By Norman P. Grubb
Now that shows they were really not, as we would say, lost sinners, but hidden saints. For all those years they knew they were guilty and were lying to their father. Indeed, it was God’s way of restoring them to their right relationship with God. They didn’t know Joseph knew their language, of course, “and they said one to another, we are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us and we would not hear. Therefore is this distress come upon us.” “And Reuben answered them saying, ‘Spake I not unto you saying, do not sin against this child?’ and ye would not hear? Therefore behold, also his blood is required?” Joseph turned from them and wept. Why did he weep? Praise God, they were seeing their wrong. They aren’t trying to justify; they aren’t proud, hating people; they are guilty people. He wept for joy that this was a first stage toward what could become a reconciliation. God was at work, but not enough yet. You don’t push, do you? You go with the Lord. You just do the next thing.
He was conscious that it was not time to say, Come on, you’re my brothers, and so he hid his weeping. Then he “communed with them.” He began to make a fellowship link with them which wasn’t usual. He began to show them something which you don’t expect to find from a Prime Minister who thinks you’re spies. He began to show an interest, which they would know would be an interest, and communed with them and talked about things. “This wasn’t an ordinary ruler. What’s up? He thinks we’re spies and he treats us almost like a friend.” He took a further step. He wasn’t going to take their money. This again must have made them wonder, but in their fear and guilt they took it wrongly! They thought they’d be caught up in a burglary trick! But it was not like an ordinary ruler with his prisoners.
When they found the money, the brothers began to say, “What is this that God hath done to us?” So, you see, they were God’s men. They weren’t a bunch of unsaved people. As we have said, they were God’s servants who had got in the flesh, like we do. The Lord was using their flesh way to bring them into His way, and now they knew God. I think we can take it that their lives had got right, particularly when they returned home from their rotten excesses after the shock of the Joseph affair. So they went home and told their father.
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By Norman P. Grubb