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Summary: Joseph’s confrontation with his brothers.

Sincere forgiveness Genesis 42:1-23

There was a Presbyterian, a Pentecostal and a Baptist who having coffee at Tim Horton’s when the subject of the conversation turned to the issue of the second coming and one of them said, “I was wondering what denomination Jesus would join when He comes back?” The Presbyterian said, “I’ll think He’ll join our church because we have such a high regard for scholarship and let’s face it, nobody put the scripture in a higher place than Jesus.” The Pentecostal said, “I think He’ll join our church because we really know how to worship and nothing holds us back from expressing who we are and how we feel.” And then the Baptist spoke up and said, “I don’t think He’s going to change.”

“Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, why do ye look one upon another? And he said, behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die. And Joseph’s ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. But Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, lest peradventure mischief befall him. And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan. And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.

And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, whence come ye? And they said, from the land of Canaan to buy food. And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him. And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. And they said unto him, nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come. We are all one man’s sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies. And he said unto them, nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. And they said, thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not. And Joseph said unto them, that is it that I spake unto you, saying, ye are spies: hereby ye shall be proved: by the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies. And he put them all together into ward three days.

And Joseph said unto them the third day, this do, and live; for I fear God: if ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses: but bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so. 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. And Reuben answered them, saying, spake I not unto you, saying, do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? Therefore, behold, also his blood is required. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.”

Now, as we finish off the study of Joseph’s life, let me just recap where we’ve been very quickly. Joseph had been about seventeen years old when he was sold by his brothers to the Ishmaelites, who then took him to the market in Egypt where they sold him as a slave to Potiphar, who had been the captain of Pharaoh’s bodyguard. And the scripture doesn’t say how long Joseph had been there; but we assume it was at least a year or so because he was there long enough for Potiphar to trust him with everything he owned. And when everything seemed to be going so well, Joseph was accused of attempted rape by Potiphar’s wife and because of this charge he spent the next twelve years in prison. And then, while he was in prison the warden saw what a good worker he was and chose him to be the head trustee or the person who took care of everything and everybody. And while he was there; he interpreted the dreams of the butler and the baker and two years later when the Pharaoh had a dream that couldn’t be interpreted the baker remembered Joseph who interpreted his dream and that resulted in Joseph being released from prison and promoted to the second highest political position in Egypt and he was put in charge of everything in order to prepare for the food crisis that was coming.

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