Summary: This is a narrative sermon of the story of Joseph.
Joseph must have remembered the dream he had told his brothers about some 20 years earlier, about how their stalks of wheat had bowed down to his. We aren’t told how Joseph reacted to that memory, but we know what he didn’t do. He didn’t jump up and say, "I told you so." God had been good to Joseph, and had helped him overcome the anger, resentment and bitterness he had felt toward his brothers. He sold them the grain they came after, but didn’t reveal his true identity to them at that time.
The second trip they made to Egypt to buy grain they brought their youngest brother Benjamin with them, because Joseph had warned them not to come back to Egypt without Him. You see he had accused them of being spies, and so in an attempt to convince him that they weren’t they had told him about Benjamin. So he told them not to come back unless they brought Benjamin with them.
They again appeared before Joseph, and he once again provided them with the grain they needed. However Joseph told one of his men to hide a silver cup in Benjamin’s saddle bag. Then after his brothers had left, Joseph sent some men after them and accused them of stealing the cup. When his men found the cup, they brought his brothers back before Joseph. After pretending that He was going to have Benjamin thrown into prison, and seeing how his brother’s reacted to that, Joseph couldn’t take it any longer. He sent all of the Egyptians out of the room, and he was left alone with his brothers. He then told them that He was their brother Joseph, whom they had sold into slavery.
Can you imagine the fear and anxiety that his brother’s must have felt at that moment? They must have wondered what Joseph was going to do to get back at them for selling him into slavery? But over the years, God gave Joseph the strength to put the past behind him, and forgive his brothers. He told them to go back and to bring his father Jacob, back to Egypt with them. He wanted them to come live in the land of Egypt until the famine was over.
His response to their fear was remarkable. His vision and understanding of the providence of God was amazing. He said, "Do not worry about the fact that you sold me into slavery. God sent me here to save the lives of many. What’s more, he sent me here to save your lives. So it was not you who sent me here. God did! And he made me a ruler over all of Egypt. So, don’t give it another thought, go get my Father, Jacob, and bring him, along with the rest of your families back with you.
They did just that, and they lived happily in the land of Egypt. But then their father Jacob died. And his brothers were once again fearful of what would happen to them. They came before Joseph trembling with fear, said, "Please forgive us the evil that we did to you." When Joseph heard them he wept and said; "Do not be afraid. For am I in God’s place? You meant evil against me but God meant it for Good." You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. That statement is an affirmation of Joseph’s faith and the power and purpose of Almighty God.