We are continuing our study of Joseph, but not so much his life but principles displayed that are applicable in our own. Last Sunday (in spite of ice and snow) we were in class for Genesis 45, beginning with:
Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. (Genesis 45:1 KJV)
I’ve seen a similar reunion. Joseph’s took place 22 years after his brothers sold him into slavery. The one I witnessed was almost 37 years after a mother sent two of her sons off with her ex-husband to another state, and lost them to what we know as Child Protective Services today. There’s a long story I hope to write, but one day my Beloved Husband was reunited with his mother – and discovered two brothers and two sisters he had not known.
I know from experience such reunions are filled with tears. Some joyful, some springing from regret for actions not taken and opportunities lost. Is there any possibilities that anyone in our family could say, as Joseph did:
Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, . . . for God did send me. (Genesis 45:5a, c KJV)
So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: (Genesis 45:8a KJV)
. . . God hath made me . . . (Genesis 45:9c\b KJV)
What he had gone through gave Joseph the ability and the position to provide for his family during the seven-year drought. He had learned what the psalmist later wrote:
I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. (Psalms 130:5 KJV)
The psalmist had the Torah to read about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Joseph simply had his faith in God. As our Sunday School lesson put it:
Though Joseph doesn’t have a Bible he knows God’s heart because he knows God’s way.Joseph had personal knowledge of God’s work in his life, and he retained a personal relationship with Him that led to the reunion with his family. The lesson gave three principles:
- Allow God time to work. Just as we’re told in Psalms 130:5.
- Await opportunities to talk. Joseph waited two years, two tests, before revealing himself to his brothers.
- Anticipate God’s blessings on your efforts. God’s designs are good.
The lesson referred to Ephesians for an example for us to be able to achieve such a reunion:
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:29-32 KJV)
Excellent advice for everyone – especially me.