Read Genesis 42:1-17
The boys are back.
It might not be a stunning surprise to Joseph to see his brothers. He might have considered the possibility beforehand; after all, the whole world was coming to him.
Still, nothing could have prepared him for the reality of looking into their eyes, hearing them talk, watching them interact with each other; and just being close enough to smell them, to touch them.
What an astounding turnaround! These men who had despised him and sold him for twenty pieces of silver; these men who tore him from his life, now kneel before him; and he, who had been helpless then, was now unrecognizable in his glory and power.
What to do?
It would be easy to make a fatal mistake here.
He could kill them – and lose everything; or he could rush in with forgiveness, wanting reconciliation, only to learn they weren’t willing or ready for it.
He does neither.
Instead, he throws the boys in jail.
And accuses them of being spies.
It’s the beginning of a long, cat-and-mouse sort of game where Joseph tries to learn whether his brothers have changed at all. Are they ready for reunion, or would they still kill him if they could?
“He remembered his dreams.”
Of course he did! There are his brothers on their faces in front of him.
Surely, he had given up on those dreams somewhere in all the dark years of prison, but then came Pharaoh’s summons and now here he is. He knows this amazing turnaround, his brothers all bowing before him, is no crazy, random fluke.
It’s God making good on the promises he had given in the dreams.
Joseph’s life is a story, written by God, and the dreams were foreshadowing. God was showing Joseph what was coming.
When it comes, Joseph can see the all-important truth: nothing simply happens. It’s all made to happen: deliberately, carefully, lovingly.
It’s a truth we all need to know.