For seven chapters spanning thirty years it had been building in Joseph: the pain of betrayal, the agony of isolation, the indignity of slavery, the injustice of imprisonment.
Joseph, whose faith had endured severe testing, stood before his brothers. In that moment, the grace of God transformed what could have been a violent eruption of rage and revenge into a sweet release of love and forgiveness.
Unable to control his emotions (v.1), Joseph sent his staff away and called his brothers close. And he wept — oh, how he wept! He put his arms around his brothers and held on in a long-overdue, healing embrace. Twelve grown men, together again!
Before the scene gave way to a tangle of bear-hugs and tears and noogies and beard-pulling (I have a brother…I know how it goes!), Joseph had something to say. It is one of the most emotional speeches in the Bible, the kind of thing only those who walk with God can say.
Re-read verses 4-13 and you will notice Joseph’s amazing commitment to God’s will: “God sent me (v.5)…God sent me (v.7)…it was not you who sent me here, but God (v.8).”
When Pharaoh heard about the reunion, he added his personal guarantee of provision for the family. At his command, Joseph dispatched a caravan of wagons to fetch the entire clan from Canaan. Joseph’s comment to his brothers as they left is interesting: “Don’t quarrel on the way.” John Phillips explains the comment this way:
Thus Joseph bade them guard well their tempers and their testimony…It was good parting advice — for them, and for us.
The news that Joseph was alive, ruling in Egypt, and ready to save the family sounded too good to be true to Jacob. But it was true! Jacob’s amazing, gracious God had been working behind the scenes for thirty years to bring about a greater blessing than the old man had ever dreamed. And God is working in your life, too. Just trust Him.