Children’s Study – Joseph, Part 8 Joseph Reveals Himself

Joseph – Part 8 Joseph reveals himself to his brothers

Last time we saw how Joseph saw his beloved brother Benjamin, after around twenty-two years of not seeing him. Joseph showed favor to Benjamin to show us that God has a special love for His son and all who composed Christ’s body.

Gen 43:29 (CEV) When Joseph looked around and saw his brother Benjamin, he said, “This must be your youngest brother, the one you told me about. God bless you, my son.”
Gen 43:30 Right away he rushed off to his room and cried because of his love for Benjamin.
Gen 43:31 After washing his face and returning, he was able to control himself and said, “Serve the meal!”
Gen 43:32 Joseph was served at a table by himself, and his brothers were served at another. The Egyptians sat at yet another table, because Egyptians felt it was disgusting to eat with Hebrews.
Gen 43:33 To the surprise of Joseph’s brothers, they were seated in front of him according to their ages, from the oldest to the youngest.
Gen 43:34 They were served food from Joseph’s table, and Benjamin was given five times as much as each of the others. So Joseph’s brothers drank with him and had a good time.

The elect are indeed given more understanding in this life, but in the end, all men will learn what the elect know now. Let us continue reading Joseph’s story from this point.

Gen 44:1 (CEV) Later, Joseph told the servant in charge of his house, “Fill the men’s grain sacks with as much as they can hold and put their money in the sacks.
Gen 44:2 Also put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest brother.” The servant did as he was told.

The servant did as he was told. That is the part I want to highlight in these verses. Obedience is a big deal to our Lord. We could call Him “Lord” all we want, and we could pray all we want, but if we are living in sin, He will not be pleased with us.

Mat 7:21 (ESV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

1Jn 5:2 (ESV) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

Let’s continue the story:

Gen 44:3 (CEV) Early the next morning, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys.
Gen 44:4 But they had not gone far from the city when Joseph told the servant, “Go after those men! When you catch them, say, ‘My master has been good to you. So why have you stolen his silver cup?
Gen 44:5 Not only does he drink from his cup, but he also uses it to learn about the future. You have done a terrible thing.'”

This silver cup that Joseph told the servant to put in Benjamin’s sack, is used, as the servant says, as his drinking cup and to learn about the future or for divination. The point being made here is that this silver cup is very important to the governor. It is very unlikely that Joseph really practices divination because Jacob has taught his family to stop worshiping foreign gods and to stop practicing spells and divination.

Gen 44:6 (CEV) When the servant caught up with them, he said exactly what Joseph had told him to say.
Gen 44:7 But they replied, “Sir, why do you say such things? We would never do anything like that!
Gen 44:8 We even returned the money we found in our grain sacks when we got back to Canaan. So why would we want to steal any silver or gold from your master’s house?
Gen 44:9 If you find that one of us has the cup, then kill him, and the rest of us will become your slaves.”
Gen 44:10 “Good!” the man replied, “I’ll do what you have said. But only the one who has the cup will become my slave. The rest of you can go free.”
Gen 44:11 Each of the brothers quickly put his sack on the ground and opened it.
Gen 44:12 Joseph’s servant started searching the sacks, beginning with the one that belonged to the oldest brother. When he came to Benjamin’s sack, he found the cup.
Gen 44:13 This upset the brothers so much that they began tearing their clothes in sorrow. Then they loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
Gen 44:14 When Judah and his brothers got there, Joseph was still at home. So they bowed down to Joseph,
Gen 44:15 who asked them, “What have you done? Didn’t you know I could find out?”
Gen 44:16 “Sir, what can we say?” Judah replied. “How can we prove we are innocent? God has shown that we are guilty. And now all of us are your slaves, especially the one who had the cup.”

“God has shown that we are guilty”. What this part of the story is showing us is that, like Judah, we will all one day realize that we are guilty of committing a sin. The elect, of course, are the ones who first realize that they are the chief of sinners. This means we must realize that we are capable of doing every evil deed that you can think of, it’s only the through God’s mercy that we don’t do them.

