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Teaching

Joseph Redeems his Brothers (Gen 45-50)

Unable to contain himself any longer, Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers.  His brothers are looking at their sin with the eyes of the world and are dismayed that revenge and death is in their future.  Joseph responds with a theology of grace.  God has ordained that Joseph be in the position he is in all along, even using the sinful actions of his brothers to bring the salvation of many men from salvation but, even as important, to bless the hands of those that plotted to kill Joseph.  This is the way of grace:  God justifies the ungodly.  Were He to visit our sins with what they deserve we would all perish.

Their sin revealed, Joseph desires the repentance and restoration of his family and not their destruction.  God is the Judge of the earth and all sin will be punished by Him.  For those that put their trust in Him (ultimately in Christ) that wrath is borne by Him and Joseph is turning them to the grace of God and not to internal despair.

The story even closes with a remarkable testimony of grace.  Hebrews 11:21 sees the blessing of Ephraim over Manasseh as the examplar of faith for Jacob.  The schemer who once took matters in his own hands to get God’s blessing now recognizes that God, even in the dark Providences, was seeing to the salvation of His own.  We, too, need to see with eyes of faith so that, like Jacob, we can testify that the Lord has been faithful to us throughout our lives, in blessing and curses, to turn everything into a blessing for us.  All who are in Christ have the assurance that God works everything together for their good.

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