From Retribution to Reconciliation

SERIES – Joseph: From the Pit to the Palace

Genesis 45:1-15 NKJV

1     Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers.

2     And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it.

3     Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence.

4     And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.

5     But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.

6     For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.

7     And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

8     So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

9     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.

10   You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have.

11   There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.” ‘

12   And behold, your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my mouth that speaks to you.

13   So you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that you have seen; and you shall hurry and bring my father down here.”

14   Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck.

15   Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him.

Genesis 42:24 NKJ – And he turned himself away from them and wept. Then he returned to them again, and talked with them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.

Genesis 43:30 NKJ – Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and wept there.

Genesis 45:2 NKJ – And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it.

Genesis 45:14 NKJ – Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 GW18 God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. 19 In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others.

The Test of

  1. Brotherhood

Genesis 42:13-15, 22-24 NKJ13 And they said, “Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and in fact, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no more.” 14 But Joseph said to them, “It is as I spoke to you, saying, ‘You are spies!’ 15 In this manner you shall be tested: By the life of Pharaoh, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.15 This is how you’ll be tested: I solemnly swear, as surely as Pharaoh lives, that you won’t leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 22 And Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us.” 23 But they did not know that Joseph understood them, for he spoke to them through an interpreter. 24 And he turned himself away from them and wept. Then he returned to them again, and talked with them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.

Genesis 42:36-38 NKJ36 And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me.” 37 Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “Kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.” 38 But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is left alone. If any calamity should befall him along the way in which you go, then you would bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.”

Genesis 43:1-3 NKJ1 Now the famine was severe in the land. 2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.” 3 But Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ “

Genesis 43:11-14 NKJ11 And their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down a present for the man–a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take double money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take your brother also, and arise, go back to the man. 14 And may God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved, I am bereaved!”

  1. Jealousy

Genesis 43:15-34 NKJ15 So the men took that present and Benjamin, and they took double money in their hand, and arose and went down to Egypt; and they stood before Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my home, and slaughter an animal and make ready; for these men will dine with me at noon.” 17 Then the man did as Joseph ordered, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house. 18 Now the men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money, which was returned in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may make a case against us and fall upon us, to take us as slaves with our donkeys.” 19 When they drew near to the steward of Joseph’s house, they talked with him at the door of the house, 20 and said, “O sir, we indeed came down the first time to buy food; 21 but it happened, when we came to the encampment, that we opened our sacks, and there, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it back in our hand. 22 And we have brought down other money in our hands to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 But he said, “Peace be with you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 So the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25 Then they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they would eat bread there. 26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed down before him to the earth. 27 Then he asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves. 29 Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and wept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself, and said, “Serve the bread.” 32 So they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked in astonishment at one another. 34 Then he took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin’s serving was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.

Anytime you feel jealous or envious, you reject your uniqueness.

It’s a criticism of God’s plan for you.

Ecclesiastes 4:4-8 GNV4 I have also learned why people work so hard to succeed: it is because they envy the things their neighbors have. But it is useless. It is like chasing the wind. 5 They say that we would be fools to fold our hands and let ourselves starve to death. 6 Maybe so, but it is better to have only a little, with peace of mind, than be busy all the time with both hands, trying to catch the wind. 7 I have noticed something else in life that is useless. 8 Here is someone who lives alone. He has no son, no brother, yet he is always working, never satisfied with the wealth he has. For whom is he working so hard and denying himself any pleasure? This is useless, too—and a miserable way to live.

James 3:16 GNV – Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil.

  1. Selfishness

Genesis 44:1-14 NKJ1 And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 2 Also put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain money.” So he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. 3 As soon as the morning dawned, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4 When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? 5 Is not this the one from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination? You have done evil in so doing.’ ” 6 So he overtook them, and he spoke to them these same words. 7 And they said to him, “Why does my lord say these words? Far be it from us that your servants should do such a thing. 8 Look, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9 With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.” 10 And he said, “Now also let it be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and you shall be blameless.” 11 Then each man speedily let down his sack to the ground, and each opened his sack. 12 So he searched. He began with the oldest and left off with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they tore their clothes, and each man loaded his donkey and returned to the city. 14 So Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, and he was still there; and they fell before him on the ground.

(I would put in 15 just for good measure)

Genesis 44:16-34 NKJ16 Then Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; here we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found.” 17 But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so; the man in whose hand the cup was found, he shall be my slave. And as for you, go up in peace to your father.” 18 Then Judah came near to him and said: “O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s hearing, and do not let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even like Pharaoh. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, who is young; his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22 And we said to my lord, ‘The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23 But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.’ 24 So it was, when we went up to your servant my father, that we told him the words of my lord. 25 And our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 26 But we said, ‘We cannot go down; if our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down; for we may not see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons; 28 and the one went out from me, and I said, “Surely he is torn to pieces”; and I have not seen him since. 29 But if you take this one also from me, and calamity befalls him, you shall bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.’ 30 Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, since his life is bound up in the lad’s life, 31 it will happen, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die. So your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave. 32 For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. 34 For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”

Genesis 37:25-27 NKJ25 And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. 26 So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened.

(44:33)

Steps to Reconciliation

  1. Recognition

Genesis 44:16 NKJ – Then Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; here we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found.”

Genesis 44:16 NLT – Judah answered, “Oh, my lord, what can we say to you? How can we explain this? How can we prove our innocence? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slaves—all of us, not just our brother who had your cup in his sack.”

  • Repentance

Genesis 44:20 NKJ – And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, who is young; his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’

  • Responsibility

Genesis 44:33-34 NKJ33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. 34 For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”

  • Reconciliation

Joseph reveals God’s Plan

  • Preservation (45:5)
  • Provisions (45:6-11)
  • Promise (45:12-13)
  • Praise

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