Scripture: When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.'” Genesis 45:16-18 ESV
Observation: After revealing his identity to his brothers and assuring them that he no longer harbors resentment (confident that God accomplished a greater good), Joseph urges them to hurry home and return with Jacob and their clan. He will then resettle them in Goshen and provide for all their needs. Deeply moved, Joseph then weeps and kisses all his brothers and catches up on their news (45:9-15). Meanwhile, word of their arrival reaches Pharaoh, which pleases the king. So Pharaoh speaks to Joseph and tells him to instruct his brothers to return with their entire family and enjoy the best he has to offer: the choicest land and provisions (above verses).
Takeaway: Goshen is not Israel’s Promised Land. Nevertheless, their God will abundantly provide for his chosen people until the fulfillment of his promise. This “now but not yet” theme carries on throughout Scripture, climaxing with Christ ushering in the Covenant of Grace, which will see its consummation when he returns and makes all things new. Meanwhile, like Israel, we feel the tension of the “now but not yet” amid the ravishes of evil. But when we worship our beautiful Savior and witness the regenerative and restorative work of his Holy Spirit, we capture glimpses of our heavenly home. And, like Joseph, we need to resolve in our minds and hearts the same reality of our good and gracious Lord: that, in Christ, he redeems our suffering and resettles us to resting places where he abundantly provides all our needs until we reach our Promised Land.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for your Son, who is our means of reaching your heavenly Promised Land. Would you please grant us patient endurance to press on through challenging times, trusting that you will abundantly provide for us in the waiting until the fruition of your promises? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling