18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households. 20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do. 21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.” 22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter. 24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes. 25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.
Interesting reaction by these brothers. They had lived their lives for many years not thinking about their brother Joseph or at least not thinking about him much. Yet when they are in a tricky position, it all comes rushing back. They then realise they haven’t gotten off scott free. Now was the time for them to get what they deserved for selling their brother.
However, that was not Joseph’s plan. Even though it sounded like they were going to get what they deserved, Joseph was planning to bless them. The blessing started with the grain and money they received here in these verses. With further to follow.
That is how God treats us too. We also have done what we wanted to do even when it wasn’t what God wanted because we were annoyed with someone or just wanted to have a bit of fun, but God’s plan is to bless us. He sent Jesus to stand in our place so we could come back into His family – a bit like the brothers and Joseph became family again. And once we are part of His family, His plans for us are good – not what we deserve.
Thank you, Lord, for loving us so much that you made a way for us to be part of your family again. And thank you that you have shown us what being part of your family actually means through your word. Help us to remember. Amen
Written by Therese Manning