Dear Father, Your love never grows old; it is new every day. A song of praise rises to You in my heart.
Read GENESIS 45
Joseph Makes Himself Known
45 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, 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. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]
8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’
12 “You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”
14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
16 When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’
19 “You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. 20 Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’”
21 So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22 To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels[b] of silver and five sets of clothes. 23 And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!”
25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’1
When Joseph can no longer control himself, it is time for the truth to be revealed. In a popular British TV program, Who Do You Think You Are?, the subjects often react very emotionally when a surprising bit, good or bad, of their family’s history is revealed. Imagine the emotional wrench the brothers felt, let alone Joseph, when he reveals to them who he really is. They are stunned into silence, initially assuming that he would exact revenge on them. But Joseph seeks reconciliation, not revenge.
Joseph traces the hand of God in it all. He nicely juxtaposes their actions, ‘you sold’ me to Egypt (4), with God’s action, ‘God sent’ me, mentioned three times (5,7,8). Behind the tragedies they’ve experienced is a good God at work, arranging both for the deliverance of starving Egyptians and the renewal of a broken Hebrew family. What follows wonderfully illustrates the gospel. Revealing the truth results in the brothers’ release from the guilt of their wrongdoing and their grieving father being set free from sorrow. A new day dawns in which God’s gracious hand is seen as Pharaoh hears the news and lavishes good gifts on them. Joseph, once stripped of his robe by his brothers, now clothes them with new garments. And there’s more to come. Land is set aside for them for their home in Goshen.
Joseph’s first words to his father (9) emphasize that God is behind it all. The initiative, as in all salvation, lies with Him. Deliverance is accomplished only through Joseph’s suffering and sacrifice and becomes effective only when the brothers repent. The truth sets them free and a whole new future emerges. The truth of Jesus, revealed through His cross and accessed through confession of sin, continues to do just that.
Read Ephesians 2:1–10 and contemplate the wonder of God’s grace in saving us.
Lord, I feel blessed today to know that Your purposes will never be thwarted. Through all the turbulent circumstances of life, Your will is still being done.
1 John 8:32
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.