Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 23

This entry is part 23 of 39 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap Part 22: Joseph, as head of Egypt, sees his brothers after so many years of separation; after they sold him into slavery. They don’t know who he is because he has aged and he speaks to them through an interpreter which made it more difficult. Joseph plays several tricks on them and they give him the news on his father and brother Benjamin. Joseph eventually reveals himself to them and asks them to move to Egypt because of the upcoming 7 years of famine.

Part 23

The best part of the whole story is when Joseph and Jacob, his father, reunite. We see the brothers return to their homeland and great their father with the exciting news. Joseph “…sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way. And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, 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. 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: And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die” (Genesis 45:24-28). After these events, Jacob travels with all his kin and all their belongings to Goshen to be with Joseph.

Joseph also makes himself ready for the coming of his father as Jacob enters the land of Egypt. Remember, Joseph and Jacob have not seen each other for at least 13 years at that point in time. “And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive” (Genesis 46:29-30).

Jacob lived in the land of Goshen for 17 years before he died at the ripe old age of 147. Prior to his death, however, he made Joseph promise to carry his bones out of Egypt and bury him with his own family. “And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said. And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed’s head” (Genesis 47).

Joseph has been through many ups and many downs. I am sure you have felt hurt, just as Joseph felt. I am sure you have felt loneliness, pain, disappointment, betrayal, temptation, uncomfortableness in the body and in spirit, impatience, sorrow, but also joy, happiness, success, confidence, friendship, kindness, and love. It is easy to relate to the character of Joseph in the bible. He has lived a life filled with faith in God. We all go through this rollercoaster called life and face these emotions and or seasons and this is God’s work in our lives. We as Christians must learn and must grow. We must move forward and not backwards. Joseph was a great example of having faith in God. He held close to God and God held close to him and he was blessed. Consider these things and compare it to a passage which Paul preached in 2 Corinthians 4:5-16. “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord…For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body…For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day”.

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