We left off last week where Joseph had ordered his silver cup placed in the sack of his brother Benjamin…
“Get up, follow the men; Gen 44: 4
The trap was about to spring. The steward followed Joseph’s instructions and went after the brothers. When he caught up with them he accused them as Joseph had instructed him.
And they said to him, Why does my lord say these words? Far be it from us that your servants should so such a thing. Gen 44: 7
They went on to deny it, justify themselves and pointing out that they had returned the money put in their sacks the first time… proof of their honesty.
However… in overconfidence they added… With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die…Gen 44: 9
The cup was found where Joseph had ordered it put… in the sack of the youngest brother. His own brother. Taken back to appear before Joseph they must have been ‘shivering in their sandals’.
When Joseph pronounced his sentence… that the others could go home but the one who had the cup should remain and be his slave Judah began an impassioned plea telling him first all the events leading up to them bringing this youngest brother.
Thinking of their father….It will happen, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die. So your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave. Gen 44: 31
As my husband observed whilst studying this story of Joseph in the Bible, “when they put Joseph in the pit they sat and ate a meal showing no concern, blocking out his cries. Over the years it appears that they have learned humility, at least in their care and attitude to their father, as shown in this appeal when it looked like Joseph was going to stop Benjamin from returning home.
Was this what Joseph was waiting for?
He sent out his servants from his presence…
Then Joseph said to his brothers ‘I am Joseph; does my father still live? Gen 45: 3a
Boy, was that a shock!
But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here…Gen 45:5
… for God sent me before you to preserve life.
What were the brothers expecting him to say? Remind them of his dreams that their sheaves bowed before him – and this was the fulfilment? Punish them for what they had done to him?
Any of these and probably more. But Joseph reinforced his belief… “So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Gen 45:8
And so began the migration of the Israelites – (sons of Israel/Jacob) – into the land of Goshen.
That’s another story. For now we leave Joseph, a ruler throughout Egypt, reunited with his brothers and soon to be reunited with his father.
Sometimes what we see as ‘curses’ can turn out to the good if we are patient, trust God and believe that He is working His purpose out.
Remember… tread softly, you may be treading on someone’s dreams. (Or undermining their faith.)