MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 45
Because of our physical detachment from this story, I am not sure we can grasp the impact that occurred when Joseph proclaimed to his brothers, “I am Joseph”. I cannot imagine the mix of emotions that must have flooded their thoughts. Surely, there was disbelief. After all, they were convinced they were responsible for his death. Surely, there was terror. After all, they had horribly mistreated him and now he had total authority over them. Surely, there was joy. The one that they thought was dead was, in fact alive.
Another interesting aspect of this story is before this Joseph had only spoken to his brothers through an Egyptian interpreter. His brothers would have believed that Joseph didn’t speak Hebrew and, therefore, their conversations would have been private even in his presence. But now Joseph has sent everyone out of the room and he is speaking to his brothers in Hebrew. I suspect part of the terror they were struggling with was trying to remember what they actually said in his presence.
Verse 5 is a huge statement. Joseph told his brothers not to be afraid or angry because God had been sovereignly at work behind the scenes. Looking back at all that had happened, Joseph could see that God was directing things so that Joseph would be in the position he was in to help his dad and the extended family. Apart from that, the nation of Israel may very well have died in Canaan during the famine and the story of God would have ended or would have required a very sharp turn to another group of people.
This chapter gives us another beautiful example of Joseph as an Old Testament Christ figure. Joseph had gone from suffering to triumph. He had gone from prison to the throne. And because of his victory over the suffering, he had great wealth and glory to share with those in His family.
There is one last thing I want to call to your attention. It is found at the end of verse 24. Joseph is on the verge of sending his brothers back to their father and he tells them, “Do not quarrel on the way.”
I honestly don’t know whether to laugh at that or shake my head in disbelief. On one hand you would think that after the events of this chapter, the brothers would be so relieved, so full of joy and excitement, so focused on purpose they would be in total unity.
On the other hand, they boys are humans just like most of us are. They had a history like most of us have. They have some tendencies like most of us have. So, Joseph says, “Do quarrel on the way.” “Don’t be fighting about stuff on the way home.”
We can be a quarrelsome bunch at times. Even in the good times and especially in the not so good times. Maybe as we continue our journey to our Father we would be well served not to quarrel so much either.