Summary: To overcome like Joseph and Jesus, face every moment of truth in your life's experiences by taking care of unfinished business in all of your relationships by forgiving and making things right no matter the cost.
All’s Well That Ends Well Provided All’s Forgiven
“All’s Well That Ends Well” is an axiom that’s been around since 1602 when William Shakespeare gave that title to a staged drama that included both tragedy and comedy; in the end, after all the ups and downs, laughter and tears, rights and wrongs, everything turned out well.
As the story of Joseph nears its end, his life has been subjected to a cycle of tragedy, triumph, tragedy, triumph. Now we come to that part of the story in which triumph once again has given way to tragedy, but this time with a touch of comedy thrown in before the story ends on a positive note.
To this part of the story I have given the title, “All’s Well That Ends Well Provided All’s Forgiven!”
When we last left Joseph, he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and, as a result, at the age of 30, he was put in charge of the entire land of Egypt.
Joseph’s prediction of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine came true not only in Egypt but also in Canaan where father Jacob had no choice but to send Joseph’s brothers except Benjamin down to Egypt to buy grain.
Joseph recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him. Joseph toyed with them rather amusingly by accusing them of being spies so as to set up a scenario whereby they would have to prove their honesty by leaving Simeon in prison while the rest of them went back home, with their bags filled with grain but with the stipulation that, when they returned, they would bring Benjamin with them.
Appalled by this stipulation due to the further suffering it would heap upon their father, the brothers, unaware that Joseph understood their language, began to “spill their guts” to each other in remorse for what they had done to their brother Joseph, feeling that the accusation against them was God’s way of punishing them.
On their journey back home, the brothers discovered that not only did their bags contain the grain but also the silver they had paid for the grain! Fear reigned!
In fear they went to bed each night . . . got up each morning . . . ground grain each day . . . tended the few animals they had left . . . made and ate daily bread . . . dreaded the day when their supply of grain would run out!
The family waited as long as they could before having to decide between starving to death and going back to Egypt. Jacob had no choice but to comply with Joseph’s terms, so he sent his youngest son to Egypt as required by circumstances. Sometimes circumstances dictate our actions . . . we have to do what we don’t want to do.
As a show of good will, Jacob sent valuable gifts; as a gesture of good faith, he sent twice the amount of silver for buying the grain they needed. In penitence, Jacob’s sons were to prostrate themselves before Joseph humbly and obediently.
When the brothers arrived in Egypt and Joseph saw Benjamin, he arranged for all of them to stay at his house where they would be reunited with Simeon and treated hospitably because they passed the test of honesty and humility!
For the first time in 20 years, all 12 sons of Jacob were together – seated at a dinner table! As Joseph looked around, emotions welled up within him to the point that he excused himself, found a private place, and wept.
Upon Joseph’s return to the room, the partying began and “they feasted and drank freely” (43:34). Everyone was “happy, happy, happy”!
End of story? No! Why can’t everybody just live happily ever after? Well, “everybody” is not there yet . . . God’s plan is not yet complete . . . there are some loose ends left dangling . . . there are matters that must be tended to: *Confession . . . The party is over and it’s time for the brothers to go back home to Canaan. A silver cup is placed in Benjamin’s bag. Why? I suppose Joseph wanted to find out if these guys were for real . . . would abandon Benjamin like they had him?
The moment of truth had arrived, as it always does and will. The cup was found in Ben’s bag, but, it was the response of the brothers that was being tested. And who was it that spoke up to confess . . . not the stealing of the cup but the far more serious sin of betraying a brother! From the presenting problem to the real problem!
As ought to be the case when a moment of truth arrives, it was the elder, more mature brother who spoke up – Genesis 44:16 - “God has uncovered your servants’ guilt.” We’re all guilty before God!