Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and completely forgives them all. It’s interesting that Joseph presents his family to Pharaoh and “Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased” (Genesis 45:16). Joseph’s service to Egypt was one with such integrity and honor that all those in power, the royal dynasty if you will, are pleased to see him overjoyed with the reunion of his family. Truly remarkable.
Jacob (Israel) finally gets to see his lost son, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive” (Genesis 46:30). Joseph arranges a meeting with Pharaoh, with a bit of prompting. It’s an interesting conversation. Jacob is certainly respectful of Pharaoh, his position and prestige, but the sense I get from the narrative is not one of pauper vs king. Jacob is introduced and “after Jacob bless Pharaoh…” the conversation begins.
Pharaoh didn’t “need” Jacob’s blessing, yet he receives one at the beginning of the conversation and one at the end as Jacob departs.
After 17 years, Jacob is prepared to die, so he gathers his sons to give them his blessing (Genesis 49). So the twelve tribes of Israel are blessed and the stage is set for the coming years.
One of the most famous verses comes after all of the drama of this story is played out. Though it’s difficult to appreciate the magnitude of the power, here is the simple text from a humble servant of God:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
For some reason my mind saw one of the closing sequences in The Lord of the Rings, the conversation between Frodo and Sam. Perhaps this was Tolkien’s attempt to portray the incredible journey that Joseph was required to take in order to save his people. Through battles, deception, greed, anger, lust, etc., Frodo survives and accomplishes his mission. Much the same for Joseph and his family endures. I rather like the comparison, but then again, I rather like the LOTR.
The big takeaway for me: humble obedience. Both Jacob and Joseph show incredible strength and humility at the same time. These are characteristics I pray I can learn from, traits I pray for. May all the honor and glory be directed at the God who watches over all and may we never forget how he loves us and desires to see his family reunited.