By John D. Mean
Oh, how very much is depending upon the unity of the family. In our chronological account of Joseph, at this point, Joseph’s family has now been separated from him for some twelve years. The animosities are real. It was just not proper for the elders to learn from the father’s pet baby boy. Murder could reign in their hearts without any conviction of wrong-doing, but when they made their first descent into Egypt for corn because of the sore famine in Canaan, they confronted their most serious problem of former years. Joseph! Joseph a problem? Well, let’s continue.
When Joseph first laid his eyes upon his brethren he knew them, but they didn’t know Joseph. A miracle of such magnitude would be too wonderful for me to comprehend. The one they felt was their greatest problem in life was indeed now their Savior. There was no answer in their textbook for this kind of problem. Joseph’s first inclination was to confront them on their own level of doing business in the Egyptian style and way. “You men are spies,” he answered in the harshest and most condemning tones in the Egyptian language, while speaking through an interpreter to hide his identity.
Joseph needed time to handle this one. If you lack patience’s art and feel that you have little time to spend on a problem, that condition needs special attention. Stop and think of Joseph. Put your problem in quarantine for three days to give your mind some time to remove all the clutter. It just might take a little more time for this one, if we care and are concerned about our brothers as much as Joseph was about his. Take a walk. Think!
Three days in prison was the sentence, “To give some time for you to get your thinking an attitudes straightened out,” and then under his breath, “and mine,” was the sentence Joseph gave. At the end of the three days they were brought before Joseph. “Go back to your house with provisions for your father and your families. However, when you return the next time, don’t expect any corn unless you bring your brother Benjamin.” That was deep, but the same theology works today.
Genesis 42:21-24 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? Therefore, behold, also his blood is required and they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter. And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.
When the boys arrived home to Dad’s house and told him all that befell them in Egypt, Jacob once again grieved for his son Simeon and vehemently denounced the Egyptian Governor’s demand that Benjamin would go to Egypt. Neighbour, when you lift your hands to the God of glory and embrace His life in exchange for yours, nothing can be held back. You see, God’s plan is bigger than ours and He knows what’s best.
Yes, He wants your dearest treasure and nothing can be withheld from the Saviour of the land if you’re determined to conquer the famine and survive. Yes, give it to Him, trust Him. You will have no regrets. Once again, the food is gone and Judah engaged in altercation over Benjamin. You will notice in all of this how prominently Judah becomes the chief star in the intermediate role. Listen to this: Judah had strong reasons to be concerned, for his very own hide was at stake. “For I’ve got more to protect than even all the other brothers even, Dad, at this point more than you. Even more than the Saviour, whoever he might be, to get us out of this dilemma.” Something stirred within Judah’s breast that caused him to take command and accept the responsibility.
1 Chronicles 5:1-2 now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s 🙂
Our subject is Joseph, but I just couldn’t pass this one up, since lions cannot be ignored but demand the utmost respect. And since it seems as though it was Judah’s plan to cover Joseph’s coat with the blood of the atonement animal, until such a time as Joseph would be reunited with his father once again.
When the brethren returned to Joseph, things began to happen that rendered them confused and bewildered. The money returned to their sacks when buying the first lot of corn. Now the banquet meal, with all the brethren sitting in order by age. Benjamin’s double portion. Then the sending away of them again with their money in their sacks, etc. Now the hard test when Joseph’s silver cup was discovered in the sack of Benjamin’s. This was the last straw. The brethren ran out of answers that is, all except Judah (the Lamb the sacrificial lamb, this time). “I caught you this time,” reiterated Joseph. Then Judah fell on his face put his life on the line (Gen. 44:18-34). He became, in a very real sense, a sacrifice for Benjamin.
Genesis 44:33 now therefore, I pray thee let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. Joseph couldn’t stand the pressure any further he exceeded. He cried, “Let every man out of this place” Genesis 45:1 and there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. I am Joseph. Doth my father yet live?” He wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. His brethren could not answer him they were troubled at his presence. “Come near to me, I pray you. I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.”
