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Genesis 45 (ESV)
Joseph Provides for His Brothers and Family
1 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it.3 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
4 So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.
- At last the secrets are disclosed and reconciliation is possible. Joseph emotionally revealed his identity to his brothers. He assured them of God’s sovereign control of his life and directed them to bring Jacob to Egypt. He then demonstrated his love for his brothers that he “wept”, and “kissed all his brothers and wept upon them” (vv.14-15).
- Joseph then explained his perspective on his brothers’ treatment of him. He had discerned God’s providential control of the events of his life. Four times he stated that God, not his brothers, was behind what had happened (vv. 5, 7, 8, 9). Often only in retrospect can we see how God has been involved all along the way of our circuitous journeys.
- When in your life have you enjoyed “God’s provision” – sovereignly, redemptively, or materially? What would you like to see God provide today?
- What is one thing you have learned from Joseph’s story that would be most helpful to share with someone experiencing tough times? Why not pray for this person now. Ask God to open an opportunity for you to share with this person this week.
Heavenly Father, thank You and praise You. Looking back on my life journey, You have supported me, blessed me, comforted me, healed me, and allowed me to walk safely through mountains and valleys, through rain, snow and storms, all the way to today! There are many times when I cry out to You, but You do not respond to me immediately. I had doubts and fears, but when I look back today, I understand what You have done, and I deeply appreciate Your deep and vast grace. Heavenly Father, with a joyful heart, I will carefully count Your blessings, and with a loving heart, I will help my friends who are in a similar predicament at this time, share the burden for them, and tell them from my actual experience that You have never forsaken Your children. I want to encourage them to come out of their self-pity. I want to be strong and courageous with them, to face the difficulties ahead together, and to believe that after the storm, there will be bright sunshine. Father, grant me the strength. Amen!
How Great (Psalm 145) – youtu.be/PR_H2okhUiE