42 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” 2 He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.” 3 Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him. 5 So Israel’s sons were among those who went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaan also. 6 Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7 As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked. “From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.” 8 Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9 Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.” 10 “No, my lord,” they answered. “Your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all the sons of one man. Your servants are honest men, not spies.” 12 “No!” he said to them. “You have come to see where our land is unprotected.” 13 But they replied, “Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.” 14 Joseph said to them, “It is just as I told you: You are spies! 15 And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17 And he put them all in custody for three days.
In verse 6 we see the fulfilment of Joseph’s dreams, which he received when he was a young man, living in a different country and when he was “just a shepherd, a son and a brother”. Here he is years later as 2nd in charge of Egypt, the greatest nation at that time in history and because of his wisdom, his ears listening to God, as well as his patience, faith and endurance; he was able to not only save his family, but his and other nations.
Joseph must have felt so hurt when here before him are his brothers who rejected and disowned him. As they bow before him, he must have wanted to say “I told you so!” But he actually sets up arrangements that bring about the reuniting of his family.
In his journey he has learnt forgiveness and wrestled his pride. It certainly must have taken him a lot of strength not to react, but we see him responding and planning a future restoration.
Each of us on our journeys have opportunity to react to people, situations, etc; however if we pause and ask for God’s perspective on the situation, maybe there is a much bigger picture at work than we can see.
Dear Lord, I pray that you would help us to see your purpose in the situations we find ourselves in. Give us wisdom and understanding to make the right decisions and the way forward as find ourselves in challenging situations.
Written by Ps. Sue Botta