Genesis 43: The Reunion that Grace Provides
When we left Jacob and his sons at the end of chapter 42, Jacob insisted his son, Benjamin would not go down to Egypt for fear he would lose him also.
But now as some time has passed and the famine continues, they must face the inevitable- they are out of food. Jacob says to them- go down to Egypt and buy us a little more food. As if the problem was that easy to resolve. Jacob is saying buy us a little more time.
Jacob had delayed and denied the reality of the situation but now he has no choice. You can deny you have a problem and delay the final day of reckoning. We must learn when we attempt to solve problems that God has brought into our lives with our own man-made devices- the fix is temporary isnt it? Sooner or later you must face reality and realize you have delayed facing up to the truth- but now you must face what you can no longer deny. Like Scarlet OHara who said she could not think about that today- she would think about it tomorrow, tomorrow has come.
Judah speaks to his father and says if we do not take Benjamin with us- we are not going to get any grain, for the man (Joseph) said you will not see my face again if you do not bring your brother. So we are not going down there if you do not send Benjamin.
Faced with this ultimatum, and no longer able to deny and delay, Jacob( now referred to as Israel) turns to blame and deceit. Why did you bring all this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother? In other words, Jacob says why didnt you lie to this man?
Jacob is referred to by his new name (Israel)- but acts out of his old nature by suggesting lying would have saved them this trouble.
Once again, Jacob is a mirror which reflects our old nature which rears its ugly head in the midst of storms, trials and tribulation. Fear seems to bring out the worst in us doesnt it? Or pressure seems to squeeze what is still inside.
Does not our old nature want to put off confronting difficult decisions? Do we not want to delay and deny problems we fear addressing. Like a child who covers her eyes and believes no one can see her- we cover our eyes to the reality and deny and delay the inevitable truth we must face. Remember what David said in his Psalm of confession: Surely You(God) desire truth in inner parts,you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. ( Psalm 51: 6)
Jacob is in pain, real emotional trauma. But pain is necessary to show us where the hurt is; so we can begin the process of healing and addressing the pain.
Jacobs old nature continues to control the situation and after he can no longer delay and deny the situation has become worse because of his delay and denial- he then turns to blame and deceit. Here we see use of two of the devils favorite tools(blame and deceit) to keep one in darkness rather than turn to the light of truth. Jacob blames his sons for all his troubles and says why did you tell the truth- why didnt you lie and deceive?
Judah replies with the truth- the man ask us a question and we answered honestly. How were we to know he would say bring you brother down here to prove you are not lying. I would remind you it is almost impossible to tell just one lie. In fact unless you immediately confess you have lied- you must then tell supporting lies and pretty soon you are caught up in a web of lies. Oh what a web we weave, when first we set out others to deceive. You sooner or later get caught in your own web of lies. That is why honesty is always the best policy.
Judah stands up to his father and confronts the reality of the situation. Sooner or later when you have refused to face the reality of a situation- a mess which you have had a part in creating- someone is going to be used by God to say you cannot deny this problem any longer- your refusal to do so is putting those who are with you in dire straits.
In fact, Judah says, if you had not delayed, we could have been down there and back twice already. If you want to blame someone blame me. I will bear the blame. Judah has changed hasnt he? Judahs sins were some of the most notorious in the book of Genesis. But we are observing redemption at work. Judah who was humiliated because of his sins with Tamar and his hypocrisy over her sins was humbled to the point of recognizing that Tamar was more righteous than he. Judah has a chance to do the right thing and he does. For in his hypocrisy, Judah exhibits his pride. For hypocrisy is the most common sin of pride and exposure had deflated his pride and made it possible for God to release His enabling grace to make Judah the leader he must become. For God gives grace to the humble- but He resists the proud.
Jacob concedes to Judahs argument. Reluctantly he agrees to send Benjamin. Now Israel ( alias Jacob) says here is what we are going to do:
Take some gifts
Take double the amount of money.
Tell them the money in your sacks of grain was an honest mistake.
Take Benjamin and go at once.
Then Jacob remembers who had made a covenant with him and his offspring: El Shaddai, God Almighty. Years ago when Jacob set out for Labans home to escape Esaus wrath and find a suitable bride, his father Isaac blessed Jacob in the name of El Shaddai. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. ( Genesis 28:3) Then Jacob had a dream on his way to Paddan Aram in which he saw angels ascending and descending on a ladder and God spoke to Jacob and confirmed the blessing of Abraham and Isaac to Jacob and told Jacob that He, God would be with him and watch over him wherever he would go.
