Twenty years of Joseph’s life had been spent in a series of seemingly unfortunate events. A roller-coaster of emotions and experiences…beloved son, despised and hated brother, prisoner, slave, prisoner again, dream interpreter, husband, father, a big deal in Egypt. Success and seeming failure. Unfair treatment. Misunderstood. Hopeful. God’s providence…now we see that the path that Joseph was on was leading him to the realization of his dreams. In every circumstance…every hardship, every sorrow, every joy, every pain, every moment…God meant it for good.
God is sovereign over the affairs of men, but man is still responsible for his actions. It’s a divine mystery…God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. Joseph’s brothers are responsible for their actions and must face the consequences of what they have done. But God uses their actions to bring about His purposes. In this story we see God’s severe mercy. He uses a famine to force the chosen family to look at themselves and at each other, to face their sin and in repentance seek forgiveness. The plan of redemption depended on these guys…as heirs of the promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel, through them all the families of the earth were to be blessed. This is a story in process. We haven’t seen yet how it all plays out. But the seeds are planted, and the harvest is not far off.
Joseph is a model of forgiveness in this episode, evidencing an incredibly mature faith. He foreshadows Jesus, picturing the Redeemer to come. And although Joseph is still the main character, the brothers, as a group become a major player, finally acknowledging their sin, godly sorrow as Paul calls it, they will be led to repentance. And the great news is…they serve a loving heavenly Father who delights to forgive and be reconciled to His children.
So whether you’re a Joseph who is in a position to exact punishment but is called to forgive, or the brothers who are being awakened to need for repentance, or a Jacob who so desperately needs to be reminded of the hope that we have in Jesus, my prayer for you today is that you would have a close encounter with Jesus, that you would experience an ever increasing measure of contentment, joy and confidence in your everyday life with Him.
Until next time…stay salty.
This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster