Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked. “From the land of Canaan, “ they replied, “to buy food”. Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. Then he remembered his dreams about them. Genesis 42: 6-9
It had been more than twenty years since Joseph had seen his brothers, but he recognizes them immediately. The last time he saw them was when they’d taken the clothes his father had given him. They intended to kill him but instead tossed him into a cistern and sold him into slavery. Now they bow down before him; Joseph the mightiest man in all of Egypt, only outranked by the Pharaoh himself. And he remembers his dreams from long ago, the dreams that had made his brothers hate him and angered his father.
When we read the story of Joseph it is easy to forget the time line. We focus on the end. On how what was intended for evil was used for good. (Genesis 50:20) But Joseph was a real person with feelings & emotions. He had suffered greatly because of the jealousy of his brothers.
While faced with those who harmed him so many years ago and altered the course of his life, he quickly finds out that the events still hunt his brothers. And Joseph is overcome come with emotions. He turns away from his brothers and weeps. When he meets his brother Benjamin, son of his own mother, again he is deeply moved, hurries out to his private room and weeps.
The Lord has done great things in the life of Joseph. But he missed 20 years of his brother’s life. The Lord has poured out many blessings on Joseph, but there is still trauma from what his brothers had done to him. God has used everything he has been through, but it has left wounds that are still raw. And Joseph wept.
He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us;
he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
It hurt when we are torn to pieces and injured. It is hard to understand why the Lord allows pain & suffering. But we can trust that He will use what happened to us, just as He did in the life of Joseph. The Lord will bring healing. He will bind up our wounds. He will heal our broken hearts (Psalm 147:2)
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”