An Unforgettable Family Reunion

Saturday, July 7, 2012

“Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:5 KJV).

Today’s Scripture summarizes an unforgettable family reunion… 20 years in the making….

The story begins approximately 1729 B.C., when Joseph, currently Jacob’s youngest son, is 17 years old (Genesis 37:2). Having sired Joseph in his old age, “Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children… and he made him a coat of many colours” (verse 3). Consequently, Joseph’s 10 older brothers grow envious and hate him (verse 4). God gives Joseph two dreams, which further antagonize his brothers because they learn that the dreams concern them bowing to Joseph (verses 5-11)!

Later, when Joseph’s brothers are out feeding the flock, Jacob sends Joseph to check on them. Joseph learns that his brothers are not where they are supposed to be, and when he finds them, they mock him and conspire to murder him (verses 12-20). The eldest brother Reuben forbids the murder, so they throw Joseph into a pit instead, later selling him into slavery (verses 21-28). So, Joseph winds up in Egypt (verses 28,36). Joseph’s 10 brothers smear goat’s blood on his coat, deceiving Jacob into thinking that a wild animal killed Joseph (verses 31-35).

The years pass—20 long years actually….

Canaan (Israel’s land), Egypt, and surrounding regions are suffering famine, so Jacob sends his 10 sons down into Egypt for corn (Genesis 42:1-5). Who do you suppose is in Egypt to give Israel (Jacob’s sons) food? “And Joseph was the governor over the land…” (verse 6). Wow! God has been watching over Israel!

Pharaoh had appointed Joseph to second-in-command in Egypt some years earlier, so when Joseph’s brothers return to Egypt, they recognize him the second time, and Joseph is able to give them food (Acts 7:10-13). Today’s Scripture records Joseph’s comforting words to his brethren: “God did send me before you to preserve life.”

“And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,” (Acts 7:9). Indeed, faithful God was with Joseph, and with Israel to save her from famine.