Genesis 45 Commentary
There are several very emotional points in the story of Joseph. Chapter 45 brings you tears. The emotions climax here. Joseph makes himself known. The brothers are stunned! But Joseph knows far more than the immediate emotions of reunion or of even possible past recollections to be distracted.
The LORD sent him (via the brothers’ cruelty) to Egypt for a purpose. It is this knowledge that brings healing and peace for everyone. If only we knew the purposes of God for our lives! The pain and suffering we often go through would become insignificant.
Pharaoh’s reaction to the arrival of Joseph’s brothers has volumes on it. Joseph is a good man and hugely liked by the palace. This is only possible because Pharaoh himself appreciates the God of Joseph. This is an ideal situation where the nations begin to see the LORD through our lives and get blessed.
Again remember the Abrahamic blessing. “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Genesis 12:3 NIV
Pharaoh has blessed Joseph and he himself gets blessed. His nation is saved and the palace is enriched via the commercial machinery that Joseph operated.
Joseph stresses the reason for his presence in Egypt. Events that appear random and completely human…and actually out of anyone’s control (esp God’s control – so we think) are actually elements in God’s grand plan.
There are many times when we feel like everyone else is around apart from God. The truth could be the very opposite. We see that the LORD is present at all times, directing the movie towards His purposes.
Joseph no longer thinks of fame….that the brothers did actually bow down to him. His focus is on a much bigger picture – the saving of many. And for Israel (Jacob), the LORD provisioned for him in this very complex process which only becomes clear at the right time – when the Master Artist has finished His work and the completed work is displayed.
Reading the story of Jacob is like watching an ever interesting movie. It never disappoints. The suspense is emotionally consuming. The brilliance of storytelling is unmatched. Except in this case every bit of it is real life experience in its raw form. And it’s not meant for cameras! Our emotions are fully engaged at every point. You simultaneously love and hate Jacob. You feel for Esau but at the same time want to shout at a man who sells his birthright for a bowl of soup! Through these emotions the LORD is taking us through our own lives. The scriptures allow us to laugh at our own stupidity when we sin over nothing or hate our inability to wait for the LORD’S promises. We scorn our ungodly ambitions and love our correct decisions. We are encouraged when we can reflect on the LORD’S ‘back office’ work.
Jacob’s life is refreshed with the news of Joseph. It’s impossible to describe his emotions. The recovery of a son he once loved was clearly beyond his dreams. Joseph was to Jacob what a newly born son is to a young couple. The investment in the hope and anticipation of posterity through Joseph wasn’t after all lost. The aged Jacob quickly makes the trip to see Joseph. The pieces are all there coming together. Bethel is here once again….the LORD is in this place, and I knew it not. We have seen the LORD of Bethel more clearly in these closing chapters.