Read His Words Before Ours!
It was a day I thought I’d never see . . .
As I lay at the bottom of the well expecting to die;
as I came to grips with my new life of servitude in Egypt;
as I sat in jail, imprisoned for a crime I didn’t commit;
even as I knew success as governor of Egypt:
I never thought I would see my father again.
But, to my delight, after I finally revealed my identity to my brothers, Pharaoh told me to send them to get my father and the rest of the family. He offered them the best of the land of Egypt as their home. I could hardly wait to be reunited with my father at last.
I’ll never forget the moment I saw him. It was overwhelming. Both of us wept as we embraced one another, neither of us wanting to let go. So many years had passed, but the love between us had endured. He had believed me to be dead, and I had been unsure whether he was still alive. The pain brought by the years apart was eclipsed in an instant at the joy of being together again.
My father told me how God had spoken to him on the road to Egypt:
“I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you back. Joseph will close your eyes when you die.” (Genesis 46:3-4)
There were many happy times together in Egypt in the years that followed. My brothers worked as shepherds, and I successfully led Egypt through the remaining years of famine. Our family grew and flourished.
It sounds like this should be the end of the story, the part where “they all lived happily ever after,” but of course real life doesn’t work out like that. My father was growing old, and all too soon, the time came for him to join his ancestors in death.
We had seventeen years together in Egypt; a blessing I never dared dream possible. My father saw his grandsons and blessed them; his final years were filled with joy and gratitude at having the whole family together once more.
Before he died, my father asked to be buried with his grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac. He had never forgotten God’s promise all these years, “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you back.” (Genesis 46:4)
Although he had prospered during his years in Egypt, Canaan was his home, the land God had promised, and he knew God would be faithful to His word. So, after seeking permission from Pharaoh, my brothers and I set out to lay our father to rest at home.
On our return to Egypt, I was surprised to receive a message from my brothers asking my forgiveness for how they had mistreated me. Didn’t they realise I had forgiven them long ago? Although I had assured them of this even before our father came to Egypt, it seems there was some lingering doubt causing them to speculate that now our father had died, I might decide to take my revenge!
I was overcome with sorrow at how worried they were, at how they must have tormented themselves over the years. Their actions were wrong and caused me great suffering, but, looking back, I see how, even in hardship, God was working for good. He led me to Egypt and put me in a position where I could save the lives of many people.
Through all that happened, God had been with me. How could I hold a grudge? I had known God’s kindness, the kindness intended to lead to repentance (Romans 2:4), and I was more than happy to offer that same kindness to my brothers.
I comforted them and promised to care for them and their children, and I think this time they saw my sincerity.
As I look back over my life, I marvel at how God has worked and I’m grateful for how He has brought my brothers and me to this place of peace and flourishing. I trust God will keep His promise to bring my family back to Canaan one day, but I also look beyond Canaan to the day I will be reunited with my father again, forever this time, when we will dwell together with God at the great heavenly homecoming, the true happy ending.
“Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
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!