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Devotion: Brothers United

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August 21st, 2018 | Genesis 45:14-28

Civil wars divide not only nations but also families. Whether family members take different sides in the conflict or whether geographic divisions tear them apart, the loss of those bonds can leave emotional scars for generations.

Joseph and his brothers all had scars from the betrayal that had torn apart their family several decades earlier. But finally reunification and reconciliation was possible. Joseph embraced his brothers, and “afterward his brothers talked with him” (v. 15). This is more than a throwaway observation. Recall that, years before, “they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him” (37:4). At last, these siblings were moving from rivalry to relationship.

News of Joseph’s family reunion reached Pharaoh. He offered to relocate Joseph’s entire family to Egypt. He provided carts for an easier move and assured them that they would have the best of the land and everything they would need. Joseph had clearly been a blessing and great help to Pharaoh.

Joseph sent his brothers back home with one last command, “Don’t quarrel on the way!” As one scholar said, “Joseph’s parting shot was realistic, for the ancient crime was now bound to come to light before their father, and mutual accusations were likely to proliferate.”

When Jacob heard that his beloved son was still alive, he “was stunned and did not believe them” (v. 26). Assured of the truth of the report by the cartloads of Egyptian goods Joseph had sent, Jacob revived for the first time in years. He was determined to go and see him, despite the difficulty of travel and his advanced age. Another reunion was worth it; the journey would be hard, but healing the wounds of familial separation would be sweet.

APPLY THE WORD

The kind of reconciliation Joseph and his brothers experienced serves as a picture of the ministry God has called us to in the church (see 2 Cor. 5:18). When we share the gospel, sinners are reconciled to God through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Our calling as peacemakers can help God’s people live in fellowship together (Matt. 5:9).

Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries

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