Read His Words Before Ours!
After all this time….
Thirteen years (Genesis 37:2, Genesis 41:46) spent wondering what would become of me. Years of wondering what had become of those who had sold me into slavery – you, my half-brothers. (Genesis 37:12-28) Now here you are, back for more grain. (Genesis 43:1-14)
This time I won’t be rough with you as I was at your last visit when I desperately needed to know if your hearts had truly repented. (Genesis 42:9-20) Instead, I will continue to show kindness like I did as you returned home to our father. (Genesis 42:25-26)
I will instruct my servant to invite you to the noon meal.
I see my brother Benjamin (Genesis 35:24) has returned with you, as I had previously instructed. (Genesis 42:20) How my heart is both joyful and heavy. I missed so much of his life while I served Potiphar and sat in prison. (Genesis 39, Genesis 41:1) O Benjamin! Let me retreat to my room as I am overwhelmed to see him as a mature young man. (Genesis 43:30)
I want to reveal myself to you, my brothers, on this visit, but I also want to continue to test your hearts. You were honest with my servant about the money I returned to you, and you gave more care to Benjamin on the journey here than you did to me that fateful day. Maybe you have learned. But how will you handle favor? Will you be jealous, like you were when our father favored me with the coat? (Genesis 37:3-4) Let us see.
First I arranged you in birth order. (Genesis 43:33) I knew that would alarm you. Then I gave my brother Benjamin five times more food and drink than the others.
But you did not get upset and for that I was overjoyed. (Genesis 44:34)
I enjoyed my time with you, but I needed to prepare for my final test. Well, not my final test, but Yahweh’s. It is He who is guiding and obstructing me in how I deal with you brothers.
As you left to return to our father, I sent my servant after you to accuse you of thievery. (Genesis 44:1-2) Many would think you are thieves, stealing my freedom and so many years of my life. But you stole nothing. Not this day, nor the day you sold me into slavery. It was all part of God’s plan, and I intended to share this truth with you if you passed my final test.
When my servant stopped you and found the cup in Benjamin’s bag I had placed there, you returned to me, not angry and indignant, but humble! You fell to the ground and bowed before me, (Genesis 44:1-14) just like in the dream that made you hate me enough to sell me. (Genesis 37:5-11) In that moment, you were more humble than I had been when I shared the dream.
And then Judah. O Judah! You mentioned I was dead, but I was not. I was right before you. But despite still holding onto that story of what happened to me, you, above all, amazed me. You came to me with humility, a sense of responsibility and dare I say love and compassion. (Genesis 44:18-34)
You offered your very life for my brother Benjamin. You offered your life to prevent our father from any further grief. I saw none of that before, but now, now, my brother, I see the change. You passed my test. All of you passed.
Now, I weep as I reveal myself to you brothers. Yes, I tricked you, but it wasn’t done in vengeance or hate. I sense your worry, but I say to you, “…don’t be grieved or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:5) Brothers, I love you in spite of your actions.
And now, I await your return with my father, Israel. How I have missed him! How I have missed all of you! My soul rejoices for the plans of Yahweh, for they are always true and right. Now hurry my brothers and bring our father to Egypt, where he will be well cared for and Yahweh will be glorified.
John: Joseph invited his brothers to a meal to reveal who he was. We see Jesus openly reveal who He is at a meal, but without any trickery in John 14. Joseph used trickery to confirm his brothers’ heart intentions, but Jesus had no need for such tactics. He simply served them humbly and lovingly by washing His disciples’ feet. (John 13:1-17)
Cleopas: Joseph went to great lengths to reveal to his brothers who he was, with the big reveal at the noon meal. I wonder if they sensed it before he told them? As I walked the road to Emmaus, I felt something, a recognition. But it was at the meal that He, Jesus, fully revealed Himself. And it was my great privilege to truly see the God who keeps on revealing Himself to humanity through our telling of Him. (Luke 24:13-35)
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!