Genesis 50 – A Farewell to Beginnings

Genesis 50 Bible with Alter Eco Deep Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate

Today’s ChocolateAlter Eco Deep Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate

Today’s PassageGenesis 50

Here we are at the end of Genesis. It’s also, in a sense, the end of Jacob and the end of Joseph, as we have two deaths in this final chapter. On the other hand, though, it’s not the end of Jacob and Joseph; the end is not the end. But in between these two deaths we have a scene between Joseph and his brothers that I think bears consideration.

I remember Jacob feared that Esau would kill him when Isaac died. Now, after Jacob dies, Joseph’s brothers fear that he’ll punish them for the time they sold him into slavery. Reuben, Simeon, and Levi were never their father’s favorites to begin with. I imagine they’re particularly concerned, now that what little protection their father might have given them is removed.

But when the brothers ask Joseph to forgive them for their father’s sake, bowing down and offering themselves as servants, they’re in for a surprise. Joseph weeps when he gets the message. And I suppose this is where I got the impression that Joseph had matured through the course of his life, because he tells them,

Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones. (19-20)

To begin with, they don’t need to bow to him, or to present themselves as servants to anyone but God. Second, he affirms that God has good intentions even in letting others act on their bad intentions, and he can bring good out of a bad situation. And finally, far from treating his brothers as servants, he’ll serve them and their families. Now that’s real maturity.

Joseph has come a long way. And so, I suppose, have we.

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