Gen 44:17 (CEV) Joseph told them, “I would never punish all of you. Only the one who was caught with the cup will become my slave. The rest of you are free to go home to your father.”
Gen 44:18 Judah went over to Joseph and said: Sir, you have as much power as the king himself, and I am only your slave. Please don’t get angry if I speak.
Gen 44:19 You asked us if our father was still alive and if we had any more brothers.
Gen 44:20 So we told you, “Our father is a very old man. In fact, he was already old when Benjamin was born. Benjamin’s brother is dead. Now Benjamin is the only one of the two brothers who is still alive, and our father loves him very much.”
Gen 44:21 You ordered us to bring him here, so you could see him for yourself.
Gen 44:22 We told you that our father would die if Benjamin left him.
Gen 44:23 But you warned us that we could never see you again, unless our youngest brother came with us.
Gen 44:24 So we returned to our father and reported what you had said.
Gen 44:25 Later our father told us to come back here and buy more grain.
Gen 44:26 But we answered, “We can’t go back to Egypt without our youngest brother. We will never be let in to see the governor, unless he is with us.”
Gen 44:27 Sir, our father then reminded us that his favorite wife had given birth to two sons.
Gen 44:28 One of them was already missing and had not been seen for a long time. My father thinks the boy was torn to pieces by some wild animal,
Gen 44:29 and he said, “I am an old man. If you take Benjamin from me, and something happens to him, I will die of a broken heart.”
Gen 44:30 That’s why Benjamin must be with us when I go back to my father. He loves him so much
Gen 44:31 that he will die if Benjamin doesn’t come back with me.
Gen 44:32 I promised my father that I would bring him safely home. If I don’t, I told my father he could blame me the rest of my life.
Gen 44:33 Sir, I am your slave. Please let me stay here in place of Benjamin and let him return home with his brothers.
Gen 44:34 How can I face my father if Benjamin isn’t with me? I couldn’t bear to see my father in such sorrow.

We are learning a lot from this exchange between Judah and Joseph. First, Judah had to admit the lie he and his brothers told their father about what happened to Joseph.  “My father thinks the boy was torn to pieces by some wild animal.” Secondly, and more importantly, Judah shows a change in attitude as he volunteers to become a slave to the governor in exchange for Benjamin’s freedom.

Gen 44:34 (CEV) How can I face my father if Benjamin isn’t with me? I couldn’t bear to see my father in such sorrow.

These words must have pleased Joseph so much as he sees his brothers care about Benjamin’s and their father’s well-being, that he couldn’t stop himself in revealing his true identity to them anymore.

Gen 45:1 (CEV) Since Joseph could no longer control his feelings in front of his servants, he sent them out of the room. When he was alone with his brothers, he told them, “I am Joseph.”
Gen 45:2 Then he cried so loudly that the Egyptians heard him and told about it in the king’s palace.
Gen 45:3 Joseph asked his brothers if his father was still alive, but they were too frightened to answer.
Gen 45:4 Joseph told them to come closer to him, and when they did, he said: Yes, I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5 (KJV) And now do not be grieved, nor angry with yourselves that you sold me here. For God sent me before you to preserve life.

In the two verses above, we can see the biggest lesson we can learn from the story of Joseph, and actually from every story in the Bible. “You sold me into Egypt”, and then Joseph repeated it, “you sold me here”. But he then says, don’t be sad or be angry with yourselves. It was really God who sent me here, to preserve life. So it was really God who is made Joseph’s brothers to send him into Egypt. It was God who sent evil spirits to put the evil thoughts in his brothers’ minds.

Gen 45:6 (CEV) There has already been a famine for two years, and for five more years no one will plow fields or harvest grain.
Gen 45:7 But God sent me on ahead of you to keep your families alive and to save you in this wonderful way.
Gen 45:8 After all, you weren’t really the ones who sent me here–it was God. He made me the highest official in the king’s court and placed me over all Egypt.

