10/31- Friday Genesis 45:5-15 5“Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6“For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7“God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. 8“Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9“Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10“You shall live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children and your flocks and your herds and all that you have. 11“There I will also provide for you, for there are still five years of famine to come, and you and your household and all that you have would be impoverished.”’ 12“Behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth which is speaking to you. 13“Now you must tell my father of all my splendor in Egypt, and all that you have seen; and you must hurry and bring my father down here.” 14Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15He kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked with him.
Bonhoeffer: “Our brother breaks the circle of self-deception. A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person…In the presence of a brother the sin has to be brought into the light.
Thoughts: Joseph brought back the sin of his brothers. He did not ignore it. The mere mention that “You sold me here” (vs. 5) is a reminder that they had sold their brother as a slave. But God is able to turn evil into good. But turning evil into good is not complete unless there is also forgiveness. It is not that the wrong done against their brother didn’t matter. It is that God can turn evil into blessing and salvation. When we admit our sin in the presence of our brother/sister we are allowing blessing to be given in the face of wrong. When we forgive our brother or sister who would sell us away or get rid of us- then we are the ones who are a blessing- as Joseph was to his brothers.
Prayer: Lord, turn the evil once more into good- as you did the cross into the resurrection. Give me grace to forgive the evil and to be made whole.
Extra Thoughts: On this Halloween Day- The brothers thought they had seen a ghost when Joseph revealed himself to them. They thought he was dead and gone. Joseph was not one to haunt them, but one who saw this as an opportunity to help them and forgive them. This was grace spurred by faith in a gracious God who Joseph knew rescued him time and again.