But notice that Jacob does not ask God Almighty for blessings- Jacob called on God Almighty for mercy.
I believe Jacob now faces the truth, including his role in all of this trouble. Jacob remembers the One whom he has forgottenAlmighty God. How could he ever expect to solve a problem with God not part of the solution?
Understanding the situation better, Jacob does not ask for blessing, that seemed inappropriate- he asked instead for mercy. For mercy is what we ask for when we realize our guilt and how undeserving we are of blessings. We ask for the only thing we dare ask for— MERCY. Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.
In verse 15, we see the sons of Jacob, including Benjamin start out on their journey with all their provisions and gifts. Their mission is fourfold:
- To show their good faith and honesty.
- To prove they are not spies.
- To get Simeon back.
- To buy more food.
Joseph is told of their arrival arranges for a feast at his home. A picture of Gods Grace- but observe the response of the brothers. The brothers are frightened and fear for their lives. They speculate and immediately in their anxiety and guilt go to the worst case scenariowe have been brought here because of the silver. This man wants to attack us, take our donkeys and make us his slaves.
They were partially right- they were brought here because of the silver- not the silver in their sacks- but because of the 20 pieces of silver they sold Joseph into slavery for.
Unresolved guilt makes one more anxious doesnt it? Unconfessed sin always makes one more suspicious of others motives. But watch what else guilt does- it makes one suspicious of Gods grace. Ever know a lost person- who is wary of salvation and surrender to the God Almighty?
Sizing up the situation in this negative frame of a guilty mind- the brothers immediately begin to explain to the steward this whole misunderstanding regarding the silver in their sacks and tell him they have brought back the money plus more and gifts. All of a sudden it is the brothers who desire understanding and forgiveness for their mistakes.
The steward then makes an amazing statement, surely based on Josephs command: Its all right- dont be afraid. Your God, the God of your father has given you the treasure in your sack. I received your silver and at that he brings out Simeon.
In their mind- the money was never viewed as a gift from God. In fact it was more the opposite that led them to remark what has God done to us? Their unconfessed sin- their guilt had blocked them from seeing the grace of God in their live. (When you depend of the strength of flesh you will not see prosperity when it comes -Jeremiah 17) Grace is unmerited favor and God has allowed us to see in this story- just how unmerited this grace to these brothers was.
Now Joseph arrives. The brothers ( all 11 now) bowed down to him. The dream is now fulfilled after over 20 + years. A dream given to Joseph as a 16-17 year old boy. We know God has plans for us- He has a blue print for our lives. The dream or calling comes to us and draws us- but a decision must be made. How do we respond? One person said to Jesus let me go home and bury my father. Meaning I will follow you when it is more convenient for me to do so. In a parable of the invitation to the feast- excuses are given including: just bought a new field; just bought some new oxen; just got married. What did the disciples do- they left everything and followed Him.
Sometimes there is a delay in the fulfillment of the dream. The delay is from our viewpoint- we like everything immediately in our fast-food, microwave instant gratification world. But God fashions delays to build our faith. Josephs faith was built over a 17 year period of one difficult situation after another. In fact looking back at the story of faith in Genesis we see time after time God used seeming delays to build the faith of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph. We can see, ( as my friend and brother Louis Hamada says) God uses circumstances and critics to try us because adversity and opposition are the billows and the flame to burn off the dross so when we are tried we will come forth as gold.
The first question Joseph asks is how is your father? Is he still living? They reply he is alive and well. Then Joseph looks upon the face of his brother Benjamin and asks is this your youngest brother you told me about? God be gracious to you, Joseph tells Benjamin and then overcome with emotion for the second time- Joseph went into a private room to weep. Joseph wept for the second time.
On two occasions in the New Testament, we are told Jesus wept. In John 11, Jesus wept as He was going to the tomb of Lazarus. He would soon be going to a tomb. So was every one else. All were on their way to a tomb. You and I are headed to a tomb. You know why? Because of our sins. Guess what? Jesus was headed to a tomb for ours sins also. Jesus wept because He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He wept for Martha and Mary and for Lazarus friend. He wept because his heart was broken at the sadness of death. Jesus also wept for Jerusalem who in her blindness could not see the truth. Jesus said if only you had known on this day what would bring you peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes.(Luke 19:41) Josephs identity has been hidden from his brothers.
I believe these are some of the emotions Joseph is experiencing now.
