The Life of Joseph - Lesson 26, Continuing the Life of Joseph in Egypt.
Genesis 43:15-25, And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon. And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house. And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses. And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house, And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food: And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand. And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks. And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them. And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender. And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.
So Joseph now sees all of his brothers.
He is now is assured that Benjamin is alive and that what his brothers told him is verified.
Joseph extends Grace to his brothers and commands his steward to bring these men home and slay and make ready for a sumptuous lunch.
And what is their reaction?
Was it one of relief that the ax had not fallen?
No, they were afraid that the ax was going to fall.
Fear filled their hearts for they did not know how to receive the Grace of their brother Joseph.
This was very unusual indeed and they did not know what to make of this.
Was this powerful prince going to put them in bonds privately?
Why was this happening to them and their minds immediately try to reason out Grace.
They reason it out as a natural man.
This must be because of the money in the sacks.
But no, the steward quickly dispels that notion by showing more Grace.
Here it appears that Joseph had won this steward to the Lord for he says:
Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money.
I had your money.
It was your God and the God of your father that you ought to give thanks.
He hath given you treasure in your sacks.
And he brought Simeon out unto them. And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender. And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.
Not only was this good news received gladly but they were also reunited with their brother Simeon.
More grace and more grace, even extending to their beasts of burden.
What were the brothers to make of this?
See how grace confuses the natural man who only thinks in natural terms.
So now the present that Jacob sent with his boys becomes important to them.
Perhaps we can soften what we expect as hard by our gift to this prince.
So they made ready the present, for they were told that Joseph would be coming home for lunch.
Genesis 43:26-28, And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth. And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive? And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.
Most likely Joseph's brothers were brought to his house in early morning for the food had yet to be slain and prepared for their lunch.
As far as Joseph was concerned this was time well spent by his brothers in anticipation of what kind of reception Joseph would give them.
They were made to wait until noon for his arrival but when he did come they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house.
They were now thankful that their father had prepared them so well.
No mention is made of Joseph's response to the gift but much mention is made of Joseph's interest in their father.
Joseph again sees his dream fulfilled as his brothers bow their heads and make obeisance before him.
But no harsh words come from Joseph but only words of inquiry as would be made by those who meet at the door to the house.
Joseph's brothers are not ready for Joseph to reveal himself to them.
He must know their hearts concerning Benjamin and his plans include additional testing to reveal their hearts.
He is in not hurry because he acts on a higher plan and desires eternal results due to his actions.
He desires thorough conviction and genuine repentance in his brothers for their sins against him, his father and God.
Joseph is indeed Christ like is he not?
So he engages in the normal chit-chat of host and guests.
How are you doing? Have you all been well.
How is your father, the old man of whom ye spake?
I trust he is still alive.
Words that any would speak at first meeting.
Nothing to arouse attention that too much interest was being displayed.
Genesis 43:29-31, And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son. And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there. And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.
Joseph's own blood stands before him.
His brother Benjamin, the son of his own beloved mother, Rachel.
This is hard for Joseph to bear and he almost loses control but rescues himself in time to exit this scene to be apart from his brothers in order to weep alone.
See Joseph here as you would see our Lord Jesus Christ as he too yearns over a sinner but cannot work apart from his own righteousness.
He can only woo that sinner, bring conviction upon that sinner and welcome that sinner when repentance is exhibited.
Joseph wept but he did not forget the purpose he longed to see fulfilled in his brothers.
Repentance and reconciliation.
Jesus wept also for Jerusalem but kept his power in check for he had a higher purpose than just overthrowing Rome and other despotic kingdoms.
He wishes to regenerate men not regenerate the systems and the governments in which they live.
And we easily see that same principle working here in the life of Joseph as he deals with his brothers.
One lesson that is revealed to us in the life of Joseph is the lengthy time and effort that is taken by Joseph to bring his brothers to himself.
Don't we also find that to be true as God's Holy Spirit woos the sinner to repentance and reconciliation by his Word?