Today’s scripture story comes from Genesis 42 – 45 (I know that’s a lot of reading – but it’s the weekend! I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee and a quiet spot and read all 4 chapters because it is a beautiful, climactic end to this story!)
Overview – In these 4 chapters of Genesis we see Jacob tell Joseph’s brothers to go to Egypt to get grain. They come and bow before Joseph (Just like the dream he had as a teenager) and asked for grain. Joseph recognized them, but they did not recognize him. He spoke to them through an interpreter and was harsh with them. He called them spies – though he knew they were not. He threw them in prison for 3 days and then finally said to them “Let me keep one brother, to prove what you say is true, you can take the grain and return to your father and bring me back the youngest brother so I know you are not lying.” (Benjamin had stayed behind with Jacob. With Joseph gone he was now the youngest and the father was afraid to let him go, but Joseph longed to see his full brother.)
As they left the one brother with Joseph and prepared to return home one says to the other in Vs. 21 of Chapter 42 “Surely wea re guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.” (Guilt will eat you up. They believed this was befalling them as a “repayment” for earlier sins. They were right, but not as right as they thought.)
They return home and find not only the grain, but their money back in their sacks. They know something isn’t right, they feel they are being “set up”. They tell their father Jacob that they need to take Benjamin back to this man in charge of Egypt, and then he will also release the brother they left behind. Jacob refuses saying he can’t lose Benjamin, like he did his brother Joseph, or it will surely put him in his grave.
Eventually the hunger overtook them and the father agreed to let them take Benjamin with them so they could get more grain to keep their entire family from starving to death. He also advised them to take with them gifts for the man in charge of the grain.
As they returned to Egypt with their brother Benjamin and the gifts. When Joseph saw Benjamin, he had to go into another room and weep. Once he gained composure, he invited them all to eat with him. As they were preparing to leave Joseph instructed his servants to stick his silver cup in the sack of the youngest son and then when they left, to follow them and overtake them and open the sack to reveal the cup and bring them all back. When this plays out, Joseph tells them that they all may go, but Benjamin has to stay with him.
But Judah interceded for Benjamin and explained that if they went back without Benjamin, their father would surely die. Joseph could hide no more, he broke down and cried and demanded everyone out of the room except he and his brothers. He then revealed himself to them. AND he consoled them saying “don’t be angry with yourselves. God sent me here, ahead of you, to preserve all our lives!” He then told them there would be 5 more years of famine and they should go get their father and bring him back as well. When Pharoah heard all this he told Joseph to invite his family to live in Egypt. And they did. They moved back to Egypt with their families and were spared through the famine, just as Jospeh’s dream at 17 years old predicted!
Lessons from this scripture: (**Some from the Life Application Study Bible)
- Joseph recalled his dreams about his brothers bowing down to him and realized they were coming true! As a young boy, Joseph had been a bit boastful about his dreams. As a man, he no longer flaunted his status. He didn’t feel the need to say “I told you so.” It wasn’t time to reveal himself so he kept quiet. Sometimes it’s best to remain quiet, even when we really want to have the last word!**
- Reuben, the one who wanted to save Joseph from the pit, didn’t refrain from saying “I told you so!” Can you imagine the days and nights spent in guilt after what they had done to Joseph? They were just sure they “had it coming to them.”**
- Jacob and his sons had no relief from the famine. They could not see God’s overall plan of sending them to Egypt to be reunited with Joseph, and fed from the storehouses. If you are praying for relief from suffering or pressure and God is not bringing it as quickly as you would like, remember he may be leading you to something even better than you are asking for!**
- When Judah was younger, he had showed no regard for his brother Joseph or his father, Jacob. First he had convinced his brothers to sell Joseph into slavery; then he joined his brothers in lying to his father. But what a change had taken place in Judah over the years! He was now willing to take the place of his little brother Benjamin with Joseph. He was willing to give his life for his brother and father. When you are ready to give up hope on yourself, or someone else, remember that God can work a complete change – even in the most selfish of personalities!!**
- I love the redemption power in this story! Joseph forgave his brothers, completely! Not only did he forgive them, he gave them land and food and life! Sound familiar? In my opinion, this is like a type and shadow of the coming of Christ and what he does for us! No matter how much wrong we’ve done – he will completely and totally forgive us when we come to him, humbly, and ask for forgiveness! And just like Joseph did with his brothers, Jesus will clean you up, give you a home in heaven, and sustain you here on this earth!
- Tell me the bible doesn’t have amazing stories of mystery, intrigue and beautiful lessons!
It’s FRIDAY! Enjoy the weekend and I’ll see you on Monday as we continue to grow in the Word!
Joseph forgave his brothers completely! Not only forgave them but gave them land ,food and life. No matter what we’ve done HE will COMPLETELY and TOTALLY forgive us if we go to him ask HUMBLY ask for FORGIVENESS ! What a God we have full of GRACE AND LOVE. ❤️💕