God sent me before you to preserve life. Genesis 45:5
Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29
Passing the test the second time!
The brothers of Joseph sold him into slavery, deceived their father, and showed no remorse, thus failing the first test.
Many years later God presents a second test. The brothers go to Egypt because of famine, not knowing that Joseph is ruling. Joseph, still unrecognized, has Benjamin given five times their portion of food and commanded to be a slave. The brothers show no envy or jealousy during their meal and refuse to forsake Benjamin in Egypt, choosing to serve as slaves beside him. Their motive? “since (their father Jacob’s) life is bound up in the lad’s life, … For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?” Now they show compassion and protection for their father. What a vast difference!!
It took15 + years for them to learn love and sacrifice for one another. The steps taken were acknowledging their sins against their father and Joseph, regret, sorrow and repentance. Producing right actions in times of testing.
Now the Reward: Joseph revealed! The Family Reunited in Love and Joy!!
Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, … Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, … Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him.… I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.”’
And back home… when they told (Israel/Jacob their father) all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. Then Israel said, “It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”
Can’t you just hear the cries of delight and relief from each of them!? The grabbing, touching, exclaiming, and rich conversations! Vindication and intimacy! Now they will live with each other in the rich land which the Lord God Almighty provided for them!
How much this is like the prodigal son! But what if the brothers hadn’t changed? How would the family have functioned then? Continuously disjointed, dysfunctional and pain serving, yet with the added judgement by ruler Joseph? I think so.
I see this in my life today. My family, extended family and others. Self pride and centeredness causing injustice, neglect and abuse; Signs of perpetuating blindness and famine spiritually, and poverty in many areas. Yet a quick, deep and thorough surrender to the Supreme Lordship of the Ruler of the universe, the Lord Jesus Christ fixes it all with a Fabulous, Permanent Reunion!! Sin confessed, repented and given to Jesus allows for the Great Exchange, the receipt of forgiveness and the indwelling Holy Spirit forever!
Oh, how hard it is to bend the knees of my heart to You sometimes. This is required for change, for reunions with You and Your body! I exalt You Jesus in my view so I know how foolish I am without You. Please Lord Jesus, enable, equip and empower me to See Your Hand in All things. I choose to implement Your wisdom, understanding and patience. Keep me alert to Your Scriptures and Your Power Lord God, so that I may know specifically Your way for me, not sin against You, and move by Your Power alone. Make me effective everywhere I am for Your Kingdom purposes and glory. And have me to not look elsewhere to condemn, but to myself for Your discipling and healing me simultaneously, which is Your method. Lord God Almighty, thank You for reunions! The promise of permanent salvation, the eternal home of Your Presence, fantastic fellowship with believers and tangible mansions!!!
Further reading – Genesis 37:12-36; Genesis 39-41; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Luke 3:8; Luke 15:11-24; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 1 John 1:9; Luke 5:24; Luke 23:43; Psalm 51; Acts 1:8; Romans 15:13; 2 Timothy 1:7; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 6:12; Galatians 6:8; Psalm 25:4; Psalm 86:11; Psalm 119:33; Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 48:17; Proverbs 3:5-14; Psalm 119:11; John 8:31-36