March 11, 2019

Reunited and It Feels So Good

Genesis 45

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Joseph Provides for His Brothers and Family

Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.

So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 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. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.

16 When the report was heard in Pharaoh's house, “Joseph's brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. 17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.’ 19 And you, Joseph, are commanded to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20 Have no concern for1 your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”

21 The sons of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. 22 To each and all of them he gave a change of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels2 of silver and five changes of clothes. 23 To his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the way.”

25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob. 26 And they told him, “Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” And his heart became numb, for he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”


[1] 45:20 Hebrew Let your eye not pity
[2] 45:22 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

Reunited and It Feels So Good

Key Verse | Genesis 45:7-8

"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. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt."

Bio | Elizabeth Hoffman

Hello, hello! My name is Elizabeth Hoffman. I am a Fellow in the Watermark Institute this year and am so overwhelmed that I was chosen for this opportunity! Full-time vocational ministry is the hardest thing I've ever done, yet so much fun. I have also loved Jesus for over twenty years, yet feel like I'm reading the Bible for the first time. Overwhelmed and loving it, y'all! For fun, I love traveling, watching movies/documentaries, hosting parties, reading up on the newest technology, baking, and serving as a leader at Shoreline, Watermark's high school ministry.

Central Truth

Truly believing that God is sovereign and fully in control frees us up to walk obediently in His command to love each other with a heart of compassion and to outdo one another in showing honor.

Devotional | Genesis 45

This specific chapter in Joseph's story is one of my all-time favorites because the Lord used it to free me from the anger that came from a harm done to me. The last four years of my life have been marked by...

This specific chapter in Joseph's story is one of my all-time favorites because the Lord used it to free me from the anger that came from a harm done to me. The last four years of my life have been marked by difficult relationships with family, and most recently with friends. There is nothing that fires me up more than injustice. However, I easily fall into sin when I attempt to control and take punishment into my own hands instead of trusting God, who IS justice, to take care of it.

Joseph recognized God's sovereignty behind all that had happened to him and that each tough circumstance was necessary for God to make him a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt (Genesis 45:8). This revelation freed Joseph to forgive his brothers, have compassion for them, and reconcile with them. He was able to give them grace from the overflow of God's grace in his own life! We are called to do the same, but how?

Jesus is our ultimate example! He showed us how to endure unjust suffering through suffering on our behalf. 1 Peter 2:23 says, "When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly." We are told to forgive one another as God in Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32).

Giving grace to others has historically been one of my biggest struggles as a Christ follower, but Joseph is a reminder that we cannot love, forgive, give grace, or reconcile with one another apart from a relationship with God. Because we have been set apart (Hebrews 10:10), we are called to love one another with brotherly affection and to outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:10). Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)

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Discussion Questions

1. Think of a time when you were hurt by another person. How did you react?

2. Spend some time reading Daniel 2 and Job. What were their responses to affliction? Do you see yourself in either of their stories?

3. What does it mean to "never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God" (Romans 12:19)?

4. Is there anyone in your life whom you have punished and not loved as Christ calls us to? Do you need to seek forgiveness?

12 Comments available

Zane Glover about 2 months ago

This was an APEX DEVO! Jesus is the true VICTORY ROYALE!

Jay Caruso 2 months ago

Elizabeth Thank you for taking the time to break down this in your devotional what a wonderful testimony of grace and love regardless of what you were put through

Yolanda Escobar 2 months ago

Elizabeth, Thanks so much for such a great reflection of the scripture today!. God is love and forgiveness , He request same to his children. I think we all straggles some times with Love and forgiveness , But when we remember our SAVIOR all things are posible with him. blessings to you.

Marina Delgado 2 months ago

Dear Elizabeth, Thank you for your amazing Devotional! I work as a teacher and once, one of my students did a big offense to me. I totally forgave him but my Principal said: “Let natural consequences speak to him by themselves, and you just model love and forgiveness.” I think he is following Hebrews 12:7 “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” The fact that Christians suffer consequences for sin helps show God’s love for us as a father.

CATRICE HINES 2 months ago

This story still amazes me! Joseph said GOD sent me. I’m encouraged to stay kingdom focused even in rough times because God is ordering my steps!!!

Christopher Cole 3 months ago

Thank you Elizabeth for such a wonderful devo today. And what great timing with Adam’s message on forgiveness. Those that are Forgiven, forgive. I too battle with wanting to right injustice, want things to be fair and struggle with wanting to play God when wronged or with others wrong. And often get mad in the process. But you are so right. We are NOT God and need to let Him do what He does best. If we just trust and follow and concentrate on our own sin, and His Grace and Love and Forgiveness despite ourselves and our sin because of what Christ did on the cross, we are in a place to love others better. Thanks for all you do for others and for WM too!

greg jones 3 months ago

“Giving grace to others has historically been one of my biggest struggles as a Christ follower.” Me too. It’s one of those problems that comes with being human.

“Jesus said, a new commandment I give to you, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” It’s a possibility that comes with being human. Mine too.

Christlike is not more than human, it’s more human. Human is a need for love in any situation, more human is to extend love in more situations.

Being more human is not about being better. It’s not about a coat. It’s about being around the curve and inviting people to join you.

Excellent devotional Elizabeth, thank you for leading around corners.

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

The gentiles believe in Joseph and were saved in Egypt though God’s use of Joseph and now 2 years into he famine, the Jews as well would believed in Joseph and were saved A great picture of Jesus

Jacob had a crazy life but now looking back sees God working through it all

Sue Bohlin 3 months ago

Hi Elizabeth, great devo! Loved your title!

I also love it when scripture makes me laugh out loud, even if it’s a chuckle. Which is what happened when I read what Joseph told his brothers–“No arguing on the way home, boys!”

Some things never change in families.

Hope Harris 3 months ago

Joesph, and his brothers come face to face with past injustices. I am certain the tension was so thick in the. Judah had already been coming to terms with his unwise and selfish choices.

Now the truth is revealed and the process of reconciling and restoring the family can begin.

Lindsey Driscoll 3 months ago

Elizabeth, thank you for your devo today. God’s gift to us is that your encouragement and Joesph’s example of forgiveness lines up with what we are learning as a church body about forgiveness in the weekend sermon. I’m caught by verse 45:5 that is an example of practical grace: “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves…because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” Just like Colossians 3:13-14 reads, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Joseph extended grace to bring about unity with his brothers.

Hugh Stephenson 3 months ago

Joseph cites God as the actor:

v5 - God sent me v7 - God sent me v8 - So it was not you who sent me here, but God. v9 - God has made me lord of all Egypt.

Why should I ever ask what God is doing? (Jeremiah 29:11) The brothers had no clue. Neither did Job.

But Joseph knew God and trusted Him fully. Why not just trust and obey like Joseph and Jesus show me? (Luke 22:42)

Could I live with the faith of Joseph for 22 years who NEVER stopped trusting God?

Or do I more fully embrace that I am more like Joseph’s brothers who had to be purified by extreme adversity, crushing guilt and disabling agony?

Is the humbling and surrender what is necessary to be formed for His use? (Psalm 119:67, Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Father, may I know you as well as Joseph did.

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