Joseph Provides for His Brothers and Family
45 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.
When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.’ And you, Joseph, are commanded to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Have no concern for your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”
The sons of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. To each and all of them he gave a change of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five changes of clothes. To his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. Then he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the way.”
So they went up out of Egypt and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob. And they told him, “Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” And his heart became numb, for he did not believe them. But when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. And Israel said, “It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”
Genesis 45 Commentary
by Hank Workman
20 years of sorrow, heartache, loneliness came tumbling out. Joseph had been rejected, kidnapped, enslaved and imprisoned. The dramatic reveal to his brothers had all the pain he had bottled up burst like a dam. He forgave them. Impossible to grasp, but he knew that his brothers’ evil intentions God would use to fulfill His plan.
“God sent me before you to preserve life.”Genesis 45:5
God sent Joseph ahead to preserve their lives, save Egypt during the famine. There was a greater plan though besides this – God was setting in motion and preparing a way for the beginning of the nation of Israel. Although Joseph was a victim, God turned it around toward His glory.
As we consider our own lives, there is nothing that happens which does not fall through the fingers of God first. Joseph’s life is a testament to this as we read in black and white the very things that shaped him. But the more incredible thought is God wasn’t just interested in that moment for Joseph. He was working toward future generations. He was laying the groundwork that would follow for the nation of Israel. Joseph was obedient through all of these horrific twists and turns. This is what’s key.
Consider your own life at the moment. It is easy for any of us to become discouraged and hopeless when situation after situation does not work out as we expected. It is easy for us to lose sight beyond our pain. Yet, God works in His ways toward deeper trust and change in us but also for those who follow behind. Our decisions of trust or lack of today, will resonate in others lives. The question for each of us is do we trust Him?
Will you continue to trust Him as your own life has taken a turn you never wanted? Will you praise Him even as hardship is faced? Will you give of yourself in obedience to whatever lot in life He has brought to you for the moment?
God is not against His children. Never. It’s a whisper of the enemy that many choose to believe when things have turned difficult. God allows whatever it is to come into our life for purpose. Maybe it is the shaping of our character in Him. Maybe it is learning to lean into Him more where we discover things we would have never known of God had we not gone through these. Maybe it is for someone else and a far-reaching preservation of their lives.
God is sovereign. His plans aren’t dictated by others who come against us. He is still in control. He still has a plan. He still is at work. Remarkably through all these years for Joseph he realized God ruled his life, not good or evil men, or circumstances or fate. It was God. He wants us to learn the same things.
Genesis 45 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
After several chapters of agony, Joseph is finally reunited with his brothers. There is much we could discuss but I want to focus on the response of Israel/Jacob.
In Genesis 42:36, Jacob said, “All this has come against me.” How many times have each of us thought the same?
He thought he had lost his favored son Joseph and was now facing the possibility of losing Benjamin as well. The waves of self-pity came crashing down. Complaining is the natural response to uncontrollable circumstances that cannot be immediately resolved.
And the truth is, we do it all the time. Loss of control leads to a loss of hope. We slip into our personal coping mechanism to get through the turmoil and pain. It’s easy to look at Jacob’s struggle in hindsight and question his lack of faith and trust. I don’t believe this story is here for us to criticize Jacob. It’s here because Jacob represents us.
Here in Genesis 45, Israel’s response is a response of gratitude.
“It is enough!”
Jacob/Israel now had a testimony. He had seen God work the impossible. His dark, paralyzing thoughts were turned to unthinkable faith and joy. This is God’s promise to those who persevere with faith. At some point, whether here or in the life to come, God will turn all suffering and pain into joy and blessing.