We’re headed into finishing off the third week of Bible Reading together – congratulations for sticking with the Bible reading!
A happy ending story to our story of Joseph, but painful in the middle! I don’t see Joseph as vindictive, but honestly wanting to see his brothers come clean and Joseph takes caring measures to help them go in that direction! It’s amusing to think of his brothers earnestly protesting that “we are honest men” to Joseph, yet having to describe their one brother as “one who is no more”!
But their confession that they are being punished … because they saw how distressed their brother was pleading for his life with them is a painful memory that brings tears to Joseph! It seems to me that life does have those painful memories!
How fitting that Simeon who is described as cruel (with his brother Levi) by their father later on – Simeon would be the one who is put in prison to await his brothers return!
And the remorse only grows deeper with the discovery of their money back in their sacks of grain – how does one explain that to Joseph! Unconfessed sins and God – our loving faithful Father will make sure that He steers us in that direction by His quiet firm discipline!
Judah and the need for food, finally convince Jacob that there is no other recourse, but to send Benjamin, although he does tell off the brothers for being so honest as to tell Joseph about a father and a younger brother!
Only more problems when they finally feel they are in the clear, to discover that Benjamin has the cup and his sentence has been decided by the brothers themselves!
But Judah with his “word to my lord” finally convinces Joseph of their true repentance when he refuses to accept that he will have to carry back the message about Benjamin a slave in Egypt, because Judah can not bear the thought that “he will bring Jacob’s gray head down to the grave in misery” – a compassion which was certainly lacking when another young boy, Joseph himself, was sold as a slave!
Somehow, the words, “How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me?” seems to ring a bell with the thought of how can I, Rob, appear before my Heavenly Father, if one of my daughters were not in Heaven with me! Thankfully, the Lord has been gracious to answer Marg’s and my earnest prayers for a decision for Christ by each of our daughters!
But for me, the crowning part of the story is how Joseph views all the disasters of his life – “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives THAT GOD SENT ME AHEAD OF YOU”! And again, “GOD SENT ME AHEAD OF YOU to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by A GREAT DELIVERANCE. Hopefully I will be able to gain that perspective on life here below! (the upper story perspective!)
No wonder Joseph is in a great hurry to see to the welfare of his brothers and his father!
Is that why we can say with calm confidence, “We know (not always understand how) that ALL things work TOGETHER for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”? Rom. 8:28
Be encouraged today. You are never out of your loving Heavenly Father’s thoughts, planning and care.