June 3, 2019

I Am Your Brother

By: Larry Shaffer

I Am Your Brother 

Genesis 45 

Joseph, lesson 29 

Last time I asked the question, Can People change? Really change? Finally, we see the transformation of the motley crew of Jacob’s sons. Led now by the heir to the Messiah, Judah, the brothers pass the rigorous tests that Joseph has given. 

Most people live lives that have an external sense of morality and conscience upon them. In other words, they know they should do good things, but it is from an external force, not from the heart. They respond to an external sense of right and wrong and do their best.  

But God can change people by taking the eternal law of God (Old Covenant) and making it internal, (New Covenant). He does this by placing His law within their heart, Jeremiah 31:31-33. This is what happens when one repents of their sin and by faith receives Christ.  

Jesus makes His home within your heart; this is transformation that is real and eternal. 

Judah and the brothers were offered complete escape by Joseph. All they had to do was surrender Benjamin as a slave in Egypt, and they could all go free and clear. The transformed Judah will have nothing to do with it. Even though he did it to Joseph, the favored son of Jacob, many years earlier, he won’t do it now with the new favorite son of Jacob, Benjamin. Judah exhibits the bravery of a special forces soldier who will leave no man behind. 

Judah said to Joseph, Now, therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers, 44:33 

Judah pledges his own life to save Benjamin. He is willing to give everything to redeem his half-brother. Judah, the previous coward and selfish God-forsaken prodigal, whose despicable story is detailed in Genesis 38, is now a pillar of courage and a foreshadowing picture of our Savior. What a transformation! Judah is now acting like Jesus. When we are saved, our hearts are changed and we desire to act like Jesus. 

The transformation of his brothers is too much for Joseph. He breaks down in uncontrolled emotions. The following scene is one of the most dramatic in the entire Bible. 

Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him and he cried, ‘Have everyone go out from me.’ So, there was no man with him when Joseph made himself know to his brothers. He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard of it. Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph! Is my father still alive? But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. 

Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Please come closer to me.’ And they came closer. And he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life…God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 

Father, every work you do in our lives is perfect. It’s not always clear to us, but to You, it is crystal clear. We are under your guiding and guarding care. Work out perfectly Your salvation within us. Redeem, restore, refresh and revitalize our hearts to praise and worship You and love and serve others. Amen!