Read Genesis 45:1-20
Contrary to all their fear, Egypt opens its arms and welcomes the family of Israel. They can weather the famine in the land where the food is, all because of the special relationship Joseph has with God.
I want to go back, though, to the start of the chapter – to that moment just after Judah makes his electrifying offer. I asked, “How would you feel?”
Joseph feels overwhelmed. He takes this as proof that God has been working among his brothers and they are ready for reconciliation.
Nowhere else, through all his troubles, does the story record Joseph crying. But here he sobs: loudly. This touches him like nothing else. This is what he’s yearned for all along.
What joy! What release!
The brothers, on the other hand, are uncomfortable – speechless.
Then Joseph says this: “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.”
“God sent me ahead of you.”
Let me paraphrase:
Don’t beat yourselves up. Even when you were blowing it, doing wrong, God was still working His good purposes through you. You tried to destroy me but you failed because God was always with me.
Let it go.
In fact, God was even blessing you in it. He put me here to save us all. Now his promises to Abraham can still come true. We can all have many descendants. Can’t you see God at the back of everything that’s happened? Can’t you see him turning everything into good?
God can bring good out of evil – evil done to us, and evil inside us.
Joseph ought to know.
And when you think about it, it makes sense. If God couldn’t overcome evil, if evil was able to wreck his plans, then he wouldn’t really be the author of the Story – evil would be.
The brothers can’t grasp it.