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Chapter 45:1-28 - A Family Reunion - Part 2
Last week we saw Joseph reveal himself to his brothers for the first time, so now we get into the meat of this revealing. Notice what he now tells them in vs. 5.
Vs. 5-15 - “ 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.
For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
“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.
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. 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. I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and you're household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’
“You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”
Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.”
Again, Joseph has prepared for this moment prayerfully. God has no doubt spoken to his heart - “look, these guys are gonna be confused and afraid. But now they have confessed, right? So now I want you to restore them and comfort them. I want you to ease their fear by really pulling them now into this bigger picture of these plans that I have shown you.”
Vs. 5&8, this is just awesome! Just look at and marvel over what’s happening here! Here these guys are, they are hurt, confused, burdened with guilt. Here is the very brother they betrayed now standing before them weeping. The guilt is just so heavy, and what does he do? “Guys... don’t be angry with yourselves. It was not YOU who sent me, it is GOD that has done this thing!!!”
Listen man, he is just taking all the weight of this guilt and he is totally lifting it up and off of these men... are ya seeing that? I mean, Joseph is coming to these guys, invites them to draw near, and says essentially... “Guys, look, there’s no condemnation coming your way here!”
He then pulls them upward and into this bigger picture! He’s saying - “Guys, listen, this is what God is up to. God has sent me before you to preserve life. Here’s what you're going to do now. God has orchestrated this entire ordeal - Go get dad, tell him of my splendor. I’m going to provide for you. This is where God wants us here in Goshen.”
Man, are ya seeing this?!! What a picture of the Gospel!! And again, if you’ve been with us since ch. 37, Joseph gives us one of the most fascinating pictures or types of Christ really that we have in all of the Scriptures.
Here’s the picture. You have these sinners, they are drawn to Joseph by sovereign circumstances. They’re broken and brought to a place of confession. Joseph then reveals himself to these brothers who have betrayed him, takes their guilt completely away. He has gone before them to preserve life, and he invites them to come and live with him in a place of plenty, he will provide for them, and he reveals splendor to them!
Even as you and I... we were once hurt and confused and afraid, we had betrayed God by the very lives we had lived - we were sinners... He sovereignly drew each one of us to Him through unique events or circumstances in our lives. He brought us to that place of confession - “Yip, I’m a sinner in need of a Savior...”
He then goes before us unto death at the cross to preserve our lives and completely forgave all our sin, thereby taking ALL of our guilt up and off of us, and now He desires to reveal His splendor to you and I, and is in fact doing that right now this morning!
Man, the treasures that are there to be discovered for those who choose to pursue God in His Word! He is sooo good!
And now, practically, application-ally, Joseph is inviting his brothers then, even as God is inviting you and I out of our tiny little lives and upward and into this glorious plan of redemption that He’s calling us to be part of!
Now Joseph is telling these guys - “Don’t look back. Don’t look at what you have done, God has wired this deal, don’t look to the past, but rather, get with me in what God is doing now!”
Even as our Heavenly Joseph, He is telling you and I - “Don’t look at what your life once was, don’t dwell in that. I have lifted that off you, and by the way, I’m redeeming that time (Joel 2:25). I want you to now look in the direction you're going - today - to the glory of God.”
This is essentially Phil. 3:13-14 here - “Forget about where you were, and press on now to the prize of the upward call of Jesus christ.”
Goes without saying of course, your own stinkin’ flesh! And of course the devil wants to whale on you, and just wants us to dwell in the past and get caught up in that, and hang on to that failure.
But Joseph says - “No man, look at this through the lens of God’s Word, God’s truth, these promises that God has made. God has orchestrated this from our great grandfather Abraham to our grandaddy Isaac, and now through our dad Jacob and our family. God is using us to make a great nation. Dude, we’re going to Goshen here to get this thing going!”
So Joseph is calling his grief-stricken brothers to now look through the lens of god’s truth and God’s promises and God’s Word.
Even as God is calling you and I to forget what is behind. That guilt has been lifted, we’ve been forgiven and now we can look at our lives and our purpose and our hopes through the lens of the truth of God’s Word!
Glorious redemption! Glorious provision right here and now, today! I don’t care where you're at... Lam. 3:23 “My mercies are new every morning!”
You can choose to get on track with a heart of God any day you wake up! Phil. 4:4 - “Rejoice! Again I say, rejoice!”
There in vs. 14 & 15, Joe throws his arms around Benjamin and embraces him. He then does the same with the others. They’re just having a great time of fellowship. It may seem that maybe Benjamin is getting singled out and favored as he gets his own vs. and all the rest of the guys are vs. 15.
Understand that Benjamin was just a little toddler when Joseph was there, so this is more of an introduction between Joseph and Benjamin, they really didn’t know each other. For Benjamin this is a reunion... for the brothers it’s more of a reconciliation.
So there’s an affectionate love here in vs. 14 and there’s more of a pardoning love there in vs. 15 with the reconciliation.
Finally here, very practical: when you and I are hurt, when people hurt us, we typically tend to take that in one of two directions. One of the directions we’ll go is to just blow it off and kind of pretend it never happened, and that kind of white-washing is only going to produce bitterness and resentment, and that’s going to grow and there’s going to be a bottling up and a growing of that.
Another direction we’ll go is all the way to the other side of the road and we’ll see ourselves as the battle-axe of a vengeful God, and we’ll take that vengeance into our own hands and we’ll just treat other horribly in that regard, and we’ll just bring the “crazy” to another person. And in that we’re just swerving into sin ourselves.
But with Joseph here, the Word of God is offering a third course, a Biblical route, and that is to recognize the offending party has sinned, and assuming they have sinned... and we’ll assume this example here... but there’s confession on their part, they’ve owned it, they’ve demonstrated a turning from it, and we’re able to see that God has used it to bring them along, and so then we forgive and pardon.
So you can blow it off and you can build up resentment, or you can see yourself as a little H.S. and take matters into your own hands, or you can forgive and pardon and the result there is a real reconciliation and a real peace and joy.
I highly doubt any offenses come your way that could square with what Joseph has dealt with here. If anyone had a right to feel vengeful it was Joseph. I mean the dude ended up rotting away in a stinkin’ Egyptian prison trumped up a false rape charge, he’s lost decades of his life. He had a very close relationship with his father and was robbed of 22 years of beautiful fellowship with the father he loved.
But rather than being vengeful we discover Joseph running the Lord’s program here. And again, when a family is on the verge of being ripped apart, the very best thing that can happen is for someone to be big enough to take this route and extend forgiveness in order that the family might be restored and reconciled.
So a story with profound spiritual application, but again, on ground level there’s just some great practical insight on the route we’re supposed to take when we are hurt.
So, the story of Joseph and his brothers trending now on all the social media, words getting around, and we’ll pick up again next week in vs. 15.
Blessings to you all.