About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Makes Himself Known (ch. 45:1 - 28)
The brothers as seem in
verse 1 must now have been totally bewildered.
Joseph could no longer contain himself and he began to cry out
ordered everyone out of the room except his brothers.
Verse 2 tells us that
Joseph wept so loud that many Egyptians heard him, and the news of him
crying reached the household of the Pharaoh.
Clearly his crying was very loud.
This was one very memorable moment for Joseph.
I wonder if he had ever expected to see his family again.
It's been so long. At
this point in his life, Joseph is almost forty years old.
More than twenty years have passed since his brothers sold him
into the hands of the Ishmaelites.
The moment came in verse
3 when Joseph finally told his brother who he was.
He could not respond because as the text states, "they were
so terrified." I'm sure
they had just as many emotions, if not more so, than Joseph.
The one they thought was dead, is now alive, and stands before
them as second in command in all of Egypt. I wonder if Joseph's
dreams came back to their memory at this time.
In verses 4 through 8
Joseph had his brothers come close to him.
He explained to them that even though they sold him into slavery,
God turned their evil around for their good.
God led Joseph to Egypt
so when the famine came, Jacob's family would not die off because of
this world wide famine.
Notice in verse 8 the
word "remnant". This
word is often used in the Bible concerning the salvation of the Jews.
There has always been a remnant of Jews.
A remnant, is part of something larger.
Over the years
The purpose why Joseph
ended up where he did was to save a remnant of people out of Israel
so the line from Abraham could carry on.
God might well have caused the famine in order to get Joseph back
to his family. God can
do whatever He wants to make sure His will is done, no matter how severe
it is. God can and does take
drastic measures at times to accomplish His purposes.
In verse 8 we see
Joseph's thinking on things. He
turns a negative into a positive. He
does more than that. He says
that it was God's will for the brothers to sell him off into slavery.
This may be hard to understand.
It goes right to the heart of the predestination issue.
It was clearly the brother's will and desire to sell Joseph into
slavery, but Joseph says that beyond the brother's will, it was actually
God's will. Some might
suggest that God uses man's bad acts for his purpose, and I can see that
can be true. They would
suggest that God turned something bad into something good, but that
isn't really what Joseph is saying here.
He is saying that God didn't merely allow the brothers to sell
Joseph, or He didn't turn the bad act into something good, He caused the
brothers to sell Joseph.
The same thing can be
seen in the death of Jesus. The
Jews wanted Jesus dead. The
Romans killed Jesus, but if you read Isaiah 53, you will note that it
was God's will to have Jesus put to death.
God actually killed Jesus. He
only used the Romans to do His will. The
same is true here with Joseph and his brothers.
I'm not saying that all
bad things that happen to us are directly from God.
I am saying that it is possible that some bad things that happen
to us are from God to accomplish some purpose.
Some bad things happen to us because of our own sin.
That being said, when bad things come our way, we should stop and
try to understand where the bad thing is coming from and why.
It might just be God speaking to us, or using us for His purpose.
With Joseph that bad thing lasted years.
Also in verse 8 Joseph
says that God made him "father of Pharaoh and lord of Egypt." Joseph was
most likely younger than Pharaoh, but I can't be certain about that.
Whatever the case, Pharaoh respected Joseph to the extent that he
was a father figure to Pharaoh, and beyond that, he was the lord over
all of Egypt. This was God's
doing, and God did this for one reason only, and it wasn't to make
Joseph an important man in the world.
It was to save a remnant of Jews for God's purposes.
In verses 9 through 11
Joseph tells his brothers to go and get his father Jacob and the rest of
their families and come down to Egypt
to live, in particular, the
Joseph wanted his father
to know that God had been with him all these years and God is now with
Jacob and his family. He
also wanted all the family to live "near" him as the text
states. So it is clear that
Joseph still lived in his own house, or palace.
It is very interesting to
note Pharaoh's two dreams at this point.
The one dream was about the healthy and sick cows, the other
about the healthy and sick stocks of grain.
The dream took place in the same area where Israel
was now relocating.
In verse 12 he tells the
brothers that they can see for themselves that it is really him that is
speaking to them. I'm not
sure quite how they could see for themselves.
Maybe at a closer look they could tell.
There might well be distinguishing marks on Joseph that would
tell who he is.
In verse 13 Joseph merely
repeats himself. He wants
the brothers to bring his father back to Egypt.
They should tell Jacob how Joseph has been honoured in the
Verses 14 and 15 describe
the scene. Joseph and
Benjamin hug and weep over each other.
Joseph hugs and weeps over the other brothers and they all talk.
They get caught up on the lost years of their lives.
What an interesting conversation this would have been.
The brothers were greatly relieved, I'm sure.
They were probably also greatly humbled and thankful because the
evil they did had now turned into good.
In verses 16 and 17
Pharaoh gets in on the action as well
When he hears that Joseph's brothers were in town, he like
Joseph, told the brothers to go home and get their families and return
to the best fertile land that was in Egypt. Because the
In verses 19 to 24 we see
that Pharaoh told Joseph to send carts and extra donkeys.
These would be loaded up with all sorts of good things.
The Pharaoh said that the families didn't have to worry about
bringing their belongings with them because they'd get better things
once they arrived in
Joseph gave all the
brothers things to take back, but Benjamin got lots more.
He got more grain and silver as well.
Notice in verse 24 that
when Joseph sent the brothers off on their trip he told them not to
quarrel. That's interesting.
I guess he knew what kind of brothers he had.
From verse 25 to the end
of the chapter the brothers arrive back in Canaan. Jacob refused to believe
them at first, but when he saw all the carts and donkeys loaded down
with good things, he was convinced.
Verse 27 states that
"the spirit of Jacob was revived". As we've seen before, Jacob
had been depressed ever since the loss of Joseph.
He was expecting to go to his grave in great sorrow.
Now, at the hearing of this news, his spirit was revived.
His depression left him. He
could now go to his grave in peace.
I think there is one
thing we can learn about this whole story, among many things, and that
is God can bless a secular nation, but He does so when His chosen person
leads the nation. Egypt
was only blessed because of Joseph, and in the long run, because of God
Himself. You might actually
say that the Abrahamic Covenant
was being fulfilled here that stated, "those nations that bless Israel
will be blessed." Joseph
was part of