We last saw Joseph keeping his identity concealed and testing his brothers to see if they had changed their ways. The account of that process is written in Genisis 42-44, and I hope you take the time to read it, but for brevity’s sake, I’m going to skip ahead to Genesis 45.
“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. And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it.” Gen.45:1-2
What an extraordinary family reunion! It probably played out nothing like Joseph ever imagined it would. He is literally undone and cannot contain himself or hide his identity for one. more. minute! He doesn’t just cry, he sobs so loud that the whole house can hear him.
You know what? I believe his tears are an outward manifestation of the inward joy he is experiencing right at that very moment.
One obvious reason for sending everyone out of the room is because he doesn’t want anyone to see him do the “ugly cry”. That’s certainly understandable. But I also think Joseph is protecting his brothers’ dignity because he genuinely loves them.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant. It does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Cor.13:4-5
Once Joseph saw that his brothers were truly repentent, he was able to freely reach out to them and relieve them of their guilt. And what he says to them is no ordinary thing ~ it’s a game-changer:
“But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for it was God who sent me before you to preserve life.” Gen. 45:5
“And God sent me before you to…save your lives by a great deliverance.” Gen. 45:7
“So it was not you who sent me here, but God.” Gen. 45:8
Joseph had learned to trust God through the many hardships and trials he endured ~ right up to the end of his life, where he reinforces God’s almighty hand and providence to his brothers one last time.
“As for you, you thought evil against me, but God thought it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Gen. 50:20
The word “thought” used here in Hebrew, is the root word, cashab.
and is the very same root word used in Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)
“For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you an expected end (a hope and a future).”
This is an astounding promise to redeem your story…your whole story.
No doubt you’ve figured out that the enemy has thoughts (plans, schemes) to harm you. To destroy you. (1Pet.5:8) And often, the enemy uses (hurting) people to accomplish his plans.
But if we let Christ work in and through us, He has a better plan, a higher plan. One that fulfills every purpose for our lives and for His glory.
*Do you feel like God is using your whole story to bring about a good purpose for you? Is there still an area that you would like to see redeemed? If so, I’d be happy to pray for you.