The Lord’s Love Revealed

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Genesis 44:4-45:234And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? 5Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing. 6And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words. 7And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing: 8Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold? 9With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen. 10And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless. 11Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack. 12And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city. 14And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground. 15And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine? 16And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found. 17And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father. 18Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother? 20And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him. 21And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him. 22And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die. 23And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more. 24And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food. 26And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us. 27And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons: 28And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since: 29And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. 30Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; 31It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. 32For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever. 33Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. 34For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father. 1Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. 2And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. 3And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. 4And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 5Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. 6For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. 7And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. 9Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: 10And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: 11And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. 12And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. 13And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. 14And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him. 16And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants. 17And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; 18And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. 19Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours. 21And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. 22To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment. 23And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way. (Genesis 44:4‑45:23)
Joseph sent a messenger after his brothers, and he overtook them on the way. The good things he had given them were in their sacks, but they had not found them: nor could they, until there was a full confession of their guilt and sin, but Joseph’s goodness was gradually lead­ing them to repentance. When they came into Joseph’s presence, they said, “What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants.” Then they went over the whole story from start to finish, telling all that had happened, though omitting their own sin in selling Joseph. However, this was going to come out too. Joseph could not refrain himself any longer and told everyone to go out of the room except his brothers.
Joseph Revealed
What a wonderful scene followed. Joseph wept and said, “I am Joseph.” His brothers were troubled at his pres­ence and could not answer. They stood at a distance from him, and so he said, “Come near to me, I pray you” — and they came near. It reminds us of Peter, who, feeling his guilt, was afraid of the Lord’s presence, but the Lord said, “Fear not” (Luke 5:1010And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. (Luke 5:10)). How good to hear the Lord saying to sinners even today, “Come unto Me” and also calling His own around Himself to remember Him in His death.
Joseph then went on to tell how God had been behind all that had hap­pened and had sent him down into Egypt. He told them not to be grieved with themselves, but that God was going to preserve their lives by a great deliverance. He assured their hearts of this by saying, “It was not you that sent me hither, but God.” Many of the things they had not been able to understand in the past were made plain in a moment. How true this will be when we see our blessed Saviour. How true it will also be when the Lord makes Himself known to Israel in a coming day. All the hard questions and prob­lems will be explained as when Solo­mon answered the Queen of Sheba all her questions. Joseph opened his heart telling his brothers about his plans to nourish and care for them in Egypt and then fell on their necks and kissed them. After this his brothers talked freely to him, and so it is with us. After we learn how much the Lord loves us, and all He has done for us, and of His plans for our blessing, then we can hold sweet communion with Him. We can talk with Him in prayer, and He delights to have our confidence.
Brought Into Blessing
When Pharaoh heard of all that had happened, he called Joseph, telling him to bring his brethren into Egypt where they could enjoy the best of the land. The whole incident is a type of the time when a remnant of Israel will admit their guilt in crucifying their Mes­siah, and be brought into blessing when Christ (of whom Joseph is a type) reigns in power over the earth. All the kings of the world will have to bring their glory and honor to Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1616And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16)), and God will see that His people Israel are given the best things of the earth. So here, they were given wagons, raiment, and all the good things of Egypt, as well as the finest part of the land when they came there to live.
Further Meditation
1. How did Joseph’s brothers react when Joseph told them who he was?
2. Repentance and restoration are also major themes in Psalm 51. How did the Lord answer the cry of David’s heart when David realized that he had sinned?
3. Joseph Revealing Himself to His Brethren by A. M. Barry is a lovely, short booklet giving more on this beautiful theme of restoration.