Read Genesis 45:1-28. What lessons of love, faith, and hope can be found in this story?
It is at that very moment, when Judah talked about the “evil” that would fall upon ’avi, “my father” (Genesis 44:34), that Joseph “cried out” (Genesis 45:1, NKJV) and then “made himself known” to his brothers. This expression, often used to refer to God’s self-revelation (Exodus 6:3, Ezekiel 20:9), suggests that it is God also who had revealed Himself here, as well. That is, the Lord had shown that His providence reigns, even despite human foibles.
Joseph’s brothers cannot believe what they are hearing and seeing. Thus, Joseph is obliged to repeat, “I am Joseph your brother” (Genesis 45:4, NKJV), and only at the second time, when they hear the precise words “whom you sold into Egypt” (Genesis 45:4, NKJV), that they believe.
Joseph then declares: “God sent me” (Genesis 45:5, NKJV). This reference to God has a double purpose. It serves not only to reassure his brothers that Joseph does not have bad feelings about them; it is also a profound confession of faith, and an expression of hope, because what they did was necessary for the “great deliverance” and the survival of a “posterity” (Genesis 45:7).
Joseph then urges his brothers to go to his father in order to prepare him to come to Egypt. He accompanies his call with specific words concerning the place where they will “dwell,” that is, Goshen, famous for its rich pasture, “the best of the land” (Genesis 45:18, Genesis 45:20, NKJV). He also takes care of the transportation: carts are provided, which will ultimately convince Jacob that his sons were not lying to him about what they had just experienced (Genesis 45:27). Jacob takes this visible demonstration as visible evidence that Joseph is alive, and this is enough for him to become alive again (compare with Genesis 37:35, Genesis 44:29).
Things are now good. Jacob’s 12 sons are alive. Jacob is now called “Israel” (Genesis 45:28), and the providence of God had been made manifest in a powerful way.
|Yes, Joseph was gracious to his brothers. He could afford to be. How, though, do we learn to be gracious to those whose evil toward us doesn’t turn out as well as it did for Joseph?|