May 27, 2019

Dreams Fulfilled

By: Larry Shaffer

A visitor in our front yard

Dreams Fulfilled 

Genesis 43 

Joseph, lesson 26 

When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which was in their hand and bowed to the ground before him. Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, ‘Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?’ They said, ‘Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.’ They bowed down in homage. 

As he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s sons, he said, ‘Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?’ And he (Joseph) said, ‘May God be gracious to you, my son.’  

Joseph hurried out for he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he sought a place to weep; and he entered his chamber and wept there. Then he washed his face and came out; and he controlled himself and said, ‘Serve the meal.’ 

Now they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment…So they feasted and drank freely with him. 43:26-34 

Family – the best of times; the worst of times. There are no persons in the world that can bring more joy than family. There are no persons in the world that can bring more pain than family. The best of times; the worst of times. 

You think your family is dysfunctional? Welcome back to the story of Jacob’s sons. They are a mess! Genesis documents well over twenty years of complete dysfunction. 

Isn’t it interesting that God called this family to be the foundation and origins of His chosen people? The more I read the Bible, the more I’m amazed at the sinfulness and lostness of those whom God loves and redeems. The grace of God is without limits. 

Joseph is reunited with his blood-brother Benjamin. This is different than the reunion he had previously with his other brothers; his step-brothers. The others had been evil and treacherous toward him and Joseph was unsure of their hearts. It’s twenty years after the evil act of selling him into slavery.  

Have they changed?  

These evil brothers were brothers from a different mother. But Benjamin…classified in the text as Joseph’s mother’s son, is now before him. Benjamin, in Joseph’s mind, was pure as gold. This is Joseph’s blood brother, who was robbed of having a loving older brother while Joseph was robbed of having a younger brother.  

The emotion of the meeting struck Joseph with a rush of elation and uncontrolled tears. 

This is a turning point of hope for Joseph. Perhaps his family will soon be truly united with a sincere change of heart among all. Judah is stepping forward as a leader and more importantly, emerging as a changed man; by the power of the saving grace of God the Savior. The step-brothers are passing the tests, honestly acknowledging their state of need and revealing their hearts to do the right thing. Although there will be one more important test, Joseph now has hope. 

 His father is alive and his baby brother stands before Him. The realization of hopeful dreams stretching over the last twenty years are slowly becoming real. Will this be a dream comes true? 

The word that comes to mind is HOPE! Hope is not wishing. Hope is not day-dreaming. Hope is not uncertain. Our Hope is in God. Our hope has substance and surety. Hebrews 6:11 says it in this way. 

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 

Father, may we be children of hope. May we live knowing that our eternity is set and secure in You; that our eternity is guaranteed to have joy inexpressible and love overflowing. Knowing that our time on earth is a mixture of joy and pain, may we also live today with the surety of hope that You are with us and You will fulfill all Your promises toward us. You are the God of salvation; save all those for whom we pray. You are our God, the provider; provide all we need. You are the God who delights in us; may we soak in the warmth of Your love. Amen!