… Here’s what we might have expected Joseph to do when he saw his brothers.
“Hi. I’m Joseph your brother! Lets put it all behind us. I forgive you.
Go tell Dad that I’m alive and well. That I’m second in command here.
Bring Dad down here. I’ll take care of all your needs!”
… And it would have been a great “photo opportunity”!
Picture Joseph embracing his brothers. Cameras flashing.
Headlines in all the papers. Selling the book rights. Speaking tours.
Only one problem.
The roots of the problem would not have been addressed.
And before you turn around?
The “honeymoon” would be over. And the bad feelings would be back.
And as Abba Eban used to say, “Almost every problem has a simple solution.
Which is usually wrong!”
… Joseph had to restrain himself from doing what might be easy.
He felt that two things had to happen before he could reveal himself.
He had to be convinced that the brothers learned their lesson.
Otherwise, he couldn’t forgive them with a full heart.
So Joseph accuses them of being spies. Forces them to bring Benjamin down to Egypt.
And then has Benjamin framed.
He was testing them.
Needed to see how they would respond.
Would they show remorse for what they did to him?
And how would they react to Jacob suffering the loss of another son?
And there was something else that had to happen.
… The brothers had to be convinced that their fears about Joseph were unfounded.
Joseph had shared his dreams. And they thought Joseph wanted to rule over them.
So what did he need to do? What did Joseph force himself to do?
Show them how he could rule over them!
How he has absolute power to do with them as he pleases.
… So that when they finally embrace?
It can be forever!
… It’s a very important lesson.
Sometimes the easiest thing might be to say, “Let’s just forget about it!”
But the right thing would be?
To address the problem.
All the best,