Genesis 50

The last chapter of Genesis, chapter 50, talks about Jacobs burial and Joseph’s death. When Jacob passed away he was embalmed and mourned for a long time. Joseph asked Pharaoh if he could go back to his homeland and bury his father as he had been asked to do by Jacob. Pharaoh not only allowed it, he sent a whole batch of people along to help get it done. They went back home and “carried out his instructions to the letter”. After the burial Joseph and the brothers went back to Egypt. Along the road, after the mourning was done, the guilt sets in again. The brothers were worried that Joseph “is carrying a grudge…decides to pay us back for all the wrong we did him”. They were worried about the result of their actions in the past – actually a long time ago now.

The reality of sin is that it doesn’t go away without forgiveness. They were still burdened by guilt, and fear, because they had never really dealt with it. They finally deal with it here and offer to be slaves to Joseph. His response is a classic and one we need to pay attention to. “Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now–life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” What a response to a bunch of people who had considered killing him at 17 and sold him into slavery. There is much wisdom in his response, and a whole lot of truth. If you remember the verse from Romans 8:28 – “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good”. God takes everything and works it together for good in His grand plan. It doesn’t necessarily happen our way in our time, but it does in His time and His plan. That means our response has to be one of faith and trust. We will never see the big picture until “one day we see face to face” as scripture tells us in 1 Cor 13. But that doesn’t change God’s promise or the truth of His Word. God is faithful, He has a plan, and we are a part of that plan. It will work together for good. Joseph sees that and knows it. He lived 110 years and brought his brothers back with him to Egypt where they lived until his death. Joseph had every right, at least in the world’s eyes, to punish his brothers. He instead chose to do it God’s way, forgiveness and love, and be restored and connected. Such a great example of how God works and how we need to be in relationship!

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