“Then Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. And Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their dependents.” (Genesis 47:11-12)
After father Jacob has heard that his son Joseph is alive and has become a ruler in Egypt, he moves to Egypt together with all his sons, their wives and their children. After all, the famine will still last for years and Joseph has enough food for all of them. They are saved from starvation because Joseph is so generous to them. Now they are dependent on their once despised brother, who gladly provides for them.
I think this situation has a parallel in our lives. As Christians, we admit that we are dependent on God both for our everyday needs and for eternal life. But we are also aware that we do not deserve his grace at all! We were all born as sinners, and have made things even worse since then by actively rejecting or disobeying God.
Joseph’s attitude towards his brothers is a beautiful image of God’s attitude towards repentant sinners. He does not repay them according to what they have done, but treats them as beloved family members. His blessings are not given according to the measure of our good works, but according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Ephesians 4:7).
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