Archive for July 21st, 2011

Genesis 45

Genesis 45 has Joseph exploding with emotion – he just can’t hold it in any longer.  “Make everyone go out from me…. Joseph made himself known to his brothers”.  The reunion is overwhelming to Joseph and he wept aloud – very loudly – so all in the household heard it.  It has been years leading up to this and now it has come.  Joseph, in all of his power and leading, is still a person with feelings and emotion and they come out here.  The response of his brothers is a bit different at first: “they were dismayed at his presence”.  Whoa – this is a shocker.  They don’t know what to make of it at first.  Then Joseph tells them the story.

God sent me before you to preserve life…. two years, and there are yet five years….God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors…..it was not you who sent me here, but God”.  Joseph does not blame his brothers for selling him into slavery.  That had to be the initial response many years ago – but he clearly sees God’s hand and plan in this.  He could have chosen a much different response.  He could have been waiting for the opportunity to punish his brothers and cause them pain.  He could have been controlled by bitterness and a desire for revenge.  But he chose to focus on God’s plan and see God’s vision.  He chose to offer grace and mercy rather than be controlled by the desire to pay back.

Joseph tells his brothers to go get his dad.  He sends them with this message: “God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry”.  He wants a family reunion, and that means getting everyone to Egypt.  As he sends them away “he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them”.  The emotion is now everywhere, even spilling to those around him.  “It pleased Pharaoh and his servants”.  Joseph has earned a place of esteem and seeing him happy was a joy to all around him.  Now all those years of faithful service to God in his place with Pharaoh is bringing a blessing.  Pharaoh invites the brothers to bring all of Jacob’s tribe there.  “I will give you the best of the land of Egypt….have no concern for your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours”.  Joseph has not just found a little favor – he has literally been given the keys to the kingdom.

The brothers return home and give Jacob the story.  “Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt”.  Jacob doesn’t buy it at first.  In fact “his heart became numb, for he did not believe them”.  After all, their track record of telling the truth hasn’t been so hot.  Why should he believe them now?  But as they share the story Jacob comes to believe and finally says “It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die”.  Can you imagine the emotion Jacob must be going through?  The son he loved most was dead, but now alive.  What an amazing turn of events for this old man.

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