When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you standing around looking at one another? 2 I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy enough grain to keep us alive. Otherwise we’ll die.” 3 So Joseph’s ten older brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain. 4 But Jacob wouldn’t let Joseph’s younger brother, Benjamin, go with them, for fear some harm might come to him.
5 So Jacob’s sons arrived in Egypt along with others to buy food, for the famine was in Canaan as well. 6 Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground. 7 Joseph recognized his brothers instantly, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where are you from?” he demanded. “From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We have come to buy food.”
8 Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn’t recognize him. 9 And he remembered the dreams he’d had about them many years before. He said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become.” 10 “No, my lord!” they exclaimed. “Your servants have simply come to buy food. 11 We are all brothers—members of the same family. We are honest men, sir! We are not spies!”
Our story today takes place twenty years after Joseph had been sold into slavery at age 17. Through a series of events Joseph has gone from a slave to the number two person in Egypt. The Lord brings back to his memory his dreams of 20 years ago. 5 One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. 6 “Listen to this dream,” he said. 7 “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” 8 His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.
The Lord had an amazing plan for the life of Joseph that would involve 20 years of life training before he would see his brothers again. Joseph was not the young man of 17 that was sold into slavery years earlier. The Lord had molded and shaped Joseph into humble mature servant. The dreams the Lord gave Joseph were coming true and served as another sign the Lord had been and was currently with Joseph.
How has the Lord molded you over your lifetime? How did those experiences shape your relationship with the Lord and others? How did the Lord use those life lessons to draw you into a closer relationship with him?
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ge 42). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ge 37:5–8). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.