Genesis 43-45

nascent church Add comments

The wrapping up of Joseph’s tests of his brothers, who now prove a loyalty to their father and brother they betrayed years before. It is a great story, and it’s interesting to me how we are now focusing so long on such specific events. Genesis has been a funnel of time, first dealing in broad narratives and covering centuries in the space of a few chapters. Then we get tidbits of specific families and people, never spending too much time on any single point. Here though we’re focused for five plus chapters on a single story, emphasizing Joseph and bringing him back into the folds of his family. He receives his brothers, but they are the representatives of Israel, who holds the covenant. Joseph was received back into the covenant in the greeting of his brothers.

I don’t know if this is a valid comparison but it popped into my head as I was thinking about how Joseph deceived his brothers to test them. I got to wondering if this is how God works too. He puts us in difficulties not because we are despised or because he is powerless or vengeful but because we are being tested for our loyalties and reactions. If we show ourselves to be faithful to him, he reveals himself as our Father and lets us in on his glory. If we falter, he brings us through the ringer again, testing and helping, testing and helping so as to focus our attention on true righteousness. Joseph is the righteous one here, the one who was sacrificed and suffered, but in his suffering was victory and life for many.

I guess I am seeing a presage of the Gospels here, and our Christian life. Something which I think is allowable in these stories, as God’s work often echoes into the past and into the future.

Comments are closed.