For over a decade, Joseph lived in Egypt before seeing his father’s family again. He rose like a comet professionally. He married well – a priest’s daughter. They had two sons, one of whom he named “Forget” (Manasseh) because, he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”
But of course, God had done no such thing. The very idea that he would say he had forgotten was proof he had not. The brothers had sold him. His father, so he thought, had not cared enough to come find him. Anger and resentment seethed and when, finally, he met his brothers again, all those feelings bubbled to the surface and boiled over with rage. Four times, despite their protestations to the contrary, Joseph accused them of espionage and threatened them all with prison – the same fate he had experienced on arriving in Egypt.
The only soft spot he felt for his family was for his mother, now dead, and his only other true sibling – Benjamin. He would have Benjamin brought to Egypt, and kick the rest of the family to the curb.
But more softening was to come. As his distressed brothers, who do not recognize Joseph, discuss their plight, he hears they have not forgotten how shabbily they treated him and they feel God is punishing them for their crime. He hears that Reuben was not a party to their evil. He hears repentant hearts that have borne the burden of sin.
But Joseph will not be deterred. His heart is hard.
An evil, self dealing group of brothers. A hard hearted Joseph. What’s to become of this family?
God does not choose people for what they are, but for what He can make of them. Change is in the air, but it will take a while to complete.