At the end of Genesis chapter 43, Joseph and his brothers had just enjoyed a banquet. Joseph’s immediate family was at one table, Joseph’s brothers at a second table, and the Egyptian dignitaries at the third table. Joseph still hadn’t revealed his true identity to them or the Egyptians but there was an air of joyful fellowship among them.
1: "And he (Joseph) commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth. 2: And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. 3: As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses. 4: And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? 5: Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing. 6: And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words. 7: And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing: 8: Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold? 9: With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen. 10: And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words; he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless. 11: Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack. 12: And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13: Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city."
At the last moment a silver divining cup had been slipped into the mouth of Benjamin’s sack. They had not gone very far when the steward overtook them and inquired concerning the silver divining cup. They claimed innocence, and vowed that whoever had the cup must be put to death. When it was discovered in Benjamin's sack they were overcome with grief. Their guilt and shame concerning Rachel's other boy, Joseph, came back to them as they meekly returned to the presence of Joseph. They knew full well they deserved death. The silver cup was a grim reminder of the twenty silver pieces they had sold Joseph for a dozen years before.
14: "And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground."
Judah and his brethren came before Joseph and groveled in the dust at his feet. Judah now spoke up because he had played the major part in the betrayal of his father, and the selling of his brother, but their excuses were futile and empty.
15: "And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine? 16: And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found. 17: And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father. 18: Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh."
In verse 16, Judah recounted the full story from the moment they sold Joseph into Egypt to the present time. It was the confession of convicted sinners.
In verses 19-33, Judah tells Joseph that Jacob’s grief would be so great if Benjamin didn’t return that it would kill him.
Then Judah said; 34: "For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father."
1: "Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. 2: And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard."
Then Joseph “lost it,” as we say, and cried out: "Cause every man to go out from me."
Joseph sobbed so loud that the Egyptians and Pharaoh heard it. They must have wondered what on earth was going on.
3: "And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. 4: And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt."
When he said, “I am Joseph! Does my father yet live?” They must have been dumbstruck and realized the day of reckoning had come. They were guilty. Nothing they could say could justify them, their mouths were stopped.
5: "Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life."
A moment later they heard these words of grace! "Come near to me, I pray you. I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life." What matchless grace!
How fascinating this true story of Joseph is! It’s a prophetic picture of their coming Messiah, the One we believers call our Lord Jesus Christ.
At long last, Israel will open their eyes and see for themselves that He has "the silver cup," the token of redemption. They will understand that He was wounded for their transgressions, bruised for their iniquities, and the chastisement of their peace was upon Him, and with His stripes they are healed. They will learn that they are not redeemed with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot. Just as the sons of Jacob were spared through the sufferings and exaltation of one of their brethren, so has salvation come to the Jew and Gentile alike through the suffering and exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ on the sinner’s behalf.
6: "For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. 7: And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8: So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt."
Verse 1 told us this was a private family reunion and when Christ is reconciled to His brethren, all of those who are not saved, those who are not in the family of God, will not be included.
When Joseph couldn’t hold back any longer, he broke down and sobbed. He revealed he was their long lost brother and that God had brought him to Egypt to preserve them and it was God's will that was the controlling factor in these events.
Joseph gave clear testimony that God ruled in his life. He had suffered wrongfully many times, but he saw God in every event and was able to forgive the wrongs he suffered.
Christ suffered the cross and the shame to save us, and did it willingly.
The prophet Zechariah tells us that someday Jesus Christ is going to make Himself known to His brethren, the Jews. This is yet to be fulfilled. They are going to ask Him about His pierced side and the nail prints in His hands. His answer will be, “These I received in the house of My friends.” When they recognize Him, they'll weep. They will know Him as the One who has provided salvation for them by giving His life for their redemption.
Many of Jesus’ brethren didn't believe on Him when He came to earth the first time, but at His second coming they're going to know Him and a remnant of His brethren from the nation of Israel will recognize Him as their long looked for Messiah.
Joseph’s brethren had delivered him into slavery to get rid of him. But, in verse 3, he makes himself known to them. The Lord’s brethren refused to recognize Him, and someday soon He is going to make Himself known to them again.
Regardless of how blind the nation of Israel is or what they engage in today, and regardless of the fact they are not all lovely people, it's still true that they're the brethren of our Lord.
9: "Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:"
Joseph told them to hurry to their father, and Jesus is waiting to usher the believer into the presence of His God the Father. He said, "Surely I come quickly." A way had been prepared for Joseph’s brothers and God has prepared the way for us.
10: "And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: 11: And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty."
Joseph would prepare a choice place for them, the land of Goshen. It was the eastern section of the fertile Nile delta and God's people got the very best the land had to offer. They would be safe and well provided for there.
Christ is preparing a place for all the believers and it is going to be far better than anything we can imagine or know here on earth.
12: "And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. 13: And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither."
This portion also pictures the glad reunion of Christ with the Jews at the end of the Tribulation when "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."
In verse 12, his eleven brothers were face to face with the one who would save them from destruction. What a thrill that must have been! And what a thrill it will be when at last all believers will see our Savior face to face!
14: "And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15: Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him. 16: And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants. 17: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; 18: And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land."
The good things promised them remind us that God promises to bless those who bless Israel.
19: "Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come."
This is the very start of the fulfillment of God's predictions, given to Abraham many years earlier. Genesis 15:13-16: “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14: And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.”
Every one of the family was "Commanded" to come and the transportation was provided. This pictures eternal security for the believer. All of the saved people, the family of God, will be transported to a place reserved for us in heaven. Every one. No exceptions.
20: "Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours."
The material things of the land were all theirs. This pictures the sinner trusting Christ. We bring nothing of our own, He provides fully for us, even for our journey in this world.
The Christian in this day of God’s grace is not promised material things like these people were, but we are promised something far longer lasting, the best of all spiritual things.
Ephesians 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:"
Genesis 45:21: "And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. 22: To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment. 23: And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way. 24: So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way."
In verse 24, he warned them not to disagree on the way.
Christians sometimes disagree with one another on a minor point of scripture, or with another church on how to conduct their worship. All believers in Jesus Christ are members of the body of Christ, the true Church. It’s His Church, not our church.
25: "And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, 26: And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not. 27: And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: 28: And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die."
The keynote of the story is found in verse 28 of chapter 45. "It is enough. Joseph my son is yet alive."
With this good news, "The spirit of Jacob, their father, revived. And Israel said, It is enough, Joseph my son is yet alive, I will go and see him before I die."
God’s son is still alive. He was crucified, He was buried, and He rose again as proof of God’s acceptance of His shed blood for your sins and mine and He is seated at the right hand of God in glory.
Judah is another name for the Jews, and Christ is speaking roughly to Judah this very hour. It was Judah who was the main conspirator in the betrayal of Joseph. Although they were not alone, it is the Jews who were in the forefront in crucifying the Lord of Glory.
Their rejection of Christ as their Messiah is gradually being brought home to them in these days, but at the time of His crucifiction they said "His blood be on us and on our children." From that day to this they have been fugitives on the earth. While their plight must touch the heart of every true Christian, it illustrates that even nationally those who sin against God will be punished.
At long last they’re assembling in their own land and the day can’t be far off when they’ll stand in the presence of their Messiah, and they’ll find that the One they despised and rejected, the One Who came from Israel according to the flesh, is now exalted and seated at the right hand of God on high. He has been given a Name which is above every name and He is exalted among the Gentiles.
Some of the Jews are already discovering Who Christ is, but there’s a day coming when He will stand before all of them in His glory and, in their guilt, they’ll bow in His presence, just as Joseph’s brethren, in their guilt, bowed in his presence when he said to them "I am Joseph."
The Scripture records very clearly that the Lord Himself is coming in great glory, and "every eye shall see him, they also which pierced him shall wail because of Him," and they will hear His voice say "I AM JESUS." Then, instead of being banished as they well deserve, they’ll hear the same words Joseph spoke: "Come near unto me, be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves because ye sold me hither, for God hath sent me before you to preserve life."
Joseph's love for his father, Jacob, is just a faint shadow of Christ’s love for His Father. It is because of his love for his father that Joseph extended free forgiveness to his brothers in spite of their treatment of him and it was our Lord's love for His Father and His desire to do His Father's will that brought Him into this world to redeem fallen man.
Have you trusted Him for your eternal salvation?
Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior?
His offer of salvation must be accepted before you die.
Follow Jacob’s lead, “come to Him before you die."