Faith

God Seeks to Persevere and Reconcile

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Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.

Today’s reading comes from the book of Genesis, chapters 43 through 45, presenting the climax of Joseph’s story, reunion with his brothers. Some impressions from the text:

  • Joseph makes reference to divination. It’s unclear whether this is part of his ruse, pretending to be an Egyptian, or if he truly had some ability to perceive gifted from God. In either case, it doesn’t appear to be crucial to the narrative.
  • Joseph’s ruse culminates with the planting of the silver cup in Benjamin’s sack, in order to frame him and provide pretext for testing his brothers. Joseph seems to be interested in discovering whether his brothers will forsake Benjamin as they once forsook him. As Judah’s offer to substitute himself for Benjamin demonstrates, the brothers have changed since their foul treatment of Joseph many years prior.
  • As Joseph reveals himself to his brothers in Genesis 45, he also reveals the grand purpose behind all that has occurred. “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God.”
  • This is a lesson in God’s absolute sovereignty. No matter what men do, God utilizes it for his purpose. Indeed, men serve God whether they intend to or not. This does not absolve them from accountability, but does demonstrate God’s complete control over all things.
  • Pharaoh continued his wise deference to Joseph and Joseph’s God, welcoming the news of Joseph’s family reunion and providing the best part of the land for Israel to dwell in.

Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.

(See: Joseph: Portraits through the Ages)

Catch up on the previous entries:

In the Beginning: The Creation, His Rest, Our Fall – Genesis 1-3

An End of All Flesh: Abel’s Murder, Man’s Corruption, and the Great Flood – Genesis 4-7

Noah’s Flood Led to History’s First Post-Apocalyptic Society – Genesis 8-11

Abram Believed: The Pre-Gospel Gospel – Genesis 12-15

Abraham, the Father of Faith, Also Harbored Doubt – Genesis 16-18

Twin Cities of Sin: The Judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah – Genesis 19-21

Was Abraham a Psychotic Child Murderer? – Genesis 22-24

Isaac Follows in His Father’s Footsteps – Genesis 25 and 26

Deception and Fraud, Not of God, But Used for His Purpose – Genesis 27-29

Jacob’s Dysfunctional Polygamous Family – Genesis 30 and 31

Jacob Wrestled with God and Man, and Prevailed – Genesis 32-34

Joseph Betrayed and Sold Into Slavery – Genesis 35-37

Joseph and the Suffering of the Righteous – Genesis 38-40

From Slave to Ruler: Joseph Ascends – Genesis 41 and 42