Wednesday

18 November 2020

Genesis 45:1-5

Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?’ But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence. (v. 3)

Psalm 26

Background

The turning point in the story we have been reading this week comes today. We move into Genesis chapter 45 and,  having tested his brothers in what many would say was quite a harsh and difficult way, Joseph succumbs to his emotions. I am sure his  brothers and those who heard his cries must have been at least puzzled – if not quite distressed – to witness what was happening in front of them. When Joseph told the people around him to leave it would seem they left without question, and so Joseph was left with his brothers before him. Joseph introduced himself to his brothers and we can only imagine their emotions as they realised who he was and what they had done to him when he himself was one of their number. They tried to distance themselves from Joseph, but he drew them closer and tried to calm them with his words of comfort. He reminded them that he was their brother, the one they had sold into slavery. He then said that what they had done to him in the past was not as negative as they might think, but was part of God’s plan. A plan which was not just to save the Egyptian people in the time of famine, but also to save Joseph's family and enable them to move on into a new life in a new nation.

To Ponder:

  • Reading this account many will wonder why Joseph avoided letting his brothers know who he was for such a long time. If you were one of his brothers, how would you have coped?
  • Why do you think that Joseph sent Pharaoh’s servants away while he faced his brothers with the truth of who he was?
  • Does this account remind you of times when it is through the darkest of experiences God seems to work to bring about new life and new light?

Bible notes author

The Revd Pat Billsborrow

Pat Billsborrow is a supernumerary minister in the Northwich and Winsford Circuit. She is ecumenical officer in the Cheshire part of the Chester and Stoke on Trent Methodist District.

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