Daily Dose, Nov. 30

  Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, ‘Send everyone away from me.’ So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 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. Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come closer to me.’ And they came closer. 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 five more years in which there will be neither ploughing nor harvest. 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 delay. You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.” And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father how greatly I am honoured in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.’ Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him. When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, ‘Joseph’s brothers have come’, Pharaoh and his servants were pleased. (Genesis 45:1-16) Joseph describes himself as a “God fearing man” to his brothers. They do not recognize that the Governor of Egypt is their brother. Joseph does recognize them. It seems they have forgotten the day they threw Joseph in a well and got him out of their hair. Joseph remembers it like it was yesterday. They once had power over Joseph and used it to hurt him. Now he is a man of power and has a decision to make about how he will use his power. He could throw them in prison or let them beg and starve. He toys with them like a cat with a mouse.  He walks them to the edge of disaster and puts the fear of God into them. After stringing them along and several needless delays, his heart gets the better of him. He wants to see his father’s face and talk to this little brother Benjamin again. He wants his family back. So, compassion wrestles revenge to the mat and Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. They are saved from starvation and the promise God made to Abraham lives to fight another day. All of this is obvious to the interested reader. Seeing the hand and heart of God revealed in these thorny relationships is a bit harder.  -- Dr. Don Martin