Just glancing back to when Joseph had been sold to would doubtlessly have received a life sentence or perhaps on to the gallows. Joseph was ill treated, but didn’t waste the time of day tongue whittling the misgivings of his brothers. Rather than biting and devouring them and being consumed by the result, he placed all the mystery into God’s hands. Then the next charge he gave them, “When you go up after Dad, don’t fall out by the way,” or in other words, “Don’t argue or misplace blame. It’s settled. So leave it there. Let’s bring our father down here and rejoice over the oneness of a family with new beginnings. Perhaps father will have a word for all of us…. yes, a blessing to direct our steps as Joseph’s were, in fruitful places.”
The greatest curse that prevails in the circles of Christendom today is the unwillingness to submit one to the other. Oh, what blessings would flow when each member of the body of Christ would compliment one another in their position in the body that our Lord planned for them to be.
Yes, dreams are dreamed and find their fulfillment in God’s time. Thank you, Joseph, for not being afraid to dream even sharing your dreams, and then holding in there until you see those dreams brought to fruition, regardless of the cost.
Genesis 42:6b And Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth. Genesis 42:9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them. It was unfortunate that Joseph was the only dreamer in the family, other than Dad, for this kind are understood only by those who engage themselves in such nobility. Sad! In concluding the observations about Joseph, there are two points for our meditation.
Number 1: The clothing that distinguished the level of his progress in becoming the Saviour of his people was changed three times (Note: When anything happens two or three times, stop what you’re doing, and get away to that secret place of listening, meditation and prayer. It just might be the voice of God). The first place Joseph’s clothing was changed was the removing of the coat of many colours by force when his brothers sold him into Egypt. This clothing made him special yes, even above the brethren, because of the rich blessings from father. We must not forget, however, the true source of all our blessings, and not glory in what we might think we have done. The enemy is sinister and cunning.
Yea, many are Satan’s trophies nailed to the wall of despair over this one. Again, we repeat, no one falls so far down as those who have climbed so high in the gifts and blessings of the Lord, if they fail to always realize that greatness comes from God alone. These great men need our prayers, and not our criticism, that God will constantly be with them as He was with Joseph even as Joseph understood. The second means by which Joseph lost his garment by force once again was by Potiphar’s wife. There was no time to argue this point. It was either his garment or his integrity. Joseph chose the latter. The gossip circle around Egypt had Joseph all chewed up. The inner man is not always known by what we see. Okay, impetuous one, give the distraught some time to get all the pressures of life pondered and settled. Don’t invoke the Judges, however, before the time of sentencing.
A prisoner’s garb was not of Joseph’s choosing, nor did he understand. Only, “Lord, I know you’re with me. And that’s enough!” The third time Joseph changed his garments finally arrived on his coronation day. Genesis 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. Genesis 41:42-43 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
Question: Which of the three garments did he feel the most comfortable in wearing? You guessed it! He was then in the position he was trained to fill. Genesis 41:46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh King of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
His birthday of full maturity was his Graduation Day. Fully overwhelmed by our beloved Sister Vesta Mangun’s great Bible lesson at a Because Of The Times gathering in Alexandria, Louisiana, 1998, I was provoked to add the scriptures relating to Moses’ outburst of gratitude for Joseph in Deuteronomy 33:13-17. Our Sister accented upon the precious things bestowed by our Lord because Joseph was constant, faithful and committed, although separated from his brethren until God’s time of purpose. Take heart, my brother, you might not have reached your great time of victory yet, as Joseph. Keep plodding; your victory could be just over the next hill.
Number 2: Genesis 50:24-25 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he swear to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. Plainly put, “I want you to get this straight: I’m an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. My identity must be maintained. God used Egypt as a source for preserving my family, however, I must not be reckoned in their genealogy. Bury me beside my fathers and my brothers one family.”
This article “We’re Not Though With Joseph Yet” was taken from “Sinister Plot” by John D. Mean and may only be used for research and study purposes only.