Joseph washed his face and returns with orders to serve the food. The brothers eat a separate table for eating with these Hebrew shepherds was detestable to the Egyptians in their society.
The brothers are still in shock at their favorable treatment. The brothers are seated in order of their age from the oldest to the youngest. How could this man know such things about us? And then when they were served- Benjamin received five times as much. Why? I am not sure- perhaps for Joseph to see if they would be jealous of favored treatment. They were not— they were so happy with the results of their visit- they could not believe their treatment. It was truly a banquet of grace.
No longer is their fear, dread and anxiety- they drank freely and feasted.
How like our Heavenly Father, the giver of all good gifts.
He daily loads us with benefits.
We are the recipients of favor we do not deserve arent we?
His provisions for us are of such abundance we cannot ever repay.
Josephs life is a magnificent portrayal of the grace of God. Grace that is marvelous, amazing and all sufficient.
When we were lost in our sins- He, God came in the person of His Son, Jesus to rescue us, the perishing.
Joseph could have blamed his brothers for all his woes- but he chooses to forgive them.
God does not blame us for our sins- He forgives us.
Many like the brothers of Joseph before they knew him- feared him and feared the worst from him. Such are many today- fearful of a God who will punish them only to come to experience His Grace and Forgiveness and incredible generosity and love that sent His Son, His Only Son to die in our place.
As sure as Abraham told Isaac, God will provide Himself a lamb. The Lamb of God came to take away our sin.
Like Josephs brothers- like Adam and Eve- we sin and we are afraid.
But like Josephs brothers instead of being blamed- we are forgiven.
Instead of feeling guilt- we are set free.
How like the prodigal son & Josephs brothers we arethe prodigal had rehearsed his confession to his father for all his sins against him and had devised a plan to pay him back but- all the father of the prodigal wanted was the return of his son. Josephs brothers had brought back the money and more plus gifts as if they could purchase what they needed with the work of their hands. Did you notice Joseph paid no attention or even mentioned the gifts and money of his brothers? The prodigals father heard his confession- but cut him off before the son could tell how he wanted to be counted as a servant and not a son. The father had a feast and celebration to plan for his son who was dead was alivewho was lost was now found.
Do you realize that Christ at the cross was bearing our sins and forgiving us? He asked his father to forgive us. Here on a cross was the One who was rejected giving up His life to reunite us with God. It would be a reunion provided by Grace.
Joseph was rejected by his brothers- but thru his rejection the lives of his brothers and many others would be saved and at long last a joyful reunion would take place.
Today, I believe Jesus still weeps over sinners on a way to the tomb.
Today I know He still longs to be gracious to sinners.
The Lord is offering you all the things you long for. Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? Are you tired and weary, heavy laden and need restthen come to Him. Come to the banquet table. The provision is abundant. Not just for the hereafter- but for the present also. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.
The amazing thing about grace is something you can never get but only be given.
We are saved by grace thru faith and that not of our own. It is a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8&9)
Remember this: No one wants you to come home more than Our Heavenly Father. No one wants you to sit down at the feast more than the Lord Jesus.
Every hear someone use this expression: I am dying to see you again!
The Lord Jesus said- I died to see you.!
Were it not for grace- I can tell you where I would be. Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere with my salvation up to me. Were it not for grace.
My chains are gone- I have been set free.
My God and Savior has ransomed me!
Charles Swindoll says: The table is loaded, and their stands our Gracious Host, smiling, waiting for you to sit down and enjoy the feast He prepared with just you in mind.
Have a seat- grace is being served.
Were it not for Grace!
Were it not for Grace, I can tell you where Id be-
Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere with my salvation up to me.
I know how that would go and the battles I would face;
forever running but losing the race- were it not for Grace!
So here is all my praise expressed with all my heart.
Offered to a friend who took my place and ran a course I could not start.
And when He saw in full just how much it would cost;
He still went the final mile between heaven and me so I would not be lost.
Genesis 44- 45
In Matthew 7 as Jesus finishes his teaching referred to as the Sermon on the Mount He gives us a parable to help us remember what is important regarding His teaching.
It is what I call a foundational truth.
The parable is about two men who build houses on different foundations. The wise builder built on solid rock and was able to weather the storms; the foolish builder built on sand and the storms washed his house away. Here is the key: Jesus said anyone who hears my words and acts upon them will be like the wise builder; anyone who hears my words and does NOT act upon them will be foolish.
