The turning point in Joseph life
At God’s appointed time, once Joseph had been sufficiently tested and found faithful, the day of his long-awaited promotion finally dawned, Genesis 41:14! What Joseph desired was to be set free two years earlier, when he requested the chief cup bearer to put in a kind word to Pharaoh on his behalf. At that time all he ever wanted was to get out of prison.
However, God’s plan for his life was, indeed, far greater than anything he could have ever thought of or imagined, though it would come into effect only two years later than he desired, vs 1. As he gave Pharaoh the interpretation of his dream, and the solution to the problem that the dream revealed, Pharaoh was assured that none but Joseph would be able to execute the wise leadership that would be required to prepare them for the upcoming famine. And so, He placed Joseph, as second in command, to lead all of Egypt!
We also see the amazing change in the attitude of Judah in these chapters as the story unfolds! In Genesis 38, Judah leaves his father’s home to live elsewhere, perhaps because his conscience bothered him on seeing his father’s plight on hearing about the loss of his son Joseph! Judah had a major role to play in the selling off of Joseph to the Ishmaelites traders, Genesis 37:26-28! Had he not suggested so, Reuben would have come and delivered Joseph from the evil intent of his brothers, vs 21,22,29,39.
As Judah leaves home, we see him marrying a Canaanite woman, Genesis 38:2, who bore him 3 sons out of which 2 of them were counted as evil in God’s eyes and were killed by God as a result, vs 7,10!
Finally, he ends us having 2 sons, by his daughter in law Tamar, whom he cheated by not giving her his third son in marriage, as he had previously promised her, vs 11,14. Thus we see his family life in a state of confusion, probably on account of his evil deed done in the past, which he did not know how to repent of, though found guilty in God’s eyes. The turning point in his life came when he acknowledged the wrong he did to his daughter in law in the presence of all whom he had told to stone her to death on hearing the news of her pregnancy while in her father’s house!
When he realised that she bore those sons through him, he honestly acknowledged his wrongdoing, and her life was spared as a result, vs 24-26. As time went by it seemed that he went back to live with his father and the time then came for them to go and buy grain from Egypt on account of the famine, Genesis 42: 1,2.
When they had to visit Egypt to buy grain for the second time, they were told that they could buy the grain only if their brother Benjamin was with them, as a proof that they were indeed honest men and not spies, while Simeon was held back in Egypt as a hostage, vs 18-20. When their father Jacob did not agree to send Benjamin with them for fear of what may befall him, Reuben agrees to take the responsibility on saying that two of his sons could be put to death if Benjamin did not return home safely, vs 37.
But when Jacob refused to accept that offer, we see Judah pitching in and saying that he would take the responsibility to see that Benjamin was returned back safely, and if not, he would bear the blame forever, Genesis 43: 9. And so, Jacob finally agrees to send Benjamin to Egypt along with his brothers, vs 11-14. Later, we also see the manner in which Judah pleads with Joseph not to detain Benjamin, but rather to permit Judah to serve as a slave in Benjamin’s place, as he would not be able to face his father, if any harm came to Benjamin and he was not returned home safely, Genesis 44:27-34.
Thus, we see a complete turn around in the character and behaviour of Judah! He was willing to bear the blame, just like Jesus was willing to bear the blame for our sin, because He could not bear to return to His Father, God, without bringing us to heaven along with Him! Is it any wonder then that Jesus chose to call Himself, the Lion of Judah, and not the Lion of Levi? Further, the name Judah means ‘Praise’, which is the very thing that God desires from us, in all situations of life, if we are to experience His powerful miracle-working presence in our lives!
Judah’s willingness to take the blame opened a door of opportunity for the reconciliation and restoration to the entire family as against Reuben’s willingness to offer 2 of his sons as a sacrifice! Thus, once again we see an example of how obedience triumphs over sacrifice, just as Jesus mentioned in Hebrews 10:5-9.
Let us invite the Holy Spirit to show us areas in our lives for which we need to exhibit divine love by taking the blame, wherever necessary, and by offering a sacrifice of praise so as to bring about the needed reconciliation between God and man in our circle of influence.
As we do what we can, God will step in and do what we cannot and fill our lives, homes and Churches with the sweet aroma of His presence, wherein the supernatural will become the norm of the day!