WEEK 5, DAY 4 OF CHOOSING GOD INSTEAD OF THE WORLD, A LOVE GOD GREATLY STUDY
But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. NLT
THE GENESIS SAGA: Joseph Reveals His Identity
After Judah’s plea and offer to exchange his life for Benjamin’s and his father’s, Joseph could no longer keep the secret of his identity hidden. When he had made sure that they were alone – he announced, “I am Joseph! Is my brother still alive?” The brothers were confused and gave no answer, so he said again, “I am Joseph your brother,” this time adding – “whom you sold into Egypt.” While Joseph clearly acknowledges the brothers’ part in the way his life turned out he gives God all the credit. I doubt that this was an effort of Joseph to whitewash the brothers’ betrayal, but to let them know that that God was in perfect control and had blessed Joseph despite their evil act. It was God who positioned him to rule over Egypt and God who positioned him to provide life for them, He explains to them how God had used their act of selling him to preserve their lives by making him advisor to Pharaoh, lord over all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
Other Notable Observations:
- Joseph immediately puts the brothers at ease rather than throwing blame and making them feel bad. (5)
- He explains how the famine will play out and assures them that it was God who sent him ahead of them in order to save their lives (7)
- Joseph sends the brothers back to Canaan to bring Jacob to Egypt, so that Joseph can provide for him and his whole household, and everyone who belongs to him. (9-12)
- Joseph wept over his brothers and they talked with one another. (13-15)
APPLICATION: HOW THEN SHOULD WE LIVE?
Again, it seems there is much we can learn from Joseph, including not throwing blame or making others feel badly for their wrongs but especially giving God all the credit that He is due, as we read in the soap verse. This is true even for ourselves. We would be wise to not look at any given situation and say look what I have done, look what I have become, or accomplished, or what ‘that person’ became because of me. Surely we can celebrate what God has helped us to accomplish at school, or work, or in life, for ourselves or for others – but we put ourselves in danger when it becomes about us and not what God has helped us accomplish. It can lead to pridefulness that may turn us to choose the world’s way instead of God’s. Instead let us To steer clear of the pitfalls of pride we would do well to deflect all praise to God as Joseph did and to set aside time daily to point our own minds to remembering what God has done for us.
Prayer: Response to God’s Word.
Father, thank You for being in complete control. Thank You for using us as Your instruments to accomplish Your will and for reminding us to give You all the glory and honor due Your Holy Name. Let Your praise always be on our lips and Your goodness always on our minds. Guard us from pridefulness and boasting in ourselves. These things I pray in Jesus’ name and power – Amen!
YOUR TURN:PERSONAL REFLECTIONS
- How is a willingness to forgive related to an understanding of God’s sovereignty?
- Is there anyone you need to forgive or seek reconciliation with today?