (Gen 45.1-3)
‘Dismayed’. Joseph makes himself known for the first time. As the reality sets in his brothers now fear for their lives. Joseph their brother whom they betrayed and sold into slavery now is second in authority to Egypt. Their brother whom they thought was good as dead, has now come back alive.
4 So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.
6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. (Gen 45.4-8)
‘God sent me to preserve life’. Joseph makes himself known for the second time. Wanting to put them at ease he tells them of the sovereign hand of God in their dealings with him. Yes they betrayed and sold him into slavery. But God ordered these events so that he could ‘preserve a remnant’ and ‘keep alive many survivors’.
Through what has happened to him God has displayed sovereign care in providing for his family.
Joseph wants his family back.
9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ (Gen 45.9-11)
‘Go up to my father’. Joseph commands him brothers to go and get his father (with all his house) and to bring them over. He wants to take care of his family, because he knows the famine has five more years to go. His father thought he was dead, now he has come back alive.
12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him. (Gen 45.12-15)
‘Now your eyes see’. Josephs brothers recognise him for who he is. Their long lost brother. He again urges them to g and bring his father to him. Once again he breaks down in tears, hugging Benjamin closely. The fearful brothers are finally able to talk with him.
Perhaps starting a slow process of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Story of Israel
All that has transpired in Joseph’s life has a significant role to play in God’s purposes for his covenant people. God’s ordering of affairs is demonstrated in Joseph’s sale into slavery, his elevation to power in Egypt, providing for his family and delivering the world from famine. God sometimes reveals himself in the most unlikely circumstances.
Story of Jesus
Joseph commanded his brothers to go and tell their father the good news he was still alive and bring him into his care. Like Josephs brothers, the disciples of Jesus had to see Jesus to believe he had risen from the dead.
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” (Jn 20.19-23)
Jesus took in his disciples after they had all abandoned him. He appeared to them after he rose from the dead. Once fearful, after seeing Jesus they were commanded to go and preach the good news.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.