Summary: Face the problems of your past so you can enjoy living in your tomorrows.
Intro. We began this series looking at the changes in the life of Jacob from which Joseph would benefit. Jacob, now Israel, became a godly man that trusted the Lord. Joseph would need that example.
Then, Life took and Unexpected Turn when Joseph’s brothers sold him.
In a few years, though a little comfort had come, Joseph found himself in a battle in the midst of the storm. He was cast into prison.
After a while, he thought he had a way out, but the Butler, who he helped, conveniently and intentionally forgot him. But just at the right time, the butler had to confess. And Joseph was brought to Pharaoh to interpret a dream.
When we last saw Joseph, he had been promoted from prisoner to prince! The dream of Pharaoh has been interpreted, 7 years of of good, 7 of famine.
Joseph was sold at the age of 17 into slavery. He was about 30 when he left the prison and was made the second in command. About 9 years pass, and here appears Joseph’s brothers. His brothers came in the first two years of the famine. It has been over 20 years since he has seen them. He is close to 40 and they do not recognize him as a man, in his Egyptian garments, customs, and language. This Time, the storm did not belong to Joseph. His brothers were literally about to face their own storm. They had to face Yesterday. Necessity drove his brothers to him, they needed supply, and they bowed to him!
In our text - He spoke roughly to them - probably to hide his affection, and not igniting guilt. Imagine in vs. 13 - they told Joseph that He was not!
I. The Reaction - Joseph could have done whatever he wanted.
-He had been a submissive slave to Potiphar
-A sensitive servant in Prison
-A sincere spokesperson before Pharaoh (told what God said the dream was)
-A satisfied soul in the Palace
NEVER do you find Joseph bitter toward those that hurt him. Joseph never lived in the past, it was only the path God used, to use him!
He could have sought out and punished his brothers, the Canaanites that sold him, Potiphar, his wife, the butler, any others - but he had not up to this point! Joseph chose to use their circumstances to try them, before he revealed himself. He has been watching his brothers. He had seen them talk among themselves. He begins to test them.
A. He Detained Them - some believe this was to allow them time to think, and also his own way of not revealing himself but he had to hide his emotions.
Vs. 17 - he puts them in hold, not the inner prison, but held them
Possibly to allow them time to think, repent of their wrong doing.
And it worked! Their guilt was always there - 42:21-22
B. He Directed Them - vs. 18-20
1. His Confession - I Believe!
Vs. 18 - Joseph tells them they can go, and that he fears the true God
This could have raised suspicion, but the Egyptians could be pantheistic with worship to idols, yet claiming to believe in the true God of the Hebrews.
2. His Command - He then tells them they must bring Benjamin - you see, humanly, he wanted to see his younger brother. But God was also saying, “See that you bring your whole hearts with you, leave nothing behind.” Simeon was kept.
He did not want the family to flee out of fear before he saw his brother and father.
C. He Delivered Them - they received their supplies, and their money.
His deliverance was GRACE! Though the brothers could not understand it.
When they returned, they even tried to pay again!
Joseph took care of those that hurt him. Simeon was being held, the brothers went home and told Jacob. Jacob refused to let Benjamin return, until the famine became even more unbearable. Reuben and Judah convinced Jacob, and they returned. Joseph once again let them go, but this time set his own silver cup in Benjamin’s bag, bringing cause against them. AND THEN IT HAPPENED!
II. The Revelation - Genesis 45:1
A. These Brothers were already under Conviction Genesis 42:21 "And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us."
B. They were brought to Compassion (Judah) - Genesis 44:32 "For 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. 33 Now 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." Though Joseph is a wonderful picture of Jesus, here we see the earthly ancestor of Jesus, volunteering to take the place of another.