One of the best parts of this story is Joseph recognizing that God used his brothers’ act of evil for good- he took their cruelty and used it to save lives. The Bible is full of stories about God using human acts of evil for divine purposes, not the least of which is the crucifixion of Christ. We often wonder why bad things happen to good people- I think our time is better spent looking for the ways that God is using human evil for good.
- 43:16-25 – The brothers still have not recognized Joseph and are terrified that they are being lured into a situation where they will be punished for stealing the money they brought last time, even though they didn’t intentionally steal it. Why else would the overseer of all of Egypt want them to come to his house?
- 43:30-31 – Joseph must have had a wealth of emotions. He was finally reunited with the brothers who had betrayed him as well as his youngest brother who would have been quite young when Joseph was sent away.
- 44:1-13 – The brothers had promised, even to the point of risking the lives of their own children, to bring Benjamin home safely to their father. Finding the cup in Benjamin’s bag must have been devastating.
- 44:16 – Judah is most likely referring to their guilt due to selling Joseph and lying to their father about it for all those years.
- 44:33 – Judah offers himself up as a replacement for Benjamin as a servant to Joseph. When the brother sold Joseph into slavery, it was originally Judah’s idea. Everything is coming full circle.
- 45:1-3 – Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers just as they’re begging for him to release Benjamin.
- 45:5-8 – A beautiful act of grace and understanding. Joseph recognizes that God worked good out of what others intended for evil. Joseph was in Egypt at the perfect time to sustain tons of people through the famine.
- 45:25-28 – Jacob understandably had difficulty believing that Joseph could be alive since he had believed for many years that he was killed by an animal. He makes it one of his dying efforts to go and see him.