Daily reading assignment: Genesis 43-45
The famine continued in Canaan and Israel (aka Jacob) was forced to permit his sons, including his youngest son Benjamin, to return to Egypt to purchase more grain for their households (43:1-14).
Joseph, his identity still unknown to his brothers, was overjoyed to see his brother Benjamin (43:15-16) and invited his brothers to his home to dine (43:16-34). Ordering the head servant of his house to prepare lunch, he commanded his brothers be his guests (43:16-17).
Fearing the worse, Joseph’s brothers cowered at the thought of entering the home of the second most powerful ruler in Egypt, especially when they remembered the money for their previous purchase of grain had found its way into their sacks (43:18). Unable to contain their fear, the brothers began confessing to Joseph’s servant their anxieties and were surprised to learn he had placed the money in their bags (43:19-23a). To their amazement, Simeon who had been left behind in Egypt, was restored to his brothers (43:23b).
Speaking through his interpreter, Joseph greeted his guests and began to question them regarding their father’s welfare (43:26-27). Fulfilling a vision God gave him in his youth, Joseph’s brothers bowed before him (43:28; 37:9-10). Joseph, overcome with emotion, fled to the privacy of his room where he wept for joy (43:30-31).
Continuing to hide his identity, Joseph sat apart from his brothers during the meal (43:32) as a ruler of Egypt was want to do. Joseph’s brothers were amazed that he seated them according to their birth order and gave Benjamin, the youngest, a portion five times greater than his brothers (43:33-34).
Having enjoyed the company of his brothers, Joseph ordered his steward to make ready their departure; this time, not only hiding their money in the grain sacks, but also his silver cup in Benjamin’s sack (44:1-3).
Sending his brothers away, Joseph soon ordered his servants to pursue, overtake, and accuse them of theft (44:4-12). When Joseph’s silver cup was found in Benjamin’s sack, the brothers realized the seriousness of the discovery and were overcome with grief (43:13). Falling on the ground in an act of humiliation, Judah, the fourth son of Jacob, confessed his conviction that the trials that had befallen him and his brothers was a recompense of God’s judgment for their sins (43:14-17). Pleading for Benjamin to be spared lest his loss be a sorrow unto death for their father (44:18-32), Judah requested that he, not Benjamin, would become Joseph’s slave (44:33-34).
Joseph, unable to conceal his identity any longer, ordered his servants out of his presence and with tears of joy declared, “I am Joseph, whom ye sold into Egypt” (Genesis 45:1-4).
Imagine the flood of emotions that passed over Joseph’s brothers! Twenty-two years has passed, but the guilt and shame of their sin against their brother had not faded. Stricken with guilt, fear, and disbelief; they wondered how this ruler of Egypt could be their brother?
Sensing their trepidation, Joseph assured his brothers their sin was sovereignly used by God to “send me before you to preserve life” (45:5-7). Embracing his brothers with tears of joy, Joseph commanded them to return to Canaan and bring his father and their households to Egypt (45:8-15). When word reached Pharaoh’s palace (45:16), the king affirmed Joseph’s desire for his father and family to join him in Egypt (45:16-18).
Imagine old Israel’s (aka, Jacob’s) thoughts at the sight of a caravan coming out of Egypt. Ponder the emotions that welled up in the patriarch when he was told, “Joseph is alive and rules second only to Pharaoh in Egypt!” (45:19-28)
Joseph’s life took a path he had not chosen; however, his faithfulness and faith in the LORD has carried him from the humiliation of a household slave and prisoner to the pinnacle of power and earthly success. The LORD was with Joseph…and he is with you, if your walk is faith-based and Christ-centered.
Psalm 18:30 – 30 As for God, His way [path] is perfect [complete; sound]: the word of the LORD is tried [tested; refined by fire]: he is a buckler [shield] to all those that trust [confide; take refuge] in him.
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith