Surprise!

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Genesis 42:1-21

Well, Joseph gets a surprise in Genesis 42:1-21. His brothers, every single one that threw him into the pit and then sold him into slavery, are in Egypt seeking to purchase grain, and they are bowing before him. Imagine that! Joseph's brothers don't recognize him. So Joseph proceeds, not revealing who he is and treating them fairly harshly. And the more he interacts with them, the more he finds out about his family.

So what do you think is up with Joseph here? The more I thought about it, I could understand Joseph's thinking and actions. Think about it. He hasn't seen his brothers in over 20 years, and the last time he saw them, they hated him. He doesn't have any clue what's transpired with his brothers. He doesn't know if or how they've developed or changed. So we see some investigating, probing and examining of his brothers. In my mind, that makes sense considering the situation. So Joseph's actions were a good reminder for me that there will be times when I need to be cautious and patient before I jump in and respond or act, and I need to be tuned in to when that may be the case.

So what spoke to you from this passage? What did you learn from Joseph or even Jacob and the brothers today? Tami W.

P.S. We're in the middle of a 3-week study on the life of Joseph. And if you'd like to go a little deeper, jump in to the series on Back to the Bible. It's called Joseph: Making Life Out of Lemons.

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5 Comments

I think Joseph is showing great wisdom here. I would like to say he is getting a little revenge, because I would be (and that may be true), however, he is allowing the brothers sin to come around and teach them a lesson. God usually works through difficulties to teach us the lessons He wants us to learn. I know I don't learn as well any other way. When we are quick to "bail out" our loved ones who struggle we circumvent the process of what God may be trying to do in their lives. It takes a prayerful balance of guiding them rightly and helping at the right time. But the struggle is part of the opportunity to trust God and/or move to repentance. I was reminded through Joseph to be careful not to short circuit what God is doing in peoples lives.

A comment on that I read on a previous blog that Joseph lived before the recording of the ten commandments by Moses really struck me today - how God never changes - how Joseph was so like Jesus and respected the Laws even though he had never been presented with the commandments. Also the fact that God had prepared these works in advance for Joseph so many years before is striking. When Joseph had dreamed his dreams, God knew that there would be a famine for which Joseph would be set in place to bring the Israelites into Egypt. Like the previous comment says about not short-circuiting struggles - we surely have to trust God because only He could know what his ultimate purpose for our sufferings are.

Not all of Jacob's brothers were present when he was thrown into the pit. Benjamin was missing and it looks like Jacob is seeing that part of the puzzle especially when it comes to the celebration at the dinner where Jacob gave him twice as much as his brothers.

I think Curt is right and that Joseph is trying to find out what is going on in his brother's lives. I also think that he has some bitterness that he has to deal with. Who wouldn't be bitter if their brother's sold them into slavery and never gave him another thought. You can see how Joseph softens with time and breaks down in sobs longing to be reconciled with his brothers. So the Lord was actually working on all of their hearts.

It is like like joseph is aware that god has been faithful again, showing the truth of his dream. I admire his discreet way of finding out about his family. I would have been too human and probably would have blurted out something stupid, with no plan in mind. Thinking ahead is an admirable skill to have. It takes wisdom, which i wish i had more of.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on September 12, 2011 5:00 AM.

Fruitful...Wherever was the previous entry in this blog.

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