God’s Word Goes Forth: Tell of God’s Mercy and Forgiveness
Genesis 45:1-28: Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers. Then he says that it was God rather than his brothers who sent him into slavery in order to preserve their family in the midst of famine. He invites them to get their father and to come live near him.
Today's Scripture: Genesis 45:5
Joseph said: “Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me ahead of you to save people’s lives.”
1 Joseph was no longer able to control his feelings in front of his servants, so he ordered them all to leave the room. No one else was with him when Joseph told his brothers who he was. 2 He cried with such loud sobs that the Egyptians heard it, and the news was taken to the king's palace. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But when his brothers heard this, they were so terrified that they could not answer. 4 Then Joseph said to them, “Please come closer.” They did, and he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me ahead of you to save people's lives. 6 This is only the second year of famine in the land; there will be five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor reaping. 7 God sent me ahead of you to rescue you in this amazing way and to make sure that you and your descendants survive. 8 So it was not really you who sent me here, but God. He has made me the king's highest official. I am in charge of his whole country; I am the ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and tell him that this is what his son Joseph says: ‘God has made me ruler of all Egypt; come to me without delay. 10 You can live in the region of Goshen, where you can be near me—you, your children, your grandchildren, your sheep, your goats, your cattle, and everything else that you have. 11 If you are in Goshen, I can take care of you. There will still be five years of famine; and I do not want you, your family, and your livestock to starve. ’ ” 12 Joseph continued, “Now all of you, and you too, Benjamin, can see that I am really Joseph. 13 Tell my father how powerful I am here in Egypt and tell him about everything that you have seen. Then hurry and bring him here. ” 14 He threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and began to cry; Benjamin also cried as he hugged him. 15 Then, still weeping, he embraced each of his brothers and kissed them. After that, his brothers began to talk with him. 16 When the news reached the palace that Joseph's brothers had come, the king and his officials were pleased. 17 He said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers to load their animals and to return to the land of Canaan. 18 Let them get their father and their families and come back here. I will give them the best land in Egypt, and they will have more than enough to live on. 19 Tell them also to take wagons with them from Egypt for their wives and small children and to bring their father with them. 20 They are not to worry about leaving their possessions behind; the best in the whole land of Egypt will be theirs. ” 21 Jacob's sons did as they were told. Joseph gave them wagons, as the king had ordered, and food for the trip. 22 He also gave each of them a change of clothes, but he gave Benjamin three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of clothes. 23 He sent his father ten donkeys loaded with the best Egyptian goods and ten donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and other food for the trip. 24 He sent his brothers off and as they left, he said to them, “Don't quarrel on the way.” 25 They left Egypt and went back home to their father Jacob in Canaan. 26 “Joseph is still alive!” they told him. “He is the ruler of all Egypt!” Jacob was stunned and could not believe them. 27 But when they told him all that Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to take him to Egypt, he recovered from the shock. 28 “My son Joseph is still alive!” he said. “This is all I could ask for! I must go and see him before I die.”
How did you feel as you read this passage? Imagine yourself in the place of Benjamin. What would you have felt upon learning Joseph’s identity? Imagine yourself in the place of Jacob. What would you have felt upon hearing that Joseph was indeed alive?
Almighty God, your love reveals itself in our lives in unexpected ways. Open my eyes and my heart in hopeful awareness of your constant grace. In your holy name I pray. Amen.
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