Genesis 50: 15-21 – World Behind the Text

This week we are going to look at the end of Joseph’s story and the relationship he has with his brothers in Genesis 50: 15-21.  Yesterday we filled in Joseph’s backstory.  Today we’ll look deeper at what is happening behind the story.

Lots of movies have those scenes where everything comes to a head.  That is this scene here.  What started in Genesis 12 with Abraham now comes to completion here.  Abraham begat Issac who begat Jacob who begat the twelve sons who became the twelve tribes of Israel.  Joseph, while cocky and arrogant to his brothers, was nearly killed and sold into slavery.  Through God’s hand, he rises to this position. He helps his family.  But now Jacob is dead.  Now that the father is no longer there to save them, what will happen?  Will Joseph return evil for evil?  Will he get back at what his brothers have done to him?

It all comes to this.  All the dreams and promises God has given to Abraham come down to Joseph’s response.  If he wanted, he could have had his brothers killed. He has that much power.  He can exact revenge.  He could snuff out the other eleven, leaving only him. That is an option.

Think of Cain. Think of even Jacob.  What path will he choose?  We even see him test his brothers earlier.  Perhaps he is planning revenge.

The text builds to this.

And we see his choice, the reason why he is in the hall of faith.  He has seen God’s hand at work.  He knew that God was guiding all of this. The choices that humans made for evil, God was using for good. That is how God works.

He chooses faith over revenge.

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