Genesis 45 (ESV)
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.
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 . . . Continue Reading
The story of Joseph comes to a crescendo as he is bursting with joy that his brothers are not who they were when they sold him to Egypt. He can now finally tell them that he is alive and that God used them to bring him to Egypt to save the people from the famine.
What an amazing scene this is. Here is Joseph – after being thrown into a pit without water by his brothers, after being sold into slavery to Egypt, after spending a few years imprisoned in Egypt, he is overflowing with joy.
Not revenge. Not retaliation. Not even justice. JOY!
Joseph, as the leader of Egypt second only to Pharaoh, could have easily thrown his brothers into a pit without water and left them to die. He could have imprisoned them for at least as many years as he was imprisoned. He could have gathered them for lunch then killed them right on the spot for what they did to him. But he didn’t. Why not?
There is only one explanation for an outcome like this. GOD!
Only God can transform human instinct into godly instinct. Only God can show Pharaoh that Joseph had the Spirit of God in him and Pharaoh certainly was not a follower of God. Only God can restore the broken pieces of our lives and create something so beautiful that to deny the work of God is divine blindness.
The beginning of Genesis 45 says Joseph cried and sent all that were there out of the room except his brothers. He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it as did the household of Pharaoh (Genesis 45:1-2). Joseph tells them who he is and right away asks if their father Jacob is still alive. They were so dismayed at his presence they were speechless (Genesis 45:3).
Then Joseph tells his brothers all that God has done by sending him to Egypt. He lets them off the hook for what they did because he sees the hand of God guiding him to Egypt, not the actions of his brothers sending him there. He tells them all the provisions he will make for them and to go back and bring their father to him along with their wives and children so they can all live near each other in Egypt. He will also provide food for them for the next five years of famine. They wept together and talked with each other. The text doesn’t disclose what their conversation was but I’m sure it had to do with how to handle any questions Jacob might have with how he wound up in Egypt to begin with.
This joyful reunion pleased Pharaoh so much that he personally made provision for them beyond what Joseph offered them. He said, “take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20 Have no concern for your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours” (Genesis 45:19-20). I can’t help but wonder what Pharaoh’s response would have been if Joseph told Pharaoh what they did to him and how he was going to make them pay? Would Pharaoh have gotten involved in that personally and ensured the worst of all the land of Egypt was theres?
The chapter ends with Joseph’s brothers telling Jacob that not only is Joseph alive but he is “ruler over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 45:26). He didn’t believe them at first but when they told him what Joseph said to them, and saw the wagons, his spirit revived and he now knows he will see his long lost son again before he dies!
Thank you for reading my daily online journal today. Far from commentaries these are just my initial thoughts after reflecting on what I’ve read from a chapter in God’s Word each morning. This not only helps me apply what I’ve read because I’m reflecting and sharing instead of only reading but it also allows me to encourage others to prayerfully consider doing the same.
In His Care,