If we would build a solid foundation on which to live our lives is it built by acting upon the Word of God. All other ground is sinking sand.
There are certain discoveries I want us to make today in this continuing story of Joseph and his brothers:
- The story within the story-what the Bible says to us
- What it means to us.
- How it works today- in todays society.
- In other words- how we act upon what He tells us and shows us in these stories.
In todays society it is becoming more evident every day there are no absolute moral truths. The Bible is simply another religious book and many treat it like a buffet. They pick what they like and leave what they do not like. Dont like what the Word of God says about homosexuality as a perversion then leave that out.
For sure they want to define their truths and morals based on their opinions not those of some ancient book called the Word of God. Believing there are no absolute truths or morals, they believe they can do whatever they want to do without consequences. Be sure your sin will find you out. (Nu.32:23) Does not seem to apply to them. No truth- no consequences. But they are wrong. Dead wrong- deceived. There are consequences.
For 22 years, Josephs brothers operated under this false assumption. They believed their sin regarding the Joseph affair was carefully covered. Assuming he was long since dead, they knew the only witness to their crime and lies to their father was not able to expose their sin. But Joseph had one more piece to apply to the puzzle and a 22 year old crime/ sin would be exposed. A cold case would be reopened and the guilty exposed.
Josephs conspiracy is part of his plan to bring his brothers to repentance. We can imagine their joy at having successfully completed their mission: Simeon is free, they have Benjamin safe and sound, and they have food- plus they had been royally entertained. But the joy and peace would soon be discovered to only be a mirage. Things were not what they seemed and they never are when based on lies, and unconfessed sins. Real joy and real peace must be based on truth. Our lives must be built on the solid rock foundation of Gods truth all other ground is sinking sand.
Joseph conspires to put his special silver cup in Benjamins sack of grain. Imagine their surprise when not far from the city on their return trip home- they are pulled over to the side by a convoy from Joseph.
Joseph has accused them of stealing this precious item. Josephs steward accuses the brothers of repaying good with evil. The brothers are so confident they are not guilty- they proclaim their own punishment. The brothers tell the steward if you find the cup- let the one who has it die and the rest of us be your slaves. Reminds me of the Jewish leaders who said to Pilate let his blood be on our hands.
The steward amends their offer of justice and says let it be the one who has taken the cup will become my slave- but the others will go free.
Imagine their confidence as the steward inspected each sack of grain beginning with the oldest to the youngest. Ten sacks opened- no stolen cup. Then the 11th sack is opened, Benjamins sack and there it is. The brothers tore their clothes and returned with the steward. We see on their faces a mixture of horror, fear and great sorrow. Be sure your sin will find you out- there are consequences. Judah must be thinking of what he told his father regarding the safety and return of Benjamin. As we will see, Judah becomes the spokesperson for his brothers.
Judah had taken part in the vicious assault of Joseph over 20 years ago. He was the one who suggested they sell him into slavery and make a profit rather than have his blood on their hands.
Notice when the brothers now return before Joseph, they do not just bow- they fall prostrate on the ground. These 11 men are frightened and Joseph appears to them as even more powerful for now he holds their very lives and future in his hands.
Judah and his brothers make it clear they will not defend themselves. We know that in the presence of God, guilty mens mouths will be shut.(Romans 3:19) There is no defense- there are without excuse. In fact it is only when we quit defending ourselves and confess to the Lord we are guilty and throw ourselves on the mercy of the court, that God can show us mercy.
Watch what Judah says: What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? ( how can we justify ourselves?) GOD HAS UNCOVERED YOUR SERVANTS GUILT.
I believe this statement refers to their hidden sins- what they had done to Joseph and their father. Remember on their first visit they had talked among themselves, overheard by Joseph, how God was punishing them for what they did to Joseph.
Judah then makes a long and moving speech to Joseph in which he refers to Joseph as Lord several times. If we look at this appeal to Joseph as a type of intercessory prayer we discover some guidelines for making an appeal to the Lord.
- First recognize His Lordship He has authority and power over us.
- Confessing your sin as Judah did- God has uncovered our sin.
- Establish the basis for your appeal on the Word of the Lord. Judah recalls what Joseph had told them to do. Had they not obeyed Josephs command to bring the boy back with them?
- Judah then appealed on the basis of concern for his father. The Word of God tells us: Do you not know what concerns you, concerns the Lord?
