Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Genesis: Chapter 45

Wasn't this a joy-filled chapter?!  Our God loves reconciliation and reunions, and Joseph's with his brothers is an inspiring one.  Joseph was 17 when sold into slavery and now, at nearly 40, is a ruler in Egypt.  His brothers who had betrayed him and deceived their father are bowing before him just as his teenage dreams had revealed a quarter of a century before.  His father, too, was completely at his mercy.  Yet, Joseph cared for none of that; he simply rejoiced that his brother's hearts had been revealed as repentant and that their family could be restored. 

Joseph's view of the events is a key we can use in the ministry of reconciliation to which God has called each of us.  We are never victims, all is under the sovereignty of God.  Joseph did not see himself as a victim of his brother's jealousy or selfishness.  Nor did he see his brothers as victims of their own nasty actions.  All was under the grace-filled purposes of God--purposes that brought honor to the humble and life to all.  His brothers did not quite have the same peace-filled view as Joseph.  Their guilt generated fear and discomfort even after Joseph explained his tears; in fact, their fear actually deadened their ears.  Guilt and fear has the same effect on us today.  Only when we quiet our hearts and receive the reconciliation Jesus gives, can we begin to enjoy the beauty of fellowship.  Only when we refuse to retaliate and choose to extend that same reconciliation to others can we fulfill the purposes God has for us.

An interesting note I've learned from one of the commentaries I have reading is that this particular Pharaoh is believed to have been of Hyskos descent which meant he was also Semitic.  Surely God had paved the way for not only Joseph's acceptance in that ruling dynasty but also for the amazing welcome now extended to his family.  The commentary also indicated that the Egyptians were using wheels but the Canaanites had not yet advanced to that technology.  The blessings God orchestrated in Joseph's captivity are probably beyond our full comprehension but it was certainly more than food and technology.  The blessings God is orchestrating in our lives through challenges and ill-treatment will produce the same if we recognize and act on His power and love.  Is there someone God would have you reunite with and help them feel the peace that is available under the Cross?  Don't delay--blessings of honor and life await all involved!

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