Joseph reveals himself. See Christ's love, mercy, and forgiveness clearly as Joseph weeps for his brothers. Jacob's joy as he learns Joseph is alive.
If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food (Gen. 43:4).
Unrecognized by his brothers, Joseph gave them strict orders that they must bring their youngest brother Benjamin when they returned, or they would not be allowed to buy any more food. Hearing this, they were once again stricken with feelings of deep guilt over selling Benjamin's older brother Joseph.
After questioning them about their family, Joseph had them put in prison for three days — not for revenge, but to give them time to think about their sinful past (42:17).
Joseph then demanded that Simeon be kept hostage until they brought their youngest brother as proof they were telling the truth, that they were not spies but in need of food (42:11). After returning home, Jacob was deeply distressed concerning the demand to bring Benjamin to Egypt. Not until they were in desperate need and there was no choice but to either starve or let him go, would Jacob permit his sons to take Benjamin on their next journey.
In Egypt their sacks were once again filled. As they were returning home, they were arrested and their sacks searched. Joseph's silver goblet was discovered in Benjamin's sack where it had been secretly placed by Joseph's steward. Benjamin was immediately taken into custody. The brothers were all forced to return to Egypt and, in fear, met at the ruler's home. Judah begged to take Benjamin's place, pleading that they could not face their father knowing how heartbroken he would be. Although the cup in his sack made Benjamin look guilty, Judah was ready to become a slave to set Benjamin free. What a wonderful change in attitude!
Like Joseph, our Lord in loving-kindness, is merciful. He brings us to the place where we no longer attempt to defend ourselves but confess that we are undeserving sinners. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness (Lam. 3:22-23).
Joseph's exalted position never caused him to lose sight of his loyalty to God because of the affairs of his life. Consequently, he held no hatred or bitterness for his brothers' cruelty. The Holy Spirit will work the same in the hearts of all who allow God to control their lives.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye (Col. 3:12-13).
Thought for Today:
The circumstances of our lives change day by day. Much of life is dealing with the good and the bad times of our lives and responding properly to what comes.
Through Joseph's dealings with his brothers. Christ deals with us in such a way as to bring about our confession of sin and a recognition of His forgiving love. In a similar way, He reveals His sovereignty over the affairs of life (Gen. 45:5-8,15; compare Rom. 5:8; Eph. 1:17, 20-22).
43:7 straitly, specifically; tenor, had to answer him; 43:25 against Joseph came, for Joseph's arrival; 43:30 bowels, heart; 44:12 left at, finished with; 45:16 fame, news; 45:24 fall not out by the way, have no argument on your way.
Optional Reading: Matthew 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 100:1-3