Why didn’t Joseph ever go back home?
At thirty, he became second-in-command to pharaoh. There were seven years of plenty. Could he not be spared to at least go check on his relatives? Was he so hard-hearted that he never wanted to see them again?
I suppose the answer can be found somewhat in chapter 44.
Joseph knew his brothers had sold him into slavery. No one could blame him for not wanting to see their faces again. But his father had not been a party to their evil. Why wouldn’t Joseph at least want to go home to see the father who loved him above all the others and had given him such a magnificent coat?
Probably because, so it seemed, his father had not come after him. His grandfather (Abraham) had mounted an army to rescue a nephew (Lot), yet Jacob had done nothing to rescue his son. Perhaps Jacob never really loved him at all! In chapter 44, Joseph learns the truth: his father thought Joseph had been killed. No wonder he didn’t come after him!
Little by little, walls that have been built up over decades are coming down – which brings me to two points:
First, if there is some resentment in your life because of the actions of others, this resentment is only likely to grow until you chase down the truth of the actions and the reasons behind them. Presuming you already know, without personal investigation and confrontation is as bad as basing your feelings on gossip. Second, if someone has disappeared from your life, it’s easy to presume the reasons, but perhaps the distance you feel was brought on by you, and the estrangement is a response to your own actions. In either case, it’s important to find out the truth. You can, like Joseph, live for decades in the pain of a broken relationship when all it would take to heal it is a proactive hand of reconciliation.
It’s really important for parents and children to know this. Parents and children won’t always agree, but neither should allow the other, for a moment, to believe love has been lost or withdrawn.