Reading For Monday Genesis 45:1-9; 45:25-46

Joseph Recognized by His Brothers   (1788) by Jean-Charles Tardieu, also called "Tardieu-Cochin" (3 September 1765 – 3 April 1830)

Joseph Recognized by His Brothers (1788) by Jean-Charles Tardieu, also called "Tardieu-Cochin" (3 September 1765 – 3 April 1830)

This day has been a long time coming. For many years, it seemed that this day might never arrive. Judah’s speech is so extraordinary that Joseph is overcome. Sensing that he is about to break down, he dismisses his staff. Once they are alone, Joseph cannot control himself any longer and now, after his angry attitude towards his brothers, he finally breaks down and reveals his identity to them. As he reveals himself to his brothers, the weeping is so loud that the Egyptians heard it and reported it to Pharaoh.  

He urged his brothers not to be afraid, for they were forgiven, and should forgive themselves. What follows is a moving invitation for reconciliation. Perhaps it was a change in Judah that softened his heart. Judah, who had mistreated him, was now willing to lay down his life for his youngest brother. Joseph speaks, and he does not work up to things gradually or break his news to them gently. He announces his identity and his brothers are speechless because they are ‘dismayed.' 

Joseph shows an amazing understanding of what has happened to him. He sees God’s action and human action happening in concurrence, but he gives priority to the action of God. This is what Christians mean when they speak of God’s providence. We are subject to many challenges in the course of our lives, but all things are subject to the working of God. Circumstances have no power to remove us from his care or to thwart his good purpose. It is also worthy of note to observe that Joseph understands the reason for what has transpired. Joseph makes a  connection between his circumstances and the promises of God to his father. He has been sent to Egypt ‘to preserve life’ and a remnant. 

He tells his brothers to go and tell his father Jacob to come down to Egypt so that he and his family may survive the famine. They are to assure their father that he will provide for him, his children (the brothers themselves) and his children’s children. 

Jacob is stunned, and he only believes because he sees the carts. Jacob’s spirit revives after having lived twenty-two years in a state of grief and despair. Jacob seems to get back on track, and as the family begins their transition to a new home, they offer sacrifices and worship. In a vision, God appears to Jacob again. God promised to make a great nation of him, go down to Egypt with him, bring him back to Canaan, and cause Joseph to close his father’s eyes in death. God's faithfulness and providential care are truly wonderful. 

Thing To Consider:

  • What is the relationship between God's sovereignty and sin?  
  • Have you found it difficult to reconciled to someone that hurt you? Why?  
  • Has anyone ever meant evil against you and you can see where God used it for your good and his glory?  
  • Why is it that we seem only to worship when things are going well?