Genesis Lesson 27 Day 2
3a) Joseph reveals his identity
Joseph can’t hold out any longer. He orders all the Egyptians to leave the room so he can “make himself known” to his brothers. Guzik suggests he showed them scars or a birthmark as proof. Mentioning family names or details might not have convinced them after he warned them twice that he could learn things by divination [to test them] (Genesis 45: 5, 15).
Speaking to them in Hebrew also helped confirm his identity. In verse 12 he says “your eyes see. . .that it is my mouth that speaks to you.” Before this, he spoke to them through an interpreter (Genesis 42:23).
“…now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” Genesis 45:5
“But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.” Genesis 45:7-8
“I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.” Genesis 45:11
b) God often works in ways we cannot see.
Joseph saw God’s eternal plan in everything that happened. It all made sense when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and remembered his own. Until then, I don’t think he knew why he was there.
He brought famine to the land.
He took away their food supply.
He sent a man ahead of them.
He sent Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
They hurt his feet with shackles,
and cut into his neck with an iron collar.
Yahweh’s promise tested him through fiery trials
until his prediction came true.
The king sent someone to release him.
The ruler of nations set him free. (Psalm 105:16-20 NOG)
c) Joseph’s brothers are in shock, then terrified.
At first, the brothers are troubled, dismayed, or terrified. Understandably so. They had no idea what Joseph might do to them now.
He asks them to come close to him and they did. He tells them “Don’t be upset with yourselves because you sold me. God’s hand was in it all.”
Joseph explains the famine will last five more years, so he says, “You must tell my father . . . Hurry and bring him down here.”
Then he hugs Benjamin, kisses all his brothers, and they all cry together. “After that, his brothers talked with him” Genesis 45:15).
Joseph wept so loudly the others who had left his presence heard him. Soon Pharaoh got word that Joseph’s brothers are there (Genesis 45:16).
The brothers probably felt guilt, shame, and fear of receiving the punishment they deserved.
4) Reasons it’s hard to forgive
- Science validates that the memories tied to emotionally charged experiences persist longer and in greater detail. Since we remember the pain attached to physical and verbal attacks or other offenses, it’s harder to forgive them, much less forget.
- We deeply feel the anger, hurt, rejection, loss, etc.
- Some people are oblivious to the hurtful things they do or say, or they think others are just too thin skinned.
- Maybe they don’t deserve my forgiveness. They’ll probably do the same thing again to me or someone else. They aren’t repentant or their apology is insincere.
My dad told me about several of my mother’s family members who never forgave him for moving our family several states away. They believed it led to mom’s early death.
Personal challenge to forgive
I remember feeling angry at my unrepentant former mother-in-law when I discovered she embezzled money from our business. After wrestling with my thoughts, I prayed, “I want to want to forgive her.”
Immediately, the Lord showed me something about forgiveness. It’s like a gift from our heart, wrapped in beautiful paper with a big red bow. We offer it to the offending person.
It’s up to them to reach out their hands, take the gift and open it. That’s all we can do sometimes.
To accept the gift means they admit their guilt and receive forgiveness.
That’s what Jesus did for humanity—He shed big drops of His red blood.
Removing the offense out of your own heart keeps it from poisoning our life.
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18).
Things that help
Knowing that God forgives me, helps me remember to forgive others.
Ideally, the offending person tries to understand what they did that hurt me so much.
When my offender recognizes and admits their offense, sincerely repents, and asks for forgiveness, it’s easier to forgive.
I’m timid when it comes to confronting someone who hurt me. I usually work through it myself, forgive them, take note of their character traits and do my best to avoid a repeat.
Matthew 18:15 suggests the opposite—
If a brother [believer] sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained a brother (Matthew 18:15).
However, truth be told, I’m too sensitive. Perhaps, if I had greater love for others and less need for affirmation, the little things that offend me, wouldn’t.
Many years ago, a visiting speaker instructed everyone to put Matthew 18:15 into practice right then and there. This one disagreeable man had a line waiting to talk to him. The pettiness exhibited that day did not produce good fruit.
Speaking the truth in love is the key and easier said than done.
But I digress from the topic.
It’s rare to see true repentance and a corresponding change in behavior like we read about among Joseph’s brothers. They truly love Benjamin even though their father favors him even more than he did Joseph.
5) You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.
We’re not all destined to single-handedly save nations, and God doesn’t cause our troubles, but he exploits them and redeems them.
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2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 The Book of Genesis by Chuck Smith © 2012 The Word For Today
7 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Genesis Lesson 27 Day 2