Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone leave my presence!’ So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. . . . ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And 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. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.’” -Genesis 45:1-2, 4-7
While chapters 43 and 44 depict Joseph’s tender love and tough love respectively, chapter 45 display Joseph living out of God’s sovereignty.
You may read Genesis 45 here: Bible Gateway.
This account of Joseph meeting up with his brothers finally comes to a resolution when Joseph reveals his identity. Layman’s Bible Commentary notes: “The response of the brothers to Joseph’s revelation of his identity is a term translated dismayed or dumbfounded. This is a term used of paralyzing fear as felt by those involved in war (Exodus 15:15; Judges 20:41; 1 Samuel 28:21; Psalm 48:5).”
Joseph’s emotional display of weeping, embracing, and explaining finally convinces his brothers that he doesn’t intend revenge, but is actually favorable toward them.
How in the world could Joseph forgive his brothers?
After all, they had rejected him, sold him into slavery, and made it possible for Joseph’s 12-13 year stretch of being imprisoned during young adulthood, (from the age of 17 to 30). The natural response to that kind of treatment is bitterness and revenge.
But not Joseph.
His ability to discern God’s providence over events and keeping an eternal perspective mark his life. He also lays the ground work of forgiveness by seeking God’s heart. Joseph’s graciousness, not only in forgiveness, but also in sharing his prosperity, reflect God’s forgiveness and blessing to those who ask.
Is there anyone God wants you to forgive and seek restitution?
One last thought. Joseph’s father, Jacob, was stunned to learn that Joseph was still alive.
Good news is hard to believe when going through difficulties. But God’s ultimate plan for his children is a future filled with joy and blessings. Have a great weekend!