- Judah is in effect saying to enslave Benjamin would kill their father. It was more than he could bear. Remember the Lord has promised He will not allow you to be tempted or tested above that which you can bear- but will make a way to escape so you may stand up under it.
Finally Judah ends his appeal with an offer to take the place of Benjamin- to be surety for him. When you make your appeal to the Lord are you willing to do whatever it takes on your part? Or whatever it takes for the Lord to answer your prayer?
Judah has carefully gone over the events: from the reaction of their father to taking Benjamin down to Egypt. Seeing they had no choice- Jacob finally agreed to let him go after Judah said he would take full responsibility for Benjamins safe return. Sometimes when we carefully go over an event in telling the Lord about our circumstances- we will see or realize a truth we had not seen before.
Judah then makes an offer to Joseph asking to let him stay in place of his brother Benjamin. To be a substitute for his brother- Becoming as it were- surety for Benjamin. He reminds Joseph that to not return with Benjamin would kill his father, Jacob.
Now perhaps you can see why God chose Judah as the one through whom the Messiah would come. For like Judah, the Lord Jesus offered Himself as surety for us who have trusted Him. Judah was willing to take the place of his brother Benjamin, who he believed was guilty and separate himself from his father, Jacob. And it was the Lord Jesus who separated Himself from His Father to be a substitute for us at the cross.
Joseph was now convinced his brothers had truly repented and he could reveal himself to them.
No matter how many times you hear this familiar story- the moment about to occur is one of the greatest reunions in history. Joseph no longer able to control his emotions has all of his attendants and Egyptian officials leave the room.
Then Joseph with a great sob, with tears running down his faces said to his brothers, I am Joseph! Is my father still living?
What a simple statement of truth: I am Joseph. Remember what happened to Paul on the road to Damascus? A blinding light and a voice from heaven knocked him to the ground and dumbfounded he asked who are you,lord? The reply was as simple as Josephs_ I am Jesus whom you persecuted.
Josephs revelation of himself to his brothers was sudden and they were stunned. Their sense of sin- their conviction had been growing. They had rejected Joseph, they had beaten him torn his clothes from him and then ate lunch while Joseph, a frightened 17 year old boy called out their names to get him out of that pit.
The first work of the Holy Spirit in a human soul is the work of conviction. He convicts us of our sin. Salvation is not a matter of raising your hand in a meeting or walking down an aisle and filling out a card. Salvation begins with facing up to personal guilt and rejection of Christ.
Once again there is silence- the brothers are dumbfounded..The shock is unbelievable and as the truth sinks in- the fear of what will happen next is greater than ever before. For they know whatever he does to them they deserve it.
Joseph, who was a wise and discerning man of God- who looked at the faces of the baker and cupbearer and knew they were distressed could easily see the fear in his brothers eyes.
Wanting to gather them to himself as a mother hen would her chicks , as Jesus once said about the Jews in Jerusalem who rejected Him- Joseph opens his arms and with tears coming down his face- Joseph says- come close to me.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Watch what Joseph does with their guilt and fear:
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. God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Joseph wants the brothers not to live with their guilt any longer. He wants them to be reassured their sins against him are not only forgiven they are forgotten, in that Joseph sees from Gods perspective it was for the greater good. I believe in the years to come, until the time of his death, Joseph never looked back at their mistreatment of him nor reminded them of the harm they had done. He understood grace.
Oh how I love the fact that once God has heard our recognition and confession of our sins with Godly repentance- our sins are forgiven and forgotten. No bringing up again of how you hurt Him just like the father of the prodigal..why bring up the past- when what really mattered was his son who was lost was found- who was dead was now alive.
Our sins are forgiven and forgotten as far as the east is from the west.
Joseph had been sent ahead to prepare a place for his family. It was a place of abundance. The Pharaoh assured them the best of all Egypt will be yours.
Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He has now gone before us to prepare a place for us. In a similar way God had sent Joseph to prepare a place for Jacob and the 70 souls that would come down to Egypt with him. A place of abundance.
Gods plan of salvation is illustrated in the story of Joseph. You see Gods sovereign plan was at work in the life of Joseph to save the lives of his brothers and father. His plan included the rejection of Joseph by his brothers, just as His plan of salvation called for His Own Son, Jesus , to be rejected and slain.
Joseph was rejected by his brothers and later exalted to the Lord of Egypt. In the same way, God raised up Jesus, the God Man exalted Him to the highest place and made His name above all names.
Look what this reconciliation meant to the brothers. They would be reconciled to their father, Jacob. They would be reconciled to their father because, Joseph has forgiven them. This is exactly what grace doesit sanctifies us, set us apart for God, and sends us to the Father to tell Him of His Son.
Do you remember when you go to your Heavenly Father to tell Him of His Wonderful Son, who loved you and gave His life for you?
Josephs brothers now have access to all the resources of the throne of Egypt- just as we do because we are reconciled to God the Father thru His Son, the Lord Jesus.
Now read these verses: 45:15,16 and allow your imagination to witness this tender scene.
Then he( Joseph) 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.
Remember before Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, the Lord walked with them and talked with them in the garden in the cool of the day. It was a place of fellowship and joy with God and His creation. Then sin came and the garden became a place of fear and hiding.
Do you know what Joseph wanted more than anything when he was seventeen years old? I believed he wanted fellowship with his brothers. But he could not have fellowship with evil doers. I see Joseph asking them a thousand questions—laughing, crying, hugging them. For Jesus said there is great rejoicing in heaven in the presence of angels of God over one sinner who repents.
After that his brethren talked with him. No one enjoyed the moment any more than Joseph did.
Talking with the Lord is one of the greatest privileges we have as believers. We are His family- He wants to hear from us- spend time with us. He enjoys the fellowship and He is interested in the details of our lives.
The Pharaoh provided them with abundance- in effect the Pharaoh said dont worry about your things.
Pretty good advice..dont worry about your things. Our things can get in the way of doing Gods will cant they?
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. That is what Jesus told us to do.
So what have we discovered about this story that God wants us to see? For surely God has given the story of Joseph and his brothers and family much attention.
- The Sovereignty of God at work behind the scenes. Joseph recognized God sent him there for such a time as this. Gods sovereign plan is at work in the life and affairs of these men. We learn we can trust Gods promises no matter how bad things become. There are many plans in the heart of man, nevertheless, Gods counsel will stand. Proverbs 19:21. God is a planner of infinite detail. He is all knowing, all wise, all powerful and able to work all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to the purpose. God sent Joseph to Egypt so that Jacobs family could be preserved and the nation of Israel born and ultimately give the Word of God and the Savior to the world. And now we see that even Josephs brothers were a part of Gods plan. Want to know how detailed Gods plans are? Listen to Paul in Acts 17 in Athens: From one man, He made every nation on earth that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the EXACT places they should live. God did this so that men would reach out for Him and seek Him, although He is not far from each of us. This same Sovereign God has plans for your life.
- Reconciliation is a theme we cannot help but observe and also how it comes about. You and I cannot kiss the Son until we have dealt with sin- honestly confessing it . For it is in honest confession and Godly repentance that forgiveness and mercy can be extended. Then mercy, truth and righteousness come together and we can enjoy the sweet fellowship we see here with Joseph and his brothers and be reconciled to our father as they were and kiss the son.
- Attitude. Let this mind be in you that is in Christ Jesus. Joseph teaches us the right attitude that a believer is to exhibit. Josephs ability to triumph in adversity and opposition was based on the belief that God sent me. Seeing life from a divine perspective is how Joseph operated. The right attitude toward life and its ups and downs comes from a heart that is right with God. When we have a lousy attitude- we are looking at life from a human, fleshly perspective. When we have the right attitude, we are looking at life from a divine perspective. That is in a nutshell the truth that Josephs life represents. When Joseph was able to see Gods hand in his location and circumstances he had the right attitude. He learned to bloom where he was planted.
- The nation of Israel and the Lord Jesus. This story of Joseph and his brothers is a picture of Christs relationship with his own people the nation of Israel. Remember Stephens testimony before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7. Listen to what he says: When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers on their first visit. On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was..The nation of Israel rejected Jesus the first time he came, didnt they? Crucify him they shouted. He came unto His own, but his own received Him not. The brothers rejected Joseph the first time he came to them just as the majority of Israel did not accept Jesus when He came and proclaimed in word and deed He was their Messiah. But driven by the desperation and tribulation of a famine- Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, the fathers of the nation of Israel on the second visit. A great tribulation will send them to Jesus who at His second coming- they will recognize Him, the one whom they have pierced and persecuted. There will be confession of sin, Godly repentance, and weeping and embracing as the Lord Jesus will talk with his people and proclaim- God sent me
.How is your foundation holding up? Is it solid? Or does it need shoring up. Remember the wise builder builds on solid rock- upon The Rock- all other ground is sinking sand.