Summary: Joseph's reunion with his family is a good illustration of the reunion we will someday have in heaven.
A. How many of you have regular family reunions?
1. They can be interesting times, right? All the relatives in one place - telling the family stories and the family secrets.
2. Here are a few family reunion pictures I thought you might enjoy.
3. Picture: Transporting everyone to the family reunion can be a challenge.
4. Picture: Some people are truly embarrassed to be part of the family.
5. Picture: Some people really hate family reunions.
6. Picture: Other people find family reunions to be rather awkward.
B. There are other kinds of family reunions that are wondrously emotional.
1. When families are reunited after many years of separation, the scene can almost defy description.
2. When the Iron Curtain was suddenly drawn across Europe after World War II, many people were separated from their families.
a. Periodically stories were reported about people who had escaped the Communist regimes and were then reunited with their families in the West.
b. Those reunions always defied description, and a picture was truly worth a thousand words, as arms were thrown open wide, as they ran to one another, and embraced like they would never, ever let go.
3. We’ve seen similar pictures during our present war against terrorism.
a. Thousands of our soldiers have been separated from their families for months, and some for even years.
b. Sadly, some of them do not return to their families alive.
c. But those who do return are wondrously welcomed, and the family reunion is so sweet.
C. A scene not dissimilar from those I’ve just described is about to occur in our story of Joseph.
1. The emotions that surround this reunion are difficult to put into words.
2. Last week we witnessed all the brothers of Joseph’s family, who had been separated for more than two decades, were reunited, and oh, how the tears flowed.
3. Today we will witness the reunion of an aged father and favorite child.
I. The Story
A. Let’s bring our story up to date.
1. Through an incredible series of events that we have followed with great interest these past weeks, Joseph was brought to the point where he revealed his identity to his brothers.
2. They now knew not only that their brother Joseph was alive, but that he was the prime minister of Egypt.
3. Even more important, Joseph had forgiven them for all of the wrongs of the past.
4. The desire of Joseph’s heart was to see his father and to get all of his family to move to Egypt so that he could graciously and generously provide for them.
B. And so today, we pick up the story at the point where the news of all these happenings had reached the ears of Pharaoh.
1. The Bible says: When the news reached Pharaoh's palace that Joseph's brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’
“You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. 20 Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’ ” (Gen. 45:16-20)
2. When Pharaoh heard about the news and heard about Joseph’s desire for his family to join him in Egypt, the Pharaoh agreed wholeheartedly.
3. Pharaoh promised to give them the best of the land of Egypt.
4. Additionally, Pharaoh generously offered wagons to make the transport easier.
5. Imagine the affection and respect that Pharaoh and the Egyptians had for Joseph that would elicit such a generous offer.
C. The Bible says: So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22 To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of clothes. 23 And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don't quarrel on the way!” (Gen. 45:21-24)
1. So Joseph’s brothers did as Pharaoh directed.
2. Can you imagine how thrilled they must have been?
3. They had come to Egypt with such anxiety and dread, and now they left with a spring in their step and a smile on their faces.