Joseph repeats this important point, it was really God who sent him into Egypt. It was really God who was making everything happen. Even the evil done to our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible is very clear who made it happen.

Act 4:26 (MKJV) The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.”
Act 4:27 For truly, against Your holy child Jesus, whom You have anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the nations, and the people of Israel, were gathered together
Act 4:28 in order to do whatever Your hand and Your counsel determined before to be done.

So the kings of the earth…with the nations…and the people of Israel…all of them gathered together against the Lord and His Christ (His body). Why? Because they are evil people acting on their own free will? That is not what the Bible tells us, the Bible’s answer is pretty clear. “In order to do whatever [God’s] hand and [God’s] counsel determined before to be done.

The same is true with Joseph’s brothers. They were not acting on their own free will, they did what they did because that’s what God has written in His book to happen.

Gen 45:9 (CEV) Now hurry back and tell my father that his son Joseph says, “God has made me ruler of Egypt. Come here as quickly as you can.
Gen 45:10 You will live near me in the region of Goshen with your children and grandchildren, as well as with your sheep, goats, cattle, and everything else you own.
Gen 45:11 I will take care of you there during the next five years of famine. But if you don’t come, you and your family and your animals will starve to death.”

That’s another reason why Joseph has revealed himself to his brothers; to tell them that he will take care of them during the next five years of famine. So you see kids, even those who suffer judgment in the lake of fire, the Lord has a good plan for them, He doesn’t plan to make them suffer without end. As soon as Joseph saw a change of heart in his brothers, he revealed himself to them.

Gen 45:12 (CEV) All of you, including my brother Benjamin, can tell by what I have said that I really am Joseph.
Gen 45:13 Tell my father about my great power here in Egypt and about everything you have seen. Hurry and bring him here.
Gen 45:14 Joseph and Benjamin hugged each other and started crying.
Gen 45:15 Joseph was still crying as he kissed each of his other brothers. After this, they started talking with Joseph.
Gen 45:16 When it was told in the palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, the king and his officials were happy.
Gen 45:17 So the king said to Joseph: Tell your brothers to load their donkeys and return to Canaan.
Gen 45:18 Have them bring their father and their families here. I will give them the best land in Egypt, and they can eat and enjoy everything that grows on it.

In this part of the story, you can again think of Joseph as our Lord Jesus Christ and the Pharaoh as God the Father. Here you can see how God wants all of His creation to be reconciled to Him and to His Son.

Isa 40:4 (KJV) Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
Isa 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

The crooked shall be made straight is just another way of saying the sinners (all of us) will be made righteous.

Gen 45:19 (CEV) Also tell your brothers to take some wagons from Egypt for their wives and children to ride in. And be sure to have them bring their father.
Gen 45:20 They can leave their possessions behind, because they will be given the best of everything in Egypt.
Gen 45:21 Jacob’s sons agreed to do what the king had said. And Joseph gave them wagons and food for their trip home, just as the king had ordered.
Gen 45:22 Joseph gave some new clothes to each of his brothers, but to Benjamin he gave five new outfits and three hundred pieces of silver.

Benjamin, who is the symbol of the elect, receives more blessings than his brothers because he suffered the same suffering that Joseph went through (the hatred and jealousy of his brothers).

Gen 45:23 (CEV) To his father he sent ten donkeys loaded with the best things in Egypt, and ten other donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other food for the return trip.
Gen 45:24 Then he sent his brothers off and told them, “Don’t argue on the way home!”
Gen 45:25 Joseph’s brothers left Egypt, and when they arrived in Canaan,
Gen 45:26 they told their father that Joseph was still alive and was the ruler of Egypt. But their father was so surprised that he could not believe them.
Gen 45:27 Then they told him everything Joseph had said. When he saw the wagons Joseph had sent, he felt much better
Gen 45:28 and said, “Now I can believe you! My son Joseph must really be alive, and I will get to see him before I die.”

Just imagine the joy that Jacob felt after realizing that Joseph must really be alive. Next time, Lord willing, we will conclude the story of Joseph.

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