By Pastor Shana Wise
Genesis Chapter 45 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So, there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise, you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’
12 “You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”
14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
16 When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan,18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’
19 “You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives and get your father and come. 20 Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’”
21 So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22 To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of clothes. 23 And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving, he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!”
25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”
The story of Joseph and his brothers really inspires me because it represents reconciliation and restoration within the family. Like me, you may have experienced dysfunctional family dynamics or had a misunderstanding with family and non-family members that left your relationship torn.
These torn relationships can leave us having feelings of bitterness, pain, unforgiveness, hurt, anger, and the list goes on. These strong feelings and emotions, causes us to be distant and separated. The relationships may be so toxic that it is best not the be in the company of one another.
Misunderstandings and lack of communication often led to broken relationships as well.
In the story of Joseph and his brothers, the problem with him and his brothers was that they were jealous and envious of him, more specifically, his relationship with their father. He had seemed to be the favorite child of Jacob and his brothers knew it. The brother’s jealousy and envy ultimately led them to sell their brother in slavery and Joseph ended up in Egypt. Worst of all, the brothers reported back to their father Jacob that Joseph was dead.
Can you imagine the feeling as emotions running through the household of Jacob before, during, and after the time of the separation of Joseph from the house?
The brothers yearned for their father’s love, but they perceived that he loved Joseph and his younger brother Benjamin more than them. Joseph and Benjamin had a different mother, named Rachel, and the bible stated that Jacob loved Rachel, not Leah who was the other boy’s mother. I’m sure this left Joseph’s brothers feeling some kind of way because of the favoritism going on in the house.
Have you ever been in that situation? Maybe you have siblings that do not have the same parent as you and because of it, there is a difference in the family dynamic concerning the way one is treated over the other? Or maybe one parent spends more time with one child than the other? How did it make you feel?
Have you ever had sibling rivalry, jealousy, or envy that caused a strain within the relationship? How did it make you feel?
Or it may be a situation like Rachel and Leah, two women in love with the same man. What do you think the feelings and emotions were concerning these two sisters? We do know that there was a competition between them for the affection of Jacob's love. Have you ever been in a relationship that brought you pain and heartache because there were three involved instead of two? What was that experience like? Or have you ever loved someone who didn’t love you back?
Can you imagine being Joseph and having your brothers hate you so much that they sold you into slavery and went back and told your father that you were dead? Joseph was also brought to a strange land and had to endure hardship while he was there. What kind of feelings and emotions do you think ran through Joseph’s mind during this time in his life? How would you feel?
What about Jacob, being lied to by his own children about his son’s death? What emotions do you think he had when he heard the news of Joseph’s death? What about living with this pain year after year? How could his brothers live with this lie for all those years?
Despite all that happened in the dysfunctional family of Israel, praise God that he was still working behind the scenes.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
God used this family’s dysfunction and made it function for his glory. Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery was a setup for the future of Israel. God blessed Joseph in the land of Egypt and because of it, his family ended up benefiting from it.
In Genesis 46, we find the household of Israel being reunited with Joseph in Egypt. There was a drought in the land and Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for help. Joseph recognized them and they were reunited in the palace. The beauty of this story is that Joseph had the choice to remember everything his brothers did to him. He had the power to punish them, even put them to death. Yet he chose the spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness. Despite what his brothers did to him when the opportunity presented itself to him, he chose to extend grace and mercy. Remember, many years had passed before this reunion. Joseph had not seen his brothers since he was a teenager and now, he was grown, married with a family, and co-ruler of Egypt. Not only did he get a chance to reunite with his brothers, but he was also able to see his father Jacob before he died (Genesis 46-47).
The main takeaway we can get from this story is that we too can be like Joseph and be always ready to reconcile with our family, friends, and other relationships that have been broken for whatever reason. Time has a way to change people and God is always working within our lives. God is in control and he will orchestrate various situations in our lives to bring forth forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration; yet we much chose what to do when the time comes.
Jesus Christ demonstrated this concept on the cross. He died for our sins so that we may be reconciled back to the Father. He loved us so much that he laid his life down for us so that we can have not only have everlasting life but a relationship with the Father.
1. What relationships are believing God to restore in your life?
2. Who do you need to forgive from your past? Who do you need forgiveness from that you have hurt in the past?
3. What pains from others do you need God to heal within you?
4. What situation has hurt you so bad that you find it hard to reconcile or forgive? What are you believing God for concerning it?
5. Write out a prayer for those broken relationships, and healing needed, and what you are expecting God to do.
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, and The Impact of Your Election (available on Amazon). She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets and television. Shana is married to Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.
Books available on Amazon at:
Acts of Intercession
The Impact of Your Election
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