JOSEPH IN THE PALACE! Second to Pharaoh.
God had not abandoned Joseph and Pharaoh gave him a lovely wife, she was the daughter of the priest of ON and he was comforted by human companionship. Moreover by the wisdom which God had manifested in him, he accomplished all the tasks that he himself had recommended to Pharaoh.
His wife bore him two sons .
The first one he called “Manasseh,” meaning that “God made him to forget!” For he said,
“God has caused me to forget all my hardship.”
The second child he called, “Ephraim,” “to be fruitful.”
God had indeed made Joseph to prosper in all he undertaken.
But soon, as God had already communicated to Pharaoh. The hot sun bore down upon the earth, the earth withered and hardened and then cracked. There was not a drop of rain upon the land. The rivers dried up and the seven years of drought began. The people despaired of rain and harvest.
As Governor, Joseph slowly opened up the granaries, and sparingly he doled out the grain. He knew that seven lean years were ahead. The Egyptians ate and no-one died for lack of food.
JOSEPH REUNITED WITH HIS BROTHERS.
The famine had become very widespread.
One clear blue skied morning, Jacob looked out onto the horizon and beyond the hills travellers were making their way to Egypt.
The only place where there was food.
He had heard they were selling food in Egypt and all countries were going there to buy their grain.
Jacob looked at his sons and said,
“Why are you standing around and looking at each other, is it not time you went as well? Leave your wives and children with me and go down to Egypt and buy us grain.”
Judah answered, “All of us?”
Jacob emphatically said, “No. Benjamin will stay with me!” Benjamin was now the age of 14 and Joseph had been gone 20 yrs.
The rainy season came and went and there was only a few spits of rain, not enough to wet the parched ground.
Jacob went again to his lookout, and at last he could see them coming. He felt relieved, but as they drew closer he wondered to himself,” I sent 10 sons and I can only count 9 returning” He counted them again .. 9 .. only 9! “Oh God, who is missing?” He began to shake!
Jacob had a meal already prepared for them and they sat in their designated places. They were quiet .. too quiet!
Jacob spoke, “where is Simeon?” They remained silent .. He shouted, “Where is my second son .. Joseph is dead, Is Simeon dead also? He began to cry, “Oh not my Simeon,” then fell to the ground wailing a mournful cry.
“Oh, oh, not Simeon too!”
Everyone stopped eating. Guilt had stolen their appetites. Reuben and Judah lifted Jacob to his seat, “Father, dear Father .. let us explain.”
“We told the Governor, We are 10 brothers, one is at home and one is not!”
“Father he wouldn’t believe us and said, prove it, and bring Benjamin to him next time we go to buy food.”
“SIMEON is in prison, awaiting our return.”
Read chapter 42 for the full account.
Canaan was in severe famine and people were starving to death. Jacob had not done anything about Simeon, and now the food was almost gone, and Jacob at last, said to his sons.
“Go again to Egypt and buy more food.”
But Judah said to him.
“The man charged us with crime .. remember he said, “you are spies.” “Unless I see your brother Benjamin I will know that you are not spies.”
Jacob slumped to the ground ..”If I lose Benjamin .. I will surely die!” After much persuasion, Jacob could see that there was no other way.
So he let them go, and they set out on their way with an “excited” 14yr old brother Benjamin. It was all very new for an adventurous young teenager .. Everything new he saw was, “Cool!”
Jacob had held back his tears as he had held each son in his arms and kissed them all goodbye. Soon they faded into the horizon, and were gone!
(You can also rely upon our Lord in your time of despair and difficult decisions. He is always ready to help you in your time of great need.)
This time Jacob allowed tears to fall, they were not tears of devastation, for he had a lovely encounter with God, and he KNEW THAT GOD WAS WITH THEM. So he went